Power Ranking


CS:GO is finally starting to ramp up again, after a lengthy, though well deserved, player break. The season will kick off with the iBUYPOWER Masters on January 19th, with the Katowice Minors and subsequent Major taking place throughout January into early February.

And so, with another year, and another set of events, comes another set of rankings. There have been a lot of roster moves since last year, so it’s going to be hard to place them in a definitive order.


Surprise, surprise. I’ve written about Astralis extensively, but man are they great. Pound for pound they’re the best team in CS:GO right now. They have one of the very best players in the world in device, and they have a top three guy at every position.

Not only is their team composition near perfect, but they have the infrastructure to back them up. Astralis is one of the best organizations in esports, and they have the financial backing to keep these guys performing at their peak. They’re one of the early adopters of sports psychology, they take care of burnout better than anyone else in the scene right now, and Astralis is looking unlikely to slow down anytime soon.


Na’Vi is here by default, due to Liquid and MIBR’s roster changes. I am not a fan of this team, and I think they have a lot of problems. But before I detail that, let me talk a little bit about their assets.
S1mple is a transcendently talented player. He has the best aim in CS:GO, he can rifle and AWP, and he is hard carrying Na’Vi right now.

Electronic took a leap last year, and he looks like a legitimate second star for s1mple to alleviate some of the weight from him.

The problem is, this team just doesn’t work well together, and personally I think pretty much every player is at fault. I don’t think that s1mple can play with Zeus. It hasn’t worked so far, and I don’t think it ever really will. Zeus is an accomplished IGL, and the only Major winner on this team. What’s weird is, he led a less talented team to a Major win while on Gambit. Clearly, he can lead a team to success.

So, what’s the problem?

I think that s1mple is too overcentralizing on this team. He makes it so that Zeus can’t run the team how he wants, and the team suffers for it. I think that it’s going to end up being one or the other, and I can’t imagine they pick Zeus. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s off the team by the end of 2019.


Liquid makes me nervous. They were the number two team in the world last year by a pretty solid margin and looked like they could be a roster move away from success. Unfortunately, I think they made the wrong move.

I wrote about this before here (Team Liquid Trades Taco for Stewie2k), but their chemistry and team structure might get weird now.

While I have written pretty negatively about this before, the ceiling for the move is high. Just look at Astralis. Xyp9x is the most overqualified support player in the world, and he is one of the big factors to their success. If Liquid can manage their egos and find a system that works for them, this could be a big step up.


This is the team I’m most excited for. MIBR is finally going back to their roots and bringing back an all SA lineup. This should alleviate any language barriers they had, and hopefully bring the whole team back to their comfort zone.

More importantly though, is that it will fix their issues playing within Fallen’s system (assuming they make smart roster moves, which I’m sure they will.) The big problem for MIBR was that Tarik wasn’t a support player. He has played a carry role pretty much his whole career, and that’s where he shined. It’s no wonder MIBR could never take a leap when they hadn’t really figured out the roles and responsibilities on the team.

A new, ironed out roster, with real support players, should turn MIBR back into the Brazilian powerhouse they used to be.


Another weird one, that’s almost entirely dependent on their roster moves. Unfortunately for FaZe, I have much less confidence in their ability to make the right ones.

Keeping NiKo as the IGL could be disastrous for this roster. Its unlikely Rain will return to form under NiKo, and it wouldn’t bode well for Guardian either, who may be nearing the end of his career.

Adren is a great player, and I think he could be a huge help for this team if they let him call. He secondary called for Zeus on the Major-winning Gambit team and is a great glue guy. FaZe management needs to push for this to happen.

Yes, NiKo did IGL for Mousesports, but only because he had to. There’s no way he can consistently outcall gla1ve while also trying to be FaZe’s star carry. It just won’t happen.


Mouz is another one of my favorites on here. They made some questionable roster moves in 2018, but it looks as though this new-old roster is here to stay, for the time being anyway. This team has had great chemistry, and they looked as though they could be tier one contenders.

Oskar, ropz, and sunNy are all players who can turn it on and take over a match. ChrisJ’s in-game-leading has improved leaps and bounds over the last year, and STYKO has clearly demonstrated his usefulness to the team as a glue guy.

This is one of the teams on this list who I think can’t improve with a roster change. They have plenty of talent already, and just need to grind it out. I’m hopeful that’s what they’ll choose to do.


Another Na’Vi-esque team, although with a slightly better distribution of talent and resources. CeRq looked like an all-star last year, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get even better this year. nahtE has impressed as well, and Daps seems to be a good fit for this team.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try and upgrade with some cast-offs of the NA shuffle. Maybe Tarik?


It’s still hard to discount any team with f0rest, GeT_RiGhT, and dennis on it. The talent on this team can be overwhelming at times, although they continue to play under where they probably should be.
The Swedish scene right now is kind of light on talent, so I’m not sure where an upgrade would come from if they were considering one. Perhaps a change in leadership might help?


The up and comer of the group, I’ve been both impressed and entertained by their play. It’s fun to see Allu still kicking in the scene, and sergej is a delight. Their ceiling is probably the least defined right now out of any team I have in the top 10, which is always exciting.

Hopefully they make it to big LANs in 2019 and we can see more of the Finnish firing squad. I’d love to see them ride this roster out for a while, as I really like the construction of it.


Fnatic continues to chug along, slow and steady. After some roster turnover in the middle section of 2018, they seem to be set with their five. KRIMZ, twist, and JW are a solid top three to complement Xizt’s in-game-leading, but I don’t know if it will be enough to break the top five, or win a tournament at all in this calendar year.

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