In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, map specific considerations are still too often overlooked by casual observers. To provide a better baseline for these discussions, this article will name and rank the best teams in the world on each specific map. A team’s map prowess will be weighed in accordance with the criteria listed here.
This ranking will evaluate the last 100 days of play, from October 3rd 2017 to January 12th 2018
Like SK Gaming in my last rankings, Astralis presents a problem. The departure of Device from the starting lineup will disqualify Astralis from all results thereafter, but because of Astralis's prominence at the top of the competitive scene, I will again give honorable mentions to them in lieu of actual rankings when appropriate.
Team Liquid will be treated similarly when we look at their signature, or former signature, Inferno pick.
Mirage still stands out as the most important map in competitive CS:GO. In the past 100 days, FaZe has won 10 games on it on LAN, which is tied for the most wins a team has earned on a single map (FaZe also has 10 on Overpass), and Team Liquid (between both lineups) has seven losses on it, the most of any team on one map. More than any map, it can be a make or break pick. FaZe's 10 wins and attractive record earn them the number one spot by some margin, but the battle for second place is much closer. Cloud9's 7-3 record jumps out on paper, but that's significantly padded by two wins over NRG and another over TheMongolz. SK's tougher overall competition and two wins over the number one ranked FaZe earns them the silver medal.
1) FaZeRecord: 10-3Wins: North, VP, SK, G2, Liquid, Astralis, Fnatic, Liquid with Steel, Cloud9, mousesports
2) SKRecord: 6-4Wins: VP, FaZe (x2), Astralis with Device, TheMongolz, North
3) C9Record: 7-3Wins: Astralis, NRG (x2), Renegades, TheMongolz, Gambit, Liquid with Steel
4) OpTicRecord: 4-4Wins: AGO, Liquid with Stanislaw, SK, mousesports
Right next to Mirage, Inferno stands out as the other ultra-important leading map of the pool. Yet, unlike Mirage, Inferno refuses to let itself be mastered. Only FaZe and Stanislaw with Liquid have been able to win games on it with any regularity, and since the departure of Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz, Liquid have lost all three of their games on it. Astralis somewhat better since Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz's illness put him out of the starting lineup, but that, of course, is temporary too, as Astralis mostly struggled on Inferno in 2017. With the field depleted, VP sneaks into the number two spot largely thanks to their win over FaZe themselves.
1) FaZeRecord: 8-3Wins: North, TyLoo, Gambit, SK (x2), Liquid with Steel, NiP, mousesports
2) Virtus.ProRecord: 4-2-1Wins: Gambit, FaZe, G2, RenegadesDraws: Russia, GameAgents
Honorable mention: Astralis (see note above)Record: 7-4Wins: Cloud9, Liquid with Stanislaw, EnVyUs, TheMongolz, SK, FaZe, mousesports
Honorable mention: Liquid with StanislawRecord: 6-1Wins: Vega Squadron, North, NRG, CoL, CLG, C9
Train remains among the more popular maps with many teams proving their proficiency on it in the past 100 days. Unlike Mirage or Overpass whose leading team (FaZe) has 10 wins, Train's win leader only has five, but five different teams have hit that mark: SK, C9, mousesports, Gambit, and Astralis. Again, SK and Cloud9 look to have extremely similar records in terms of quality with SK having a higher general level of competition and better record, but Cloud9 having a win over SK themselves. If Cloud9's win over Astralis was versus the Device lineup rather than the RUBINO lineup, they would have earned the number one spot. Cloud9's win over SK puts them over mousesports, while mousesports' head-to-head win over Gambit and their better level of competition earns them the number three spot.
