Team Ranking: March 2021
We have updated our Global Team Ranking for March 2021, which featured little change at the top but saw a couple of big jumps in the bottom section of the top 30.
March featured the world's best teams competing in the only elite event of the month, ESL Pro League Season 13, while tournaments such as the Pinnacle Cup, Snow Sweet Snow, and DreamHack Open March filled in the gaps with mixed levels of competition.
Results in qualifiers for BLAST Premier Spring Showdown and DreamHack Masters Spring also influenced changes, albeit to a smaller degree as they only impacted the Form sub-category.
Similarly, ESL Pro League results have only affected the team's Form as the tournament is still running and placements weren't taken into account for the ranking update of April 5. Therefore, the upper half of the top 30 stays relatively unchanged from last month's update, but massive shifts are expected soon following the event's conclusion as teams such as Complexity, FURIA, and ENCE made deep runs.
Big jumps are seen in the bottom half of the top-30, starting with HAVU, who are up 39 spots after winning 24 of the 28 matches played in March. Making similar strides were AGO, Copenhagen Flames, and SKADE, all rising at least 20 positions in the ranking, while Extra Salt showed promise ahead of their European trip by dominating North American opponents and climbing to number 21.
Here's a summary of our ranking for new readers:
Our team ranking is based on teams' achievements over the past year (with severe decay in points throughout each month), recent form over the last two months, and performance in recent events in the last 3 months.
Each team is required to have a three-man core in order to retain their points. Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, online results, which previously had a minimal effect, now carry more weight as they are also included in the 'Achievements' and 'Recent Events' sub-categories.
Below is the current top 30 table as of April 5, which goes more in-depth into how the points are distributed — or you can check our special page, where you will be able to find the latest, weekly version of our ranking. You can see the lineup for each team by hovering over their name in the table.
Please note that the +/- gain on this table differs from our weekly rankings page, and it is related to the ranking update of March 1.
All quiet on the northern front
The latest monthly update brings little change in the elite ranks because the sole Big Event that was held in March, the ESL Pro League Season 13, is still underway and, as such, only affected the Form sub-category. Natus Vincere may have regained the top spot from Astralis, but they could soon take a big hit after crashing out of EPL in the first round of the playoffs. The Danes are hot on NAVI's heels, but they'll need to be wary of the threat posed by Gambit, who have gained over 100 points since the previous update and will want to continue to make history.
One change of note sees Vitality lose their place in the top five for the first time since June. The French side ended 2020 among the best, but this year has not been kind to them, with only one playoff appearance so far, in the BLAST Premier Global Final. ESL Pro League, their first event since returning to a five-man setup, ended in disaster as they finished fourth in their group, behind Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE and G2, and a similar frustrating story in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown is likely to raise serious questions about the direction in which the team is heading.
Dream month for HAVU
The Finnish squad was quick to find success after reforming their roster at the start of the year, but they hit a new level in March to break into the top 30 and place as high as 16th. Carrying the banner as the only Finnish team competing against the best, HAVU have surpassed the now-international ENCE by a significant margin, spurred on by their rival's former duo of Jani "Aerial" Jussila and Sami "xseveN" Laasanen.
The two riflers were brilliant in March, averaging 1.25 and 1.19 ratings respectively, followed by the team's primary AWPer, Lasse "ZOREE" Uronen, at 1.17 and the in-game leader, Olli "sLowi" Pitkänen, at 1.11. Strong form across the board translated into a 47-14 map win-loss record over the course of the month, during which the team secured series wins over Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE, and BIG. The Finns also managed to take a map off of a red-hot Gambit in the final of the Pinnacle cup, ending the Russians' winning streak on Mirage in the process.
Although HAVU didn't attend ESL Pro League Season 13, where the cream of the crop was competing last month, the victory in Snow Sweet Snow 2 and the runner-up finish in the Pinnacle Cup, along with upsets over top teams, saw the team hit this important milestone.
fnatic's woes continue
After moving down four places to 16th in last month's update, fnatic find themselves almost out of the top 20 after a disappointing run in ESL Pro League, in which the Swedes finished fifth in their group, with only one win from five matches. Their weaknesses were on display once again as they couldn't even take a map in any of the series that they lost — while their sole victory against Evil Geniuses was a three-map affair —, finishing the group stage with a -52 round record, the second-worst overall.
fnatic's fortunes seem to have reversed after a promising start to the year following Jack "Jackinho" Ström Mattsson's arrival, and they find themselves in the midst of one of the biggest crises in the team's history. With roster changes ruled out for the time being, the Swedish team has opted for a role swap hoping that it will help them to stop the bleeding, with Jackinho currently being tested as the squad's main AWPer.
Snow Sweet Snow 3 is the next event on the calendar for the Swedish team, who will be hoping to pick up some form and momentum ahead of the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year. The following weeks will be very challenging for fnatic, whose rank could take a nosedive soon as they will miss the next big event, DreamHack Masters Spring, as well as the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.
SKADE, Copenhagen Flames hit new peaks
Denmark's most successful "farm team", Copenhagen Flames, has done it again. After selling the likes of Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen, René "TeSeS" Madsen, Asger "Farlig" Jensen, Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen, and Ismail "refrezh" Ali , the organization's new squad, led by returning in-game leader Asger "AcilioN" Larsen, has broken into the top 30 and currently sits at No.26.
The young and unproven roster took down a big few names in March, most notably Gambit in their semi-final run in Snow Sweet Snow 2, inflicting the Russian team's first defeat since February 18, with Endpoint, SAW, MIBR, and TeamOne some of the other teams who fell short against the Danes.
SKADE may not have the glamour of Copenhagen Flames, but they are starting to build a reputation of their own in the second tier of European competition. Following a 13-15th place in Snow Sweet Snow 2 at the start of the month, the team that recently added WESG 2018 Global Finals MVP Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov to the fold went on an incredible run.
A victory over fellow Bulgarian side FATE kicked off a 16-series winning streak across multiple tournaments that saw SKADE take down the likes of LDLC, Anonymo, and Winstrike. The team will hope to extend that streak in Snow Sweet Snow 3, in which a struggling MOUZ team is the only thing standing between them and a top-four finish.
Extra Salt soar ahead of European test
After a rough month for North American Counter-Strike, Extra Salt's rise to 21st in the rankings gives fans in the region something to cheer about. Johnny "JT" Theodosiou's side have established themselves as the prime force in NA after winning five tournaments in a row, losing only one match all month long (0-2 defeat to Bad News Bears in ESEA Premier).
Extra Salt cannot afford to rest on their laurels, however, and have just landed in Belgrade, Serbia, for a demanding sequence of European tournaments that will see them take on some of the world's best teams in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, FunSpark ULTI and DreamHack Masters Spring. It's going to be a completely different ball game now, but they'll be relishing the challenge that lies ahead.
Luís "MIRAA" Mira contributed to this story