Dec 22 2015 - 12:41 pm
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Thorin's CS:GO Top 10 World Rankings - 22nd December 2015

The Top 10 CS:GO teams in the world, according to Thorin, as of December 22nd.
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CS:GO has always struggled for a consistently updated and coherent set of World Rankings, with so many teams attending different events and the difficulty of judging the context of which event's results should count for more than another. Rather than construct some kind of elaborate point system and place my expertise into the task of allocating which would receive how many points, I've instead looked back over the recent form of each of the teams out there and determined, according to my own analysis and intuition, which team ranks where in my global top 10.

Offline results are the only ones I take into consideration. In general, I consider the results of a team across a range of around three months, with those at the beginning of that period being weighted a little less, in contrast to more recent tournament results. Finishes, consistency, current form and opponents faced are all factors to be weighed up and considered.

The last edition of the rankings was in late October, so there have been many events since then: Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca, CEVO-P S8, iBUYPOWER Cup, RGN Pro Series, IEM X San Jose, FACEIT Stage 3, Fragbite Masters S5 Finals and ESL ESEA PL S2 Finals.

These are my CS:GO Top 10 World Rankings for the 22nd of December, 2015.

1. EnVyUs (kennyS, Happy, kioShiMa, apEX and NBK) [-]

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Recent form:
Gfinity Champion of Champions (1st)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (1st)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (7th-8th)
ESL ESEA PL S2 Final (3rd-4th)

While FNATIC have been murdering the scene as of late, EnVyUs still hold onto the top spot, but by the slimmest of margins. They are the champions of the last major, which counts for more than any other tournament, and their win at Gfinity had them beating world class teams in Bo5 series. Perhaps most impressive of all, over the last three months this nV line-up had secured three series victories over FNATIC, with one being in the aforementioned Bo5 format.

EnVyUs have clearly struggled over the last few events, but even their notion of slumping, which admittedly saw them finish last place at FACEIT Stage 3 Finals, still saw them add a top four finish at ESL ESEA PL S2 Finals and beat FNATIC 2:0 in a Bo3 series there. Results are a must for nV when the next ranking rolls around, as the Gfinity tournament placing is set to fade out and their recent form is not becoming of a world number one ranked team.

2. FNATIC (KRiMZ, JW, olofm, Flusha and dennis) [-]

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Recent form:
Gfinity Champion of Champions (2nd)
PGL Season 1 (3rd)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (5th-8th)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (1st)
Fragbite Masters S5 Final (1st)
ESL ESEA PL S2 Final (1st)

With this many first place finishes and a good selection of top fours otherwise, I'm tempted to move FNATIC back up to the number one spot already, but nV still has the better series wins, the major trophy and FNATIC's win at Fragbite was not against such a great field as their other title victories in the last few months. All results prior to the last three are also given less credit, being as they were with pronax and not dennis, their new recruit.

Winning three events in a row is still a very impressive feat, especially since two of them were at top notch events with stacked fields. With the way these rankings operate, over a three month span, FNATIC will automatically take the number one spot when nV's old wins drop off consideration, assuming the French side don't rack up more wins. Even in spite of that, FNATIC look favourites to take the crown for themselves in the beginning of 2016.

3. Na`Vi (GuardiaN, Edward, Seized, flamie and Zeus) [+2]

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Recent form:
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (2nd)
CEVO-P S8 Finals (7th-8th)
IEM X San Jose (1st)
ESL ESEA PL S2 Final (2nd)

Na`Vi's heroic at the major elevated them back into relevance as an elite level team, following a slump of a few months. Even their last place at CEVO seems of little consequence in the two results which followed, winning IEM San Jose, taking down TSM, and finishing top two at ESL ESEA, where they beat world number ones EnVyUs in a series. Their two second places are at two of the biggest events of the last few months.

This Na`Vi team look much more like the one of the Summer, who were the most dangerous underdog in the field for the teams vying for the world number one spot. Their results have only been over a few LANs, so they still have to prove they have championship consistency, but imagining a world in which they can match-up well against nV and ex-TSM is certainly a tantilising one for 2016.

4. ex-Team SoloMid (device, dupreeh, cajunb, Xyp9x and karrigan) [-1]

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Recent form:
PGL Season 1 (1st)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (5th-8th)
IEM X San Jose (2nd)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (3rd-4th)
Fragbite Masters S5 Final (4th)
ESL ESEA PL S2 Final (3rd-4th)

The former TSM line-up has clearly been shaken ever since their fall at the major, bombing out in the quarter-finals after a humiliating loss to NiP, but they are another team who show their world class quality even in their losses, as their version of a slump has seen them pick up four straight top four finishes since then. They were expected to win IEM, but lost to Na`Vi, yet what is forgotten is that they still got past the hot G2 core in the semis.

TSM are far from dead, they still destroy lesser teams, but there is something holding them back from winning big series against the top contenders, so for now they are rightfully down in fourth, around where you'd expect to see them finish at most events.

