We are in the calm before the storm. The CS:GO player break has started, but once it’s over the Berlin Major begins. I’ve done some prep work for the Major and have decided to release it in the form of power rankings. In this first set of blogs, I'll be power ranking teams by map. In terms of criteria, I looked at overall results, with an emphasis on more recent results* and wins against top rated teams. I’ve also taken into account the overall strengths and weaknesses of each team relative to the field. I’ve ignored teams that aren’t at the Major (like Fnatic and Heroic) and teams that aren’t playing with a set 5 man roster (like MIBR and NiP).
*Map scores were counted using HLTV. The filters were by team, on LAN, in the last three months of play and were filtered on July 30th.
The fifth team was hard to pick as I could have gone with either North or G2. North have the better stats as they are 5-2 with wins over Vitality and Na`Vi. The problem for North is that their best wins come from the earlier part of the three month period and they’ve lost to both MIBR and FURIA recently. G2 have a 4-3 record, but they have less impressive wins (MIBR at Chicago, NRG and Cloud9 at EPL 9). Considering all of the factors, I’ve sided with G2 here. Their play against Liquid in the 13-16 loss at IEM Chicago impressed me enough to make me think that they have a larger potential ceiling on the map compared to North’s better record.
Another thing that tipped it into G2’s favor is personnel and style. Kenny “kennyS” Schrub is a better AWPer than Jakob “JUGi” Hansen and G2’s T-side mid-rounding and lurk style gives them better upset potential against better teams.
4 - Na`Vi
Na`Vi at four is a contentious pick as we’ve only seen them play at one LAN with their new lineup. They went 2-1 on Overpass at ESL One Cologne with wins over Liquid and FURIA and their one loss coming from Liquid. Those are solid results for the first outing and the one victory against Liquid made me rank Na`Vi over the likes of G2 and North.
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3 - ENCE
ENCE are at a 4-6 record in the past month and have a worse W-L than either G2, Na`Vi, or North. While the W-L doesn’t look great, it’s mitigated by time and opponent. Four of their losses come from CS Summit 4 where they lost ot Vitality twice, Ghost, and NRG. Since then they’ve had a 3-2 record with wins over Heroic, Liquid, and FURIA and recent losses to both Liquid and Vitality.
While this isn’t ENCE’s best map, they’ve only been dropping games to the two best teams in the world on it. I also put ENCE ahead of Na`Vi as Na`Vi’s record only amounts to one tournament.
2 - Vitality
Overpass is one of Vitality's best maps as they have a 13-4 record. Their T-side trading consistently gets Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut in position to win the rounds. Their CT-side is hard to play against as they use 4 man stacks a lot more often so it makes them harder to read. While Vitality only have one super skilled player, the other four fit play their roles well. The only team that can beat Vitality is Liquid.
1 - Team Liquid
Boasting a 16-4, Liquid are an unstoppable juggernaut and it has been their crowning jewel in the Liquid era. I wrote an article back in June about Liquid’s utter dominance and it still holds up today. Briefly though, Liquid’s firepower lets them either win out duels early, take map control without using that much utility, and then using their explosive hits to take either site. Their CT-side has a lot of aggressive information plays as they utilize a double AWP setup. They also have aggressive rifle setups with Jonathan “EliGE” Jablownowski on the A-side and either Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken or Jake “Stewie2k” Yip on the B-side. Finally, Keith “NAF” Markovic is one of the best rotators on the map, so they can play a 2-1-2 setup without getting punished by aggressive unseen pushes as NAF has uncanny timing on when he needs to rotate.
The 16-4 record speaks for itself. Liquid’s only recent loss was to Na`Vi at ESL Cologne groups stage, which they avenged later in the playoffs. The rest of their losses are from months old tournaments to Astralis, ENCE, and Vitality. Overpass should be considered an auto-win for Liquid against every team they pick it against.