CS:GO ranks and how they work, Part 2 (UP | EarlyGame
Even the Pros Need a Ranking System

CS:GO Ranks and How They Work, Part 2 (UPDATED)

CSGO Pro Player/Team ranking explained
Coldzera in the heat of the moment(Credit: Blast Premier)

In our first article we talked a lot about the ranking system of casual Counterstrike, but CS:GO has a very competitive esports scene. If you are interested in who the current best players and teams are and how the rankings are determined, this is the article for you.

Who Is the Best CS:GO Player?

In 2020 the best players were:

  1. Zyw0o
  2. S1mple
  3. Device
  4. NiKo
  5. Electronic

How Are CS:GO Pros Ranked

How are these standings determined you might ask? Well, for players there is the CS:GO database HLTV.org. They analyze each player's stats and weigh them according to importance. Just like Google can’t talk their algorithm HLTV doesn’t just publish their way of calculating player-ratings. But from how they argued in their Top 20 players of 2020 we can deduce a few things:

  1. MVPs und EVPs are extremely important. The bigger the event the player got the award, the better.
  2. Big tournament finishes are just as important as individual awards.
  3. Context is key. If you dominate against weak opponents it doesn’t really amount to much. If, on the other hand, you prove yourself against the best of the best, then we’re talking.
  4. Consistency matters. If you only have two or three great showings, but let your team down otherwise, your ranking will suffer.

What Is the Best CS:GO Team

  1. Astralis
  2. Vitality
  3. BIG
  4. Navi
  5. Heroic / Virtus Pro

How Are CS:GO Teams Ranked

As for the ranking of teams, there are two primary sources to use: HLTV and ESL. We will let HLTV explain their own ranking system:

HLTV ranking explained
This is how HLTV ranks CS:GO teams. (Credit: HLTV.org)

ESL gives us a little more insight on how they actually go about things. They don’t follow an ELO system like chess, they rather look at events individually. They grade each event according to two variables:

  • Size: XXL (22+ teams), XL (14+ teams), L (10+ teams), M (6+ teams), S (4+ teams). A minimum of top-ranked teams for each category is also determined in our rules.
  • Quality Rating: AAA, AA, A, B, C, D. These are all determined based on the number and ranks of top 12 teams participating.

The points gained at events will slowly decay and thus decrease. Additionally, if a player leaves the team and is replaced, the team will lose 20% of their points. In the end it doesn’t really matter whether you look at HLTVs ranking or the ESL list as they often reach the exact same result.