NaVi & Gambit Are At The Top Of December’s Rankings With Godsent On The Rise

NaVi & Gambit Are At The Top Of December's Rankings With Godsent On The Rise
Image via HLTV

In December, the IEM Winter and BLAST Premier Global Finals have the most impact on the rankings.

The year 2021 has come to an end, with two more major tournaments remaining before the winter break. As the new year begins, we present the first monthly ranking update of 2022, detailing how the teams did in the year’s final two events and whether anyone was able to close the gap on the all-conquering Natus Vincere.

The CIS team came into 2022 on on top of the mountain, with a comfortable advantage of 503 points over closest competitors Gambit.

For new readers, here is a summary of the 1xBet HLTV World Ranking:

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 two months, and performance in recent events in the last 3 months.

Each team is required to have a three-man core in order to retain their points. Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, online results, which previously had a minimal effect, now carry more weight as they are also included in the ‘Achievements’ and ‘Recent Events’ sub-categories.

NAVI end the year on top

Natus Vincere has been the big fish in the CS:GO tank for quite some time, and their victory at the BLAST Premier Fall Final was not going to be their last.

After opting out of IEM Winter, Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy’s team came into the year’s final tournament, the BLAST Premier World Final, with the goal of capping off their dominant run, and they succeeded. Despite a first-round loss to Liquid, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and his teammates stormed through the lower bracket, defeating Heroic, Liquid, G2, and Vitality.

In the grand final, Gambit awaited the CIS titans, and it took a reverse-sweep from Natus Vincere to win, winning another trophy and a record-breaking MVP for s1mple. Natus Vincere’s victory at BLAST was their third in a row, solidifying their position atop the rankings heading into 2022.

Gambit go into 2022 in second place

In 2021, the CIS youngsters who had been on the top step of the podium at times finished second to Natus Vincere. Despite their present position, Gambit’s points total pales in contrast to that of their opponents.

Gambit made their debut at IEM Winter in December, but their trip to Stockholm was far from ideal. Despite an easy opening game against fnatic, the CIS team was unable to maintain their position in Group B’s upper bracket, falling to in a tense encounter. Faced with elimination, Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov’s team set out to defeat FaZe, ousting the European team following a thrilling three-map series.

The only thing standing between them and the final playoff berth was a rematch versus fnatic. After another close game on vertigo, Gambit forced the decider before blowing the Brits out of the water on Overpass. Their journey, however, was cut short when they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by eventual champions Vitality.

It was time for the BLAST Premier World Final in Copenhagen shortly after leaving Stockholm. Gambit got off to a much stronger start in Denmark, easily defeating Heroic 2-0 before continuing to dominate the upper bracket. The CIS squad qualified for the grand final after victories against Liquid and Vitality, but Natus Vincere would join them after a stunning lower bracket run. Gambit failed to close the deal and were swept by their regional rivals after winning the opening map and entering the series with momentum on their side.

Liquid start afresh after core changes

After losing all of its points due to core changes, the North American team has slid off the rankings.

After a disappointing year for Liquid, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip, and Michael “Grim” Wince will be removed from the starting lineup for the 2022 project. The team struggled with in-game leadership, and with the captaincy being passed back and forth between Stewie2K and FalleN, the group was unable to fulfill its full potential. In fact, Liquid finished the year with only one trophy from cs summit 8, a long cry from their summer of 2019 excellence.

Despite the fact that Liquid had been planning changes for some time, there was still uncertainty over who would fill in the vacancies. The first stage in the rebuilding process was announced in late November, when Keith “NAF” Markovic’s contract with the company was renewed. The three players were benched less than a month later, with the entrance of Josh “oSee” Ohm and Richard “shox” Papillon from Extra Salt and Vitality, respectively, rapidly filling two of the places.

There is still one unfilled spot on the Liquid roster, and reports indicate that former captain Nick “nitr0” Cannella will return to Counter-Strike to fill it.

GODSENT, K23, and Eternal Fire on the up

Epitacio “TACO” de Melo’s Brazilian initiative appears to be making significant progress. GODSENT climbed into the top 20 thanks to a strong showing at IEM Winter, where they clinched a playoff position with back-to-back victory over Heroic and BIG. The Brazilians were unable to advance any further due to losses against and NIP, and finished in fifth or sixth place.

K23 appears to be progressing well on the opposite side of the globe. The Russian team improved on their past month’s ranking by winning the Funspark ULTI 2021 Europe Regional Series 4 trophy, dropping only one map in the process. K23 is worth watching as Bogdan “xsepower” Chernikov and Daniil “X5G7V” Maryshev continue to adjust to their new team.

Eternal Fire, on the other hand, has remained in the top 30 since debuting in November. After zgür “woxic” Eker’s decision to take over the IGL job, the squad has shown some improvement in recent events, and they appear to be on the right track. Eternal Fire, dubbed the “Turkish superteam” following their inception, had a poor start but have steadily improved since internal role modifications and the arrival of Yasin “xfl0ud” Koç.

SINNERS is one of the teams who did not finish the year in the top 30. The Czech team has been on the decline for some time, and a top-eight finish in ESEA Premier Season 39 was not enough to keep them in the competition.

MOUZ NXT, meanwhile, has dropped out of the top 30. Due to their achievements at the WePlay Academy League Season 2 and a few smaller events on the side, the young European squad was previously the only academy side at the top of the list. A semi-final finish in the Malta VIbes Knockout Series 4 was not enough to secure the youngsters a berth in the year’s final rankings. After dám “torzsi” Torzsás was promoted to the main roster, the team’s future is now uncertain.

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