October was an action-packed month, featuring three Big events in DreamHack Masters Malmö, StarSeries i-League Season 8, and BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen. Complementing these tournaments was the smaller-yet-respectable DreamHack Open Rotterdam, as well as the first group stage of ESL Pro League Season 10.
Despite a shocking early exit from DreamHack Masters Malmö, Evil Geniuses managed to, for the first time in the history of this core, reach the No.1 spot in the rankings following a victory at StarSeries. That was an event neither Astralis nor Liquid attended, making it easier for Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz‘s men to overtake the two rivals in the rankings. Both of the aforementioned teams were at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, though, but failed to make up much ground due to underwhelming group stage showings.
Right now, the top four teams are stable, with a significant point difference between each squad. However, the rankings below are very volatile, especially in the 6th-12th place range, where few points separate teams and shifts are expected in the coming weeks.
Here’s a summary of our ranking 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 2 months, and performance at offline events in the last 3 months.
Each team is required to have a three-man core in order to retain their points and online results are included but have minimal effect (only affecting ‘Form’) at the top of the table and mainly serve to put new teams on the map.
Below is the current top 30 table as of November 4th, 2019, 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 October 7th.
Evil Geniuses claim the crown
Evil Geniuses moved up to first in the rankings after a title-winning campaign at StarSeries i-League Season 8 which culminated with a dominant victory over fnatic in a one-sided grand final. It was the second title in the space of three weeks won by the ex-NRG team, who also have a semi-final run at the StarLadder Major to their name among their recent achievements.
It is the first time that a team other than Astralis and Liquid is sitting at the top of the rankings since April 2018, which explains just how dominant these two sides had been in the last year and a half. The Danes had the chance to reclaim the No.1 spot at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen but failed to grasp that opportunity as they went out in fourth place. Instead of moving back to the top, Astralis saw the gap widen and are now trailing their rivals by 83 points.
Both Evil Geniuses and Astralis will be in action at IEM Beijing, kicking off on Thursday – which raises the mouth-watering prospect of a clash between these two teams. This will be the first of five LAN events that the North Americans have in the pipeline until the end of the year, and, unless they suffer a drop in form, it is hard not to see them spending Christmas on the throne.
Liquid slip out of the top three
After Liquid won six Big Events in a row and claimed the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 inside 63 days, the sky seemed to be the limit for the North Americans. However, they were brought back to earth after the player break as, four events into the season, they have yet to go beyond the semi-finals of a LAN tournament and already have two group stage exits to their name.
Liquid’s No.4 position is their lowest since August 2018 – when the team still had Epitacio “TACO” de Melo in the lineup -, which speaks volumes about their recent struggles. They are now a whopping 227 points adrift of Evil Geniuses, little over two months after being more than 700 points ahead of their North American rivals.
Having decided to skip IEM Beijing, Nick “nitr0” Cannella’s troops will have a four-week break before their next LAN event, the ECS Finals at the end of the month. This will be the first chance for Liquid to right the ship and make up ground on their rivals, but at this point the gap may be just too big to bridge before the turn of the year.
ENCE in freefall
The last few months have not been easy for ENCE. The Finnish team, who raised eyebrows during the first half of the year after winning the BLAST Pro Series stop in Madrid and making deep runs at the IEM Katowice Major and DreamHack Masters Dallas, have cut a frustrating figure since bringing Miikka “suNny” Kemppi in a transfer that had left many fans salivating.
After going out in fifth place at BLAST Pro Series Moscow, ENCE were eliminated from ESL One New York and DreamHack Masters Malmö in the group stage, which sees them sink to 14th in the rankings, leaving the top 10 for the first time in nine months.
The next two weeks will be make or break for the Finnish side. IEM Beijing and the CS:GO Asia Championships could very well be ENCE‘s last events of the year and, unless they show improvements at these tournaments, they are in real danger of spending Christmas outside of the top 20 – a major blow for a team who have spent the majority of the year in the top 5.
A congested subtop
Seven teams sitting in a 70-point window is a sign that things below the top are far from settled, and will most likely look vastly different after a tournament or two are played. Even though the difference is quite small, there are certain teams that are more likely to rise, while others are primed to fall as time goes on.
