November Team Ranking: Vitality's last dance, Astralis and fnatic on the rise
The BLAST Premier Fall Finals have the biggest effect on the top end of the rankings during November.
With the year winding down, the last two months of the year serve as the final outings of many teams looking to make changes during the player break as well as opportunities for those who had success at the Major and are seeking to capitalize on their momentum.
Here's a summary of the HLTV World Ranking by 1xBet 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 Monday, December 6, 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 November 8.
Vitality playing without pressure
Vitality came out of the Major with a modest top eight placing, losing to the champions Natus Vincere. The match loss is nothing to scoff at however, as they got double digits on both maps, and got much closer to defeating to CIS giants than most other teams at the Major did.
Nonetheless, the team seemed to be looking to shake up the roster, and soon after reports emerged of the French organization going international and bringing on Astralis trio Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen, Emil "Magisk" Reif, and Danny "zonic" Sørensen to replace Richard "shox" Papillon, Jayson "Kyojin" Nguyen Van, and Rémy "XTQZZZ" Quoniam. The change moved one step closer to reality with Astralis' announcement of their new lineup featuring Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke, Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, and Alexander "ave" Holdt, leaving out the aforementioned trio.
Regardless of any intent to alter the lineup, no changes could be made until the end of the year, and there were still three more events remaining in the year that the team had to play out. While it may seem counter-intuitive, dead lineups historically sometimes play better once they know changes are coming, mostly due to the lack of pressure put on players to perform under normal circumstances.
Vitality decided to make the best of the final events of the year, and put in a quite strong performance at the BLAST Premier Fall Final, making second place after defeating Liquid as well as the new-look Astralis in two series. They also managed to take a map off of Natus Vincere in the grand final, despite the eventual loss. At the ongoing IEM Winter, their play has been even more impressive with wins over both Ninjas in Pyjamas and Gambit on their way to the semifinals, where they will face Virtus.pro on December 11.
Astralis return to the top ten
In an explosive debut, the newest edition of Astralis shocked many a fan with their performance at the BLAST Fall Finals, particularly with their complete domination of Danish rivals Heroic. The new lineup took an interesting direction, primarily with in-game leader Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander picking up the AWP, while rookie Philip "Lucky" Ewald found himself on rifles or SMGs most of the time.
These non-traditional roles didn't stop the Danish powerhouse from securing a third-place finish at their first event, though, and the team looked to carry their momentum forward into IEM Winter. The fire had definitely cooled off however, as after easily taking down MOUZ in the lower bracket, Astralis was beaten by Liquid 0-2 for the first time in years and eliminated from the tournament.
The additions of k0nfig and blameF have already proven to be incredible, and the former Complexity have easily slipped into the star positions within the squad. The roster's biggest question going into December and the next year is that of the AWP role, which has yet to be truly filled since the departure of Nicolai "device" Reedtz to Ninjas in Pyjamas. gla1ve acting as the sniper is unlikely to work in the long-term and the organization may be eyeing potential replacements for Lucky in the new year.
fnatic rank up with smooya
After finally moving away from a Swedish-majority lineup for the first time since 2013, fnatic finally seem to be recovering from the void they found themselves in during 2021 following the departure of Robin "flusha" Rönnquist. After the addition of British duo Alex "ALEX" McMeekin and William "mezii" Merriman in August, the lineup showed promise but was unable to take that step up to the next level.
Later in October, they made the bold move of picking up Owen "smooya" Butterfield to replace Jack "Jackinho" Ström Mattsson on a trial contract. Things began to click immediately for the Swedish-British mix, as they speed-ran qualification for IEM Winter, won DreamHack November without dropping a map, won REPUBLEAGUE Season 2, and put in an impressive showing at IEM Winter, pushing Gambit to the absolute limit in the lower bracket decider game in Group B.
While we don't know the full tournament schedule going into 2022, fnatic are an ESL partner team, which gives them a leg up against the competition in returning to the top through guaranteed spots at all ESL Pro League seasons, as well as other potential tournament or qualifier invites. smooya has proven himself time and again to be capable of being one of the best AWPers in the world, and with the likes of mezii and Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson supporting him, fnatic are looking quite dangerous going into the new year.
Eternal Fire, MOUZ NXT, and K23 make big strides
The remaining three big changes see Eternal Fire, MOUZ NXT, and K23 all enter the top 30, gaining at least 13 places each from last month. The former two are both new cores finding the place in the landscape, while the latter CIS side made changes following the final RMR tournament and failing to qualify for the Major.
The Turkish superteam got off to a pretty slow start, notably failing to qualify for IEM Fall despite receiving an invite to the closed qualifier, and soon enough a change was inevitable. Citing trouble with meshing with the Turkish core, Eternal Fire replaced Jordanian Issa "ISSAA" Murad with resident Turk Yasin "xfl0ud" Koç, who had brief stints with both Sangal and GORILLAZ. It was when Özgür "woxic" Eker took over in-game leading duties however that things started to turn for the better, beginning with a series win over Virtus.pro in REPUBLEAGUE.
In what is easily the strongest academy team within the CS:GO circuit right now, MOUZ NXT have not only won both seasons of the WePlay Academy league but have found much success in the tier two of competition. With the prowess of young Hungarian AWPer Ádám "torzsi" Torzsás they have picked up series victories over Dignitas, BLINK, and HAVU in their Pinnacle and Malta Vibes cup runs.
K23 wasted no time upgrading their roster following the end of IEM Fall CIS, replacing long-time Kazakh duo Rustem "mou" Telepov and Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev with former FORZE star player Bogdan "xsepower" Chernikov and Daniil "X5G7V" Maryshev, who gained notoriety with his impressive play with INDE IRAE at IEM Fall. While they haven't had any big time placings at larger events, they've had a high volume of games culminating in their recent win at Funspark ULTI 2021 Europe Season 4, picking up victories over SKADE and ECSTATIC.