The next update of our Team ranking comes from the end of November, shortly after one of the events with the most interesting results in 2011, DreamHack Winter.
In the fourth installment of our Team ranking feature, we look at the situation and the happenings in November. If you missed our previous updates, you can check out the October ranking here, while the detailed explanation of the ranking can be found at the beginning of the August and September editions.
|Events in November|
November contained three notable events, the main of which was DreamHack Winter. This major tournament in Sweden ended up with a somewhat surprise final between two home teams where fnatic defeated Lions, while Natus Vincere added another podium finish to their tally as 3rd placed.
MSI BEAT IT Russia took place a week before DreamHack, where fnatic showed signs of things to come by finishing 2nd, behind the surpring victors Moscow Five. DTS finished 3rd at that event, while they also won the online tournament ICSC9, which started back in August.
|ICSC 9||MSI BEAT IT Russia|
|4th||ESC Gaming||4th||Natus Vincere|
Which changes occured in the top10 after November? fnatic came into the month as 4th in the overall ranking, far behind the big three, but did they manage to break in after this successful month? How do they fair in the monthly ranking?
|The Top 10
of the month
Let's take a closer look at the top 10 teams of November and see what affected their place on the list.
10. SK Gaming
The number one ranked team overall and the Team of the month from October, SK Gaming, had their appearance at DreamHack Winter cut short by their arch-rivals Natus Vincere. In another one of their classic encounters, the Swedes were outplayed in the quarter-final by the Ukrainians in two maps, the second one including triple overtime.
Due to this early exit from their only tournament in November, but still reaching the playoffs, they are found at the 10th spot of the monthly ranking.
|Top matches:||SK Gaming||16-11||eSahara|
|Results:||5-8th at DreamHack Winter|
The Danes of Anexis were as active as they could have been in November, attending both big LAN events at their disposal. They've been having troubles reaching the playoffs at major events for a while, and at MSI BEAT IT Russia they were once again knocked out too soon, this time in the 1/8 final.
For DreamHack Winter they strengthened themselves with a stand-in in form of Martin "trace" Heldt. Following an important comeback draw against eSahara in the group stage, Anexis finally reached the quarter-final of a tournament, but were unable to go any further after meeting up with fnatic.
They also finished in a respectable 5-6th position at ICSC9, although their adventures in that event ended back in October with a loss to Lions.
|Results:||5-8th at Dreamhack Winter|
|5-6th at ICSC 9|
8. ESC Gaming
After an almost inactive two-month period, when they attended only ESWC without making it through the group stage, ESC Gaming were finally back in action. Having Karl-William "kalle" Haraldsen back in the team also helped, as the Swedish-Norwegian squad showed a much better performance at DH Winter, topping their group ahead of AGAiN and fighting a solid battle with mousesports in the quarter-final.
Their ICSC9 campaign was put to a stop in the lower bracket final at the end of October, when they lost to Lions in three maps.
|Top matches:||ESC Gaming||15-15||AGAiN|
|Results:||4th at ICSC 9|
|5-8th at DreamHack Winter|
Following their 3rd place finish at ESWC, mousesports came into their next major event with big hopes. They almost repeated that result, defeating ESC Gaming to reach the semi-final. However, this time they lost both of their last matches, 2-1 to fnatic and Natus Vincere to finish in 4th place.
|Results:||4th at Dreamhack Winter|
6. Natus Vincere
The Ukrainian giants Natus Vincere were once again unable to find their way to a major title, but they still had quite a solid month. They finished in 3rd place at DreamHack Winter, after defeating SK Gaming in the quarter-final and mousesports in the 3rd place decider, while Lions were the ones to better them in the semi.
Their campaign at MSI BEAT IT Russia had a similar outcome, defeating their other rival from the big three in the quarter-final, 2-1 versus AGAiN, only to lose to fnatic and DTS in the end to miss out on a podium place.
|Top matches:||Natus Vincere||16-12||Moscow Five|
|Natus Vincere||2-0||SK Gaming|
|Results:||3rd at Dreamhack Winter|
|4th at MSI BEAT IT Russia|
5. Moscow Five
November will surely be a month Moscow Five will remember, as this was the time they won their first international title by topping MSI BEAT IT Russia. On their way to 1st place they overcame Anexis, WinFakt, DTS and finally fnatic.