5. Virtus.pro (Snax, byali, pasha, NEO and TaZ) [-1]

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Recent form:
Gfinity Champion of Champions (3rd-4th)
PGL Season 1 (2nd)
Crown Invitational (1st)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (5th-8th)
CEVO-P S8 Finals (1st)
IEM X San Jose (5th-8th)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (3rd-4th)

Analysing Virtus.pro's ups and downs only seems to change in minor ways as the months and years go by. They didn't have a good major, yet still won another CEVO title. They didn't have Snax, meaning they could not get a win at IEM, but still managed a solid top four at FACEIT and only lost to the champions there in Bo3 play. VP are still what they always were: a very dangerous world class team who are unlikely to become the world number ones, but will always be capable of beating their peer group of top teams and are seemingly a lock to still win trophies in the new year.

6. Ninjas in Pyjamas (GeT_RiGhT, f0rest, friberg, Xizt and allu) [-]

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Recent form:
Gfinity Champion of Champions (3rd-4th)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (3rd-4th)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (5th-6th)
Fragbite Masters S5 Final (2nd)

While speculation over the future of NiP seems fairly pointless right now, being as it's unknown how many of their core players will play another tournament together and one play (allu) is already out of the door, there's no denying that NiP hada surprisingly good run over the last few months of the year. Their finish at the major was a special gift for their fans, with them taking down one of the tournament favourites. Beating FNATIC to reach the final of Fragbite Masters, almost had them finishing the year with a trophy for this line-up, but they were denied in a close series.

A few months back, I explained that NiP were in such a slump they'd only beaten one top 10 ranked team over the span of a few months and that was against dignitas. Over the last three months, NiP have wins over Titan, TSM and FNATIC, the latter being the hottest team in the world right now and not the old pronax line-up. A solid finish to the year ensures NiP retain a top six spot and show they are still relevant as a team.

7. G2 (Aizy, Rain, Maikelele, jkaem and fox) [+2]

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Recent form:
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (3rd-4th)
IEM X San Jose (3rd-4th)

G2's monster run at the major came thanks to MVP level play from new man jkaem, but they then brought in fellow Nordic beast Aizy to the line-up, meaning their lack of tournament finishes and their roster change between the two impacts their place in the rankings. This looks to be a team which has the tools to make a strong run for a top four or five spot, but they need more finish and a lot more tournament appearances to secure that.
Despite their successful finishes, their only Bo3 wins over top 10 ranked opponents were against mouz and Virtus.pro.

8. Luminosity (coldzera, fer, FalleN, fnx and TACO) [NEW]

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Recent form:
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (5th-8th)
CEVO-P S8 Finals (5th-6th)
iBUYPOWER Cup (3rd-4th)
RGN Pro Series (4th)
IEM X San Jose (5th-8th)
FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals (2nd)
ESL ESEA PL S2 Final (5th-8th)

Luminosity have been a revelation. They were already an impressive team for their ability to score map wins off top international sides, but their risky roster move prior to FACEIT saw them put together one of the all-time great Cinderella runs to the final, where they were finally bested by FNATIC. Wins over nV, NiP and TSM in one tournament ensured Luminosity had the world's attention. At ESL ESEA, they came back to Earth, though.

This team has a lot of finishes on their resumts and has now begun to add the series wins they need to be in position to move up. Looking at their recent form, it doesn't seem unreasonable to imagine LG will be threatening higher positions on this ranking in 2016.

9. mousesports (nex, ChrisJ, denis, NiKo and gob b) [-2]

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Recent form:
Dreamhack Stockholm - Qualifier for Cluj-Napoca (Qualified)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (9th-12th)
CEVO-P S8 Finals (2nd)

mousesports have already seen this line-up changed, albeit without an event played to mark the change. Still, the previous line-up did manage a surprising run to the final of CEVO-P S8, beating out the old Luminosity and the major runners-up Na`Vi en route. They don't have many placings to speak of, but that kind of finish is enough to secure them a top 9 spot still.

Obviously, with a roster change and so few results on their resume, mouz has a lot of work to do in early 2016 to be considered a top 10 team going forwards.

10. Titan (shox, SmithZz, Ex6TenZ, ScreaM and RpK) [-]

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Recent form:
Dreamhack Stockholm - Qualifier for Cluj-Napoca (Qualified)
Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca (9th-12th)
CEVO-P S8 Finals (3rd-4th)

Titan maintain their 10th spot, as it came down to them or Cloud9 for the final spot in the top 10. Being as C9's best results are against competition from the NA field, while Titan managed to beat Na`Vi on their way to a top four finish at CEVO-P, while C9 have no Bo3 wins over teams ranked top 10 at the time, so I have to edge it to the French-Belgian side. Both were equally poor at the major, so this is understandably the most shaky ranking position right now.

There are no more events for 2015, so the rankings will return in 2016.

Photo credit: ESL, Dreamhack

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