1) SKRecord: 5-1Wins: VP (x2), Astralis with Device, NiP, FaZe
2) Cloud9Record: 5-2Wins: Renegades (x2), BIG, Astralis with RUBINO, SK
3) mousesportsRecord: 5-2Wins: ALTERNATE aTTaX, Gambit, Luminosity, OpTic, Astralis with RUBINO
4) GambitRecord: 5-2Wins: Singularity, Seed, FaZe, VP, TyLoo
Towards the end of 2016, Overpass arguably was one of the two most important maps in the pool. It was never popular generally, thanks to its low play rate in best-of-ones, but it showed up in playoff series after playoff series thanks to its heavy usage by some of the best teams in the world: Astralis, OpTic with Stanislaw (briefly), and SK with Lincoln "fnx" Lau. While only Astralis stuck with it throughout 2017, we saw the map have a Renaissance of sorts at the end of this year as both the new FaZe with Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and SK with Ricardo "boltz" Prass joined Astralis as the world-leading forces on the map. FaZe again takes first prize with their Brobdingnagian ten wins in 100 days while SK takes second by defaults thanks to Astralis's roster issues.
Record: 10-3Wins: EnVyUs, Astralis with Device, G2, OpTic, Cloud9x2, NiP, HellRaisers, Fnaticx2
Record:6-2Wins: FaZex2, OpTic, North, NiP, Misfits
Honorable mention: Astralis
Record: 6-1-3Wins: Fnatic, Cloud9, SK, NiP, G2, FaZeDraw: North
The story of Cobblestone of 2017 was a story of duos. First, for the opening couple of months, Virtus.Pro and Gambit stood out as Cobblestone's clear leaders. Then, both SK and G2 won map after map once Gambit fell off as the world leader. Both accumulated baffling records, but as 2017 came to a close G2 has fallen off on the map in accordance with their more general slump. The new SK team with Boltz still stands out on Cobblestone followed by Misfits, Cloud9 and mousesports. Notice that SK place higher than Cloud9 here for the third straight time.
1) SKRecord: 5-0Wins: Virtus.Pro, EnVyUs, NiP, G2, Misfits
2) MisfitsRecord: 6-1Wins: Luminosity, Liquid with Stanislaw (x2), CLG, North, HellRaisers
3) Cloud9Record: 4-1Wins: G2, mousesports, Liquid with Stanislaw, Gambit
4) mousesportsRecord: 4-2Wins: ALTERNATE aTTaX, Gambit, LDLC, North Academy
Through not as desolate as Nuke, Cache still lacks a champion. While the (by far and away) two world leaders, FaZe and SK, have good-looking records on the map, Virtus.Pro snags the number one spot almost excusively thanks to their EPICENTER performance, which speaks to the lack of interest in the map generally. SK overcomes FaZe for second place thanks to their additional win, but Space Soldiers make a surprise appearance on this list, despite being the 23rd best team in the world according to the HLTV ranking system, thanks to their extended win steak on this map. On LAN, Space Soldiers have won all 10 straight Cache games with their current lineup and all 15 they have played on it total in 2017, including their famous win over SK with Felps at ESL One Cologne 2017. While the quality of their wins hold them back from placing higher on this list, surely their Cache should be feared going into the ELEAGUE Major: Boston.
1) Virtus.ProRecord: 4-1Wins: Gambit, G2, SK, Heroic
2) SKRecord: 4-1Wins: NiP, Astralis, NRG, Misfits
3) FaZeRecord: 3-1Wins: Astralis with Device, TyLoo, Gambit
4) Space SoldiersRecord: 6-0Wins: EnVyUs (x2), OpTic, BIG, NOREG, GODSENT
Since I created this ranking system towards the beginning of last year, Nuke has never been popular and only seems to getting less popular over time. We have all seen the numbers by now. It should be removed from the competitive pool. That said, with its two main champions, G2 and Virtus.pro slumping, we have perhaps seen less of it than we would have otherwise. The exact same two teams from my last ranking show up again here; however, with G2 failing to make it into the playoff and best-of-three series they often could not pick or play Nuke. mousesports now takes the top spot by an overwhelming margin. While Heroic could have been included here with their 3-1 record on Nuke, when their three wins come from Spirit (x2) and Rise Nation, it seems hardly worthwhile.
1) mousesportsRecord: 8-1Wins: Vega Squadron, LDLC (x2), Gambit, Luminosity, OpTic, Astralis with RUBINO, FaZe
2) G2Record: 2-1Wins: North, Virtus.Pro