Mar 8, 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Pinnacle CS:GO Power Rankings

How the Pinnacle Power Rankings work

Pinnacle Power Rankings: March

The CIS dominates the Rankings

Pinnacle CS:GO Power Rankings

In the first week of each month, we will release the official Pinnacle CS:GO Power Rankings, with curator Adam Boothe offering a brief overview of the teams, and some honorable mentions that missed out.

How it works

Similar to other power ranking approaches, Pinnacle's will be centred upon the same selection of performance metrics month-to-month. However three key qualities separate our rankings and those already offered by other community entities. There will be no distinction made between the prestige of tournaments, nor their prize pools. The rankings will only include performances at tournaments and leagues, including qualifiers, with a minimum prize pool of $50,000. However, there will not be any measure of bonus points for placing higher at those tournaments, as it will be naturally embedded in the rankings for successive positive results.

The Pinnacle rankings will also contain weighting based on closing Money Lines. All teams, within the sample tournaments, will be placed on a scale to measure how they have performed in comparison to their pricing. While it will not account for covering particular spreads, either series or map, round discrepancy and map win rates are of course covered.

Another distinction from our power rankings and others will be the time frame. Due to the entries being once a month, and the frequent turnover within the scene during that length of time, teams that did not play during the month will not be included. While sites like HLTV will factor decay into their ranks, ours will intentionally not do so to avoid incorrect assumptions of a change in level based on distant results.

Finally there will be no 'eye-test' applied to the ranks. While it may not seem right to find teams of a lesser pedigree above the well-established 'Top 5', the goal is to assess performance over a one month period alone. These entries are solely meant for contextual betting analysis, however there will be a feature looking ahead to the upcoming tournaments.

Pinnacle Power Rankings: March

After a brief month off, the Pinnacle CS:GO Power Rankings have returned heading into March!

This list was impacted by two competitions in Europe. It uses over 145 maps running from February 4 to February 28. While the highest level competition does continue to be online, both events featured teams from at least three different regions.

Before we look at the rankings, a quick reminder that these are power rankings, not rankings of the best teams in the world at all times. It is based only on recent performances and not on whether these teams could lose to others not on this list. You should not make bets based on the placements here, just as you would not do so using any other rankings website.

The rankings this month are comprised of the following events: Blast Premier Spring 2021; and IEM Katowice (including play-ins). There were 25 teams assessed, playing between three and 22 maps each.

CS:GO Power Rankings 2021






Virtus Pro






Natus Vincere 


Team Liquid 






Ninjas in Pyjamas 


G2 Esports 

Explaining March's Rankings

The biggest story coming out of Katowice was the rise of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) within CS:GO. For a decade now, the CIS region has embraced this first-person shooter genre like very few parts of the world have. However, for all the fanaticism, enormous player base, and talent, it has had very little success on the international stage. This is the first time we have had four teams from this region on this list at the same time, let alone all in the top five!

Everyone is aware of Natus Vincere; they have been the face of the region, winning numerous titles and possessing some of the best players in the world in CS:GO's history. However, beyond the black and yellow numerous talents have fallen by the wayside due to issues of funding, loyalty, and team play.

After several years of incredibly mediocre, if not downright terrible, results, the Virtus Pro organization decided to cut its ties with the Polish rosters which had failed to deliver. Instead, they signed a Kazakhstani squad which then grinded its way past many of the best in the world to a grand finals appearance at the Berlin Major 2019, eventually losing to the dynasty of Denmark, Astralis. While slumping briefly as we headed into 2020, the team has steadily climbed to where we see it today.

Until a vengeful Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko was cut from his 'baby' Natus Vincere, not many anticipated the region might have enough to scrape together a major-winning team separate of NAVI. Enter Gambit Esports. They picked up the veteran In-Game Leader one month after his departure from the kings of the CIS, and nine months later picked up the only major trophy that the CIS region has ever won in CS:GO.

The one player that was seemingly 'discovered' during that run in Krakow was the ‘man from Middle-Earth’, Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov. However, after that historic title, he got married the next month and then somewhat disappeared from the professional scene until resuming with Gambit's academy team, Gambit Youngsters.

It was clear the roster was not meant to just be groomed as potential future pros – they were ready as a five-man roster to compete at the highest level. And that is when the promotion happened. In 2017, “Hobbit” found himself as the relatively unknown budding superstar. He is now in the role of his predecessor, “Zeus”, ready to share his experience with the talents surrounding him and contend for titles.

This is not something which is included in the rankings, however it is so exceptional it should be noted. During the one event in which Gambit competed - IEM Katowice - they racked up an incredible +250 Kill Differential over 21 maps played. This was over double the next highest team’s score. This is the kind of statistic you might see between a clear favourite and a field of competitors a level below.

In other words, think of Snow Sweet Snow, not IEM Katowice. Historically, Virtus Pro tend to have quite fierce matches in best-of-five grand finals and their match against Gambit was no different, with approximately 80 of the kills GMB secured over the tournament occurring in the grand final series alone.

Gambit's one loss of the month was, of all things, as a 60% favourite against Evil Geniuses. The team with the worst Kill Differential of the month! However, like the Gambit of 2017, this squad was frequently priced on the lower end, in contrast to their competition, in many of their matches.

Complexity might surprise some for their position here, however they only played two poor maps during their month, despite not qualifying for the IEM Katowice main event. Their exceptional form wasn’t reflected in the odds market which presented potential value for those that bet on them This was the same for Liquid, though their metrics were much more inconsistent.

While NAVI could not repeat their IEM Katowice title of 2020, they were by no means poor. With these rankings, teams like NAVI and Astralis, who are perennial favourites, are always going to have to be that much better for the same outcomes as teams given more forgiving prices.

For the first time, the Brazilians of Furia did not make it back into our rankings. This is somewhat understandable, given their two roster switches in a very small space of time in January and February. With that fiery South American passion driving them, we are sure they will be back here before long!

Heading into March, we return with some regular season play with ESL Pro League. Also, be on the lookout for The Pinnacle Cup - a $100,000 event, which will also be included in April's Power Rankings!

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About the author

Adam Boothe

Adam landed in the world of esports betting by happenstance and with no premeditated notions it would ever be a long term endeavour. With few individuals having years of experience working on esports, and many less being willing to share, his articles cater to novice and veterans alike. Adam's approach is centered on bringing traditional trading methodology to the esports niche.

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