Thorin has been doing his rankings for months now, and for a while they were the only somewhat “official” rankings out there. Not that his were backed by Valve or a major league, but his were posted regularly and accepted as a solid set of rankings that most people agreed with, or were quite close with. Now, ESL has put out a ranking system that many experts and analysts are appalled with, and rightly so. Even though people don’t like ESL’s current system, or the rankings it produced, there are some aspects of it that are generally liked and interesting to look at while developing a ranking system.
Looking at these ranking systems and the explanations behind them and the pro and analyst responses to them got me to thinking. Which factors do I think should effect rankings? Which teams do I think should be ranked where? I came up with my own criteria in which there is an aspect that I think should be a big factor in the rankings but I haven’t seen anyone else putting as much stock into it yet. So, without further ado, here are my criteria and rankings.
I’m going to use a word that is going to cause quite a few of you to cringe. Its a word that was made popular and then infamous by CLG’s League of Legends team. The word is potential. I think it is very important to consider potential when looking at rankings. In my opinion, when you try to decide who the best team is, you have two ways to look at it. You can look at results, which is what Thorin and ESL have done with their rankings, or you can look at potential to win the next tournament. Looking at results will show who the best team has been over the last three months, or six months, or year, depending on where you decide to cut off. I believe looking at potential to win now shows who the best team is night now. Today’s best team might not be the best team over the last few months. So with that thought in mind, here are my rankings and my reasoning behind why each team into each placing.
1. Fnatic – olofm, jw, KRiMZ, pronax, flusha
In this case, the team that has been the best is also the team that looks like it is ht best and will remain the best. Fnatic has what might be the best player in the world in olofm, as well as KRiMZ and flusha, who are probably both in the top 10 as well. Behind those three, you still have one of the best in-game leaders in the world and a top sniper who is one of the most explosive and aggressive players in the game. This team has four players who have very high potential to get twenty to twenty-five frags on any given map and regularly do so. This Fnatic lineup is one of the best in CS:GO history and is poised to win another major in Cologne as they go into the tournament as favorites.
2. Natus Vincere – flamie, seized, Edward, GuardiaN, Zeus
Na’Vi have consistently gotten better and better ever since picking up flamie a few months back. They continue to rack up tournament wins and high placings. The reason is because they have GuardiaN, the best AWPer in the world of late, and a great team of riflers behind him. flamie and Edward have continuously put up big numbers when they are called upon. Zeus brings in a calling style built up with late-round executes that let their aimers thrive and give GuardiaN plenty of opportunities to set up picks. If Fnatic don’t win this major, Na’Vi will be standing right over their corpses holding the trophy high.
3. Team Solomid – Xyp9x, device, dupreeh, cajunb, karrigan
TSM had a great run in the last few months and looked like the second best team in the world, even being able to beat up on Fnatic for a month or two. Recently, however, they have had a very poor showing at Acer Predator Masters and then lost four out of four maps to a new EnVyUs team that hadn’t had much time to practice and play together. Despite this recent run of disappointing results, it cant be denied that this roster is stacked full of some of the best and most skilled players at each position. If TSM play well, they can match up against any team in the world and give themselves a good chance to come out ahead.
4. EnVyUs – NBK, kioShiMa, kennyS, Happy, apEX
Even though Cloud9 have had better results recently, I think EnVy have the higher chance to win right now. EnVy picked up an AWPer that far outshines what SmithZz used to do for them. kennyS gives this team an answer to the top AWPers that the three teams above them have. It also allows for Happy to get back to rifling and leading instead of trying to help AWP. Losing shox did mean they lost an amazing aimer, but picking up apEX will be a solid replacement and still leaves the team with NBK and kio as great riflers and clutch players. EnVy was a top two team before their troubles started and they have shored up most of those issues with the roster swap and look to be back in the upper echelon.
5. Cloud9 – shroud, Skadoodle, sgares, n0thing, fREAKAZOiD
C9 has looked good for a stretch now, and has had some very strong placings. They have looked good against some of the top European teams, but have also struggled against some of the others. Cloud9 is far and away the best NA team, but they are still a small step behind the best of the best in Europe. While they do have a world-class AWP and some star players with Ska and shroud and n0thing, they need all three of those guys to go off at the same time and for a whole tournament to win a major. The teams above them have an extra option to go to or another level that their starts reach in the biggest moments that Cloud9 haven’t showed us just yet.
6. Virtus.pro – TaZ, Neo, pasha, byali, Snax
VP might be the toughest team to rank. They are so volatile. when their talents spark, they can catch fire and be an explosive team that mows down the best teams in the world. When the sparks don’t catch, VP just smolder and look like a team that barely belongs in the top ten. They can have days where they play Fnatic close in a Bo3 series and then turn around the same day and lose to a team like HellRaisers playing with a sub. The good news for VP is that they tend to have their better showings in the majors. This might bode well for the fans looking to see them break out the plow one more time.
7. Ninjas in Pyjamas – f0rest, Get_RiGht, Xizt, friberg, allu
NiP’s core has the players that made up the second best team in CS:GO history. The problem with this lineup now, is that we are in the now and not in the past. This team has had some nice third and second place finishes, but they have consistently shown that they are not a threat to actually win a tournament. Lately, NiP have fallen further and further in the rankings as their former superstar players have become just star players. While GTR and f0rest do have flashes of brilliance and NiP magic is still able to impress the fanboys, it seems that it takes all of the stars to align just for NiP to get close in the series they play against top teams. It just isn’t enough to bring NiP wins anymore. This might be the first big tournament where the Ninjas have a very real chance of not making the top eight.
8. mousesports – gob b, chrisJ, nex, Spiidi, denis
mouz is going to be the lowest rated team with a top level AWPer. chrisJ is sitting just around the edge of the top tier of AWPing, one foot in and on foot out. He has been excellent of late, and Cologne gives him a chance to prove he has what it takes against the best of the best. If he is able to show up and stay hot, mouz will be a real threat. Mastermind in-game leader gob b will be able to use chrisJ and nex on their hot streaks to propel the team into the playoff stage and have some very real upset potential. denis and Spiidi lend some very good rifles and supporting to round out a team that could very well be top six if they play well in Cologne.
9. Titan – shox, RpK, SmithZz, Maniac, Ex6TenZ
Titan might have gotten the raw end of the deal between them and EnVyUs. They traded their best player for a new best player, but they lost their superstar AWPer. they did pick up SmithZz, but he isn’t going to be able to hold up against the other snipers in this tournament. If SmithZz is your best option with the scoped guns, you’re going to be in trouble. Picking up shox gives this team a veteran, a top level star player, and someone who can bring your team hope at winning again, all in one player. shox is going to be the pillar that holds this team up or crumbles as the team crashes down around him. Ex6TenZ and shox were an amazing superstar and shotcalling combo in the past, but we will have to see if either can thrive in this new lineup.
10. Kinguin – Maikelele, dennis, ScreaM, rain, fox
This team is stocked full with almosts and not quites. Each of these players at one point or another has looked like a top player and has had hype all around them. That same story extends to the team as a whole because of these players. Yet, none of them have ever quite been able to win the big one or stay on the top teams long enough to ride to the top. Bringing these players together, this team is exciting to watch and has had some respectable wins against the big teams but hasn’t been consistent enough to look like they can actually hang with the top eight teams out there.