After that, they came into DH Winter with high expectations, but exited disappointed, being unable to make it out of the group of death due to falling to fnatic and Natus Vincere.
|Top matches:||Moscow Five||2-0||fnatic|
|Results:||1st MSI BEAT IT Russia|
The Poles without an organization, still named AGAiN, didn't have such a successful month as their 4th place might indicate. They faced disappointing quarter-final exits at both MSI BEAT IT Russia and DreamHack Winter, firstly to Natus Vincere in the match that included the famous "ghosting" accusation, and later to Lions in the Swedish tournament.
They even lost the final of ICSC9 to DTS in two best-of-three matches, but their 2nd place finish in this competition brought them to the 4th place of the month.
|Results:||2nd at ICSC 9|
|5th at MSI BEAT IT Russia|
|5-8th at DreamHack Winter|
One of the surprises of the month was surely the Ukrainian side DTS, who topped ICSC9 ahead of AGAiN in an impressive fashion, winning four maps in a row in the final. But topping that online tournament wasn't their only success in November, as they achieved a podium finish at MSI BEAT IT Russia following a victory over Natus Vincere in the 3rd place decider.
That earned them the 3rd place in the monthly ranking, despite not attending the biggest event of the month, DreamHack Winter.
|Results:||1st at ICSC 9|
|3rd at MSI BEAT IT RUSSIA|
Lions have constantly been showing potential to beat the big teams, but they were never able to do enough damage and they even fell out of the top 10. But it would turn out that their time has come at DreamHack Winter, where they achieved a 2nd place finish, all thanks to their amazing victories over big favorites AGAiN and Natus Vincere in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively.
In addition to that, they finished 3rd in ICSC9, which guaranteed them the 2nd place in the monthly ranking.
|Results:||2nd at DreamHack Winter|
|3rd at ICSC 9|
Team of the month in November was without a doubt fnatic. After a good start in October with their refreshed lineup and winning IEM6 GC Guangzhou, they fell during ESWC group stage. But as November came, they were right back on top.
Firstly they finished second at MSI BEAT IT Russia, where they overcame Natus Vincere in the semi-final, but succumbed to Moscow Five in the end. They followed that up with an even better result at DreamHack Winter, winning the gold on home soil while taking out Anexis, mousesports and Lions.
These two results put them far ahead of everyone else in the month and largely helped their cause of getting closer to the overall top 3.
|Top matches:||fnatic||16-10||Natus Vincere|
|Results:||1st at DreamHack Winter|
|2nd at MSI BEAT IT Russia|
Let's take a look at the overall table with the top 10 teams of the month.
|The Top 20 Teams
After an excellent month, fnatic has reduced the gap to the big three, but SK Gaming, AGAiN and Natus Vincere still hold on to their spots.
The famous Danish side mTw bowed out of the ranking due to their disbandment in October, leaving the 5th place up for grabs. That produced an interesting battle, as five teams are now within short distance of that spot, with mousesports currently holding on to it.
Along with the Germans, Moscow Five also made progress in the top 10 thanks to their MSI BEAT IT Russia victory, as both teams leaped over WinFakt, the Russians by the smallest of margins.
Second place finishers from DH Winter, Lions, returned to the top 10, while DTS broke in there for the first time at the expense of Anexis.
USSR, who were inactive since July, made a comeback in the ranking at the 20th spot due to their solid 7th place finish at MSI BEAT IT Russia.
Let's take a look at the overall table with the top 20 teams, including total amount of points and position change compared to the previous month.
|Evolution of the Top 11 Teams (points per months)|
If you are wondering which events were included in the making of this ranking, here is a list in 3 levels (although there are in fact 9, but we merged them for displaying purposes).
|High:||IEM5 European Finals, IEM5 World, Xperia PLAY, DreamHack Summer, GameGune, e-Stars, ESWC, SEC 2011, GC Guangzhou, DreamHack Winter|
|Medium:||IEM5 American Finals, ICSC 7, ASUS Winter, OSPL Spring, ASUS Spring, ICSC 8, GC Guangzhou EU qual, ASUS Summer, GC New York EU qual, GC New York, ICSC 9, MSI BEAT IT Russia|
|Low:||WGF, Digifest 2011 Solaris, ESEA Invite Season 8, Adepto BH, Balkan Challenge Summer, GC Guangzhou US qual, GC New York US qual, DreamHack south Europe|
If you have any questions about the ranking, feel free to ask in the comments below and of course stay tuned to HLTV.org for the December update which is coming soon.