A positive example is FaZe, who just won BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen and are sitting in ninth place, jumping 12 spots since last week (but only eight compared to last month). The recency of their success as well as quite a few lined up tournaments — IEM Beijing, ESL Pro League groups and potentially Finals, as well as the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals in Bahrain — give the international mixture a lot of opportunities to improve on their ranking. All these tournaments wouldn’t mean much if the team had not shown improvement in Copenhagen; Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and Marcelo “coldzera” David shined as FaZe took down the likes of Astralis and Natus Vincere and eventually lifted the trophy in Denmark over NiP.
Similarly to FaZe, 100 Thieves (#8) is another team more likely to move upwards than downwards, NiP (#7) made a big jump following consistent playoff placings, while on the other hand, two big names find themselves in a tough spot: mousesports (#11) and Natus Vincere (#12).
Both teams are living on borrowed time as old points are soon going to evaporate, and no events are on the horizon where they could earn new ones. Natus Vincere can, at least for now, mark this down to working out the kinks of the new lineup, an excuse mousesports, who have been together for over seven months, can’t use to justify the results that followed DreamHack Masters Malmö. Finn “karrigan” Andersen and co. have lost to Virtus.pro, m1x, North and Heroic within the last 30 days, with the defeats costing them spots at ECS S8 Finals and EPICENTER, handing them an early exit from StarSeries i-League Season 8, and ensuring a further drop in the rankings.
North reach all-time low
For years, North have been in the shadow of Astralis, trying to catch up to the Danish powerhouse and establish a foothold in their country, but to no avail. Sitting in their offices at FC Copenhagen’s stadium Parken, North‘s management is probably looking back at those days with fondness, considering the situation they are currently in.
A number of big-name players departed North over the last year, including Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke and Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen, but throughout everything, even during their worst periods, they remained a top 15 team, with their most recent peak at No.4 happening after last year’s win at DreamHack Masters Stockholm. With another staple name, Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså, halfway through the door, North brought back René “cajunb” Borg and initially looked promising under Nicklas “gade” Gade‘s leadership, contesting elite squads fnatic and Astralis, beating a top 10 team mousesports, and taking a map off the ever-dangerous Vitality.
Things suddenly turned sour, as from October 21 North have recorded defeats to MIBR and BIG, and more importantly, lost to every Danish team they could in BO3 series: Copenhagen Flames, Tricked, and Heroic. As a result of that, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye and co. fell to No.20 in the rankings (North‘s previous low, No.16, had been reached after Daniel “mertz” Mertz had replaced k0nfig in February 2018), and making the situation even worse is that they are now only the fourth-highest ranked team in Denmark, behind Astralis, Heroic, and Tricked.
North‘s next match is scheduled for November 13, when they will attend the second ESL Pro League group stage. In the meantime, a rebuilding phase is expected, which will ensure an even deeper plunge in the rankings before a potential rise with a reformed lineup.
EPC winner: Heroic claim EPC Shooting Stars prize
With a jump of 11 spots within the span of a month, Heroic (No.17) have won the EPC Shooting Stars prize as the most improved team of October, securing a seven-day bootcamp for six people at the Kinguin Esports Performance Center in Warsaw, Poland. This is the first time that a team that was already within the top 30 has won this award, showing how much success the Danes have enjoyed despite the departure of their star player and in-game leader, Benjamin “blameF” Bremer.
Since the addition of Casper “cadiaN” Møller, Heroic have qualified for StarSeries i-League Season 8, where they beat Natus Vincere and pushed Evil Geniuses to three maps, finished second at DreamHack Open Rotterdam, placed first in their ESL Pro League group over NiP and Vitality, and defeated mousesports for a spot at EPICENTER. In total, Heroic played 38 maps over the course of the month, with Martin “stavn” Lund and Patrick “es3tag” Hansen propelling them to success. The runners- up to Heroic are FaZe, who jumped eight places since last month, a similarly impressive feat considering their ranking now (No.9).