NAVI and Gambit top December Team Ranking, GODSENT on the up
IEM Winter and BLAST Premier Global Finals have the biggest influence over the rankings in December.
2021 has come to an end, seeing off two more big tournaments before the winter break. As the new year begins, we bring you the first monthly ranking update of 2022, showing how the teams fared in the last two events of the year and if anyone was able to close the gap to the all-conquering Natus Vincere.
The CIS squad came into 2022 maintaining their spot at the top of the mountain, comfortably leading by 503 points ahead of closest rivals Gambit.
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, January 3, 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 December 6.
NAVI end the year on top
No surprises there, Natus Vincere have been the big fish in the CS:GO tank for a while now, and their victory at BLAST Premier Fall Final was not going to be their last.
After deciding to skip IEM Winter, Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy's squad came into the last tournament of the year at BLAST Premier World Final with the intention of finishing their dominant run on a high note, and they delivered. Despite an opening loss to Liquid, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and co. ran the lower bracket gauntlet, beating Heroic, Liquid, G2, and Vitality.
Gambit awaited the CIS giants in the grand final and it took a reverse-sweep from Natus Vincere to come up victorious, claiming another trophy, and a record-breaking MVP for s1mple. Their victory at BLAST marked the third consecutive title for Natus Vincere, firmly locking them at the top of the rankings going into 2022.
Gambit go into 2022 in second place
The CIS youngsters that had held the top step on the podium at times in 2021 finish their year trailing behind only Natus Vincere. Despite Gambit's placement, their points tally pales in comparison to the one currently held by their rivals.
IEM Winter was Gambit's first outing in December, but their adventure in Stockholm was far from perfect. Despite a comfortable opening game against fnatic, the CIS squad was unable to hold onto their spot in the upper bracket of Group B, falling to Virtus.pro after an incredibly close match. Now facing elimination, Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov's boys got to work against FaZe, dispatching the European squad after an entertaining three-map series.
The last obstacle between them and the last spot in the playoffs was a rematch against fnatic. Gambit forced the decider after another close game on vertigo before blowing the Brits out of the water on Overpass. Their campaign would, however, not last much longer as they were eliminated by eventual champions Vitality on the opening round of playoffs.
Right after leaving Stockholm, it was time for BLAST Premier World Final in Copenhagen. Gambit got off to a much better start in Denmark, comfortably taking a 2-0 victory over Heroic before continuing their rule over the upper bracket. Wins over Liquid and Vitality secured the CIS squad a spot in the grand final, but unfortunately for them, Natus Vincere would join them following their impressive lower bracket run. Despite winning the first map and coming into the match with momentum on their side, Gambit failed to seal the deal and were reverse-swept by their regional rivals.
Liquid start afresh after core changes
The North American squad has dropped out of the list after losing all their points following core changes.
Liquid's 2022 project will see Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, and Michael "Grim" Wince removed from the starting lineup after an underwhelming year for the organization. The team suffered issues around in-game leadership, and with the captaincy being periodically passed between Stewie2K and FalleN, it was difficult for the squad to reach their potential. In fact, Liquid ended the year with only one trophy taken from cs_summit 8, far from the excellence they showed in the summer of 2019.
Despite it being known for some time that Liquid were going to make changes, there was still speculation around who would be filling in the gaps. The first step in the rebuilding project came in late November, with the announcement that Keith "NAF" Markovic had extended his contract with the organization. Less than a month later came the aforementioned benching of the three players, with two of the spots being quickly filled by the arrival of Josh "oSee" Ohm and Richard "shox" Papillon from Extra Salt and Vitality respectively.
GODSENT, K23, and Eternal Fire on the up
The Brazilian project headed by Epitacio "TACO" de Melo seems to be making big strides forward. GODSENT lodged themselves in the top 20 thanks to a good run at IEM Winter which saw them secure a playoffs spot after back-to-back victories over Heroic and BIG. Losses to Virtus.pro and NIP prevented the Brazilians from advancing any further, going home with a 5-6th placement.
From the other side of the world, K23 seem to be improving at a good pace. The Russian squad built on their last month's placement on the rankings after taking the trophy from Funspark ULTI 2021 Europe Regional Series 4, only dropping one map in their effort. It is worth keeping an eye on K23 as Bogdan "xsepower" Chernikov and Daniil "X5G7V" Maryshev continue to adapt to their new squad.
Eternal Fire meanwhile continue to settle in the top 30 after breaking into the list in November. The squad has shown some improvement in their last events, seemingly finding their trajectory after Özgür "woxic" Eker's decision to take over the IGL role. Labeled the "Turkish superteam" after their formation, Eternal Fire got off to a really slow start but have shown consistent improvement after internal role changes and the addition of Yasin "xfl0ud" Koç.
Among the teams failing to end the year on the top 30 is SINNERS. The Czech squad had been in a slow decline for a while, and a top-eight placing at ESEA Premier Season 39 was not enough to keep them in.
Similarly, MOUZ NXT are also out of the top 30. The young European squad was previously the only academy side at the top of the list thanks to their accomplishments at WePlay Academy League Season 2 and a few smaller events on the side. A semi-final finish at Malta VIbes Knockout Series 4 fell short of guaranteeing the youngsters a spot on the last rankings of the year. The squad now faces an uncertain future after Ádám "torzsi" Torzsás was promoted to the main roster.