How CS:GO Ranking Works

by Juandi

Besides having fun, some people spend countless hours in CS:GO to grind their way to be at the highest possible rank and compete with the best. There are currently 18 ranks in this game to determine how great you are compared to other players. CSGO2ASIA.com has prepared a comprehensive guide to explain how the CS:GO ranking system works, and some basic tips for grinding your way to The Global Elite.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ranking system was first introduced in 2012. It was developed to categorize a player with other players around the same skill level. Other than matchmaking, there are ranks for different game modes such as Wingman, and Danger Zone. But in this article, we will introduce you to the CS:GO matchmaking ranking system.

To begin, these are all of the 18 CS:GO matchmaking ranks:

csgo rankings

CS:GO rankings are often divided into four to five groups depending on how you look at them. The first one will be the Silver group. There are Silver 1-4, and then Silver Elite and Silver Elite Master. Players in this rank are mostly newcomers in the first-person shooter game.

The next one is the Gold Nova group, which consists of Gold Nova 1 up to Gold Nova 4, or as it is often called Gold Nova Master. People in this rank group sit in the middle of the food chain. If you are currently placed in this rank, you should have moderate knowledge about the game mechanics, but should consider learning more in-depth about aim precision, grenades setups, economy, and strategies.

Next up is the Master Guardian group, which is known as the lower limit to be someone with enough knowledge to understand the mechanics of the game. People in this rank should know how to play correctly with grenades setups, communicate well, and understand few strategies to outplay the enemy team. However, this rank was often associated with the “elo hell”. People are either stuck in this rank or finally able to go up from Gold Nova Master.

You might be teamed up with a couple of good or even bad players. Consider playing with your friends or someone who truly fully understands the game as the game is getting more competitive in this rank.

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On top of that will be Distinguished Master Guardian to Legendary Eagle. This group consists of people with knowledge about the game inside out, and generally have the skills above-average in terms of aim, common sense, smokes, and grenades setup. It is hard to rely on the player’s aim as this rank range has a clear understanding to take the game to the next level with many strategies. People in this range of ranks should have no problem with communication, callouts, and have a bigger map pool to play with.

Legendary Eagle Masters up to The Global Elite is your final destination in the game. Players in this rank generally have the same skillset. Something that separates them is how much extra effort you give to the game, and who you play with as people in these ranks avoid solo queue. Only 5% of the players were able to reach this range of levels.

CS:GO Rankings Distribution, Feb 2021
(Photo credit: CSGO Stats)

From the rank distribution, we can see that the majority player base who play CS:GO competitively is in the Gold Nova range, with only 0,7% of players can reach The Global Elite. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why reaching GE is considered an accomplishment for many people.

CS:GO Rankings – How to Get One

At first, you will need to win ten of your first competitive matches to earn your initial rank. This phase is known as placement matches. In this period, you can only play two games per day (24 hours) to allow the system to recalibrate your placement in the matches. The first five matches understandably have the most significant impact on determining your rank, so make sure to play it seriously. After completing your first ten matches, you will be assigned to a rank that suits your skill.

Rankings Calculation – Short Explanation

However, there is no clear explanation of what system does Valve uses for their matchmaking system. Speculation around leads to a modified version of the Glicko 2 rating system, which is widely used in Chess, making standard kills and deaths not factoring in as much as MVPs and consistency.

You will be matched with players in the same range of skills. However, there will be a team with a slightly higher elo combined than the other team. To put it another way, a higher elo team will gain fewer points if they win compared to the lower elo team. Conversely, a higher elo team will lose more points if they lose compared to the more inferior elo team. The system is a lot more complicated than what we imagine, yet a general in-game model to follow would be to play for the round win and not for kills.

ALSO READ: CS:GO on MacBook – Can It Run Smoothly?

CS:GO Ranking (Photo Credit: XzeL/Steamcommunity)

Tips to Rank Up Faster

1. Find the right people to play with

It has always been recommended to play with your own friends or people you know and avoid solo queues. That is to say, you will minimize your chances to meet people who do not take the game seriously or just trolling around. In case you want to meet new friends, you are always welcome to join CSGO2ASIA Community on Discord. Click the link below and make sure to keep an eye on #lets-pug and #team-finder.

2. Improve along the way

“Above the sky, there is still another sky.” This is a quote that you should keep in mind that people should improve if you have a chance to do it. There are a handful of great sources of knowledge about the game on YouTube. Keep up to date with your favorite map’s meta and basic smoke setups; it will certainly help you progress in the game.

3. Communicate and help with the strategies

Another key thing to remember is to try to communicate during the game. If everyone is silent, be the initiator – persuade everyone to speak. Communication is an unfair advantage that some teams do not have, so make sure to have it. Besides that, keep calm, do not be toxic.

4. Warm-up before you play

Make sure to do at least a five minutes warm-up before you play competitive CS:GO. We encourage you to do so to refresh your muscle memory and readjust your comfort in the game. Play in an FFA server for approximately five to ten minutes is more than enough.

5. Make sure to have prime status

We highly recommend you to have prime status before playing any CS:GO matches to decrease your chance of meeting cheaters, or toxic people in the game. Prime Status is a feature of CS:GO for users who have purchased CS:GO or are Profile Level 21 or above. Users who have Prime Status receive benefits only available to Prime users. They are matchmade with and against only other Prime Status users in all game modes. In addition, Prime users are eligible for Prime-exclusive souvenir items, item drops, and weapon cases, and have access to all Community-operated servers. You can buy CS:GO Prime Status Upgrade on Steam for approximately US$14,99 (price may vary in certain regions).

6. Pick the right equipment

If you plan to take competitive CS:GO seriously, consider owning high-quality peripherals that can support you along the way to become better. It is more challenging to play in Legendary Eagle Master or higher in a 60hz refresh rate monitor. The 144hz monitor is somewhat mandatory if you want to have a comfortable experience in these ranks.

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