First up is North America coming off of the First Strike NSG Open Qualifier, the first tournament we’ve had that showcased everyone from the up and coming teams to juggernauts who felt secure at the top. One of the biggest points movements comes from a team that retains their spot despite a poor showing – Sentinels. Sentinels retained the first spot even with their 5-8th finish due pretty much entirely to how gargantuan their lead was going into First Strike, though a loss to Gen.G Esports as well as previous tournament wins falling out of relevance see that lead shrink, substantially. Cloud9 Blue find themselves in a similar position, except moving in the other direction, they move up only one spot, surpassing TSM due to their tournament winning performance, as well as TSM losing some points from a couple events that just barely fall off the rankings similar to Sentinels. Third and fourth are incredibly close as well, and separated by only three points – in the end Envy pip the final podium position over TSM due to an impressive silver medal performance in the Open qualifier. One of the biggest movers is XSET, who followed an impressive win in Nerd Street Gamers – Monthly October with a qualifying performance in the NSG Open Qualifier. Heading into the Closed Qualifier, North America looks to be majorly volatile, with TSM, Sentinels, Envy and Cloud9 Blue vying for three spots on the podium with little to nothing to separate them.
Europe is, at the moment at least, far more stable than North America, in fact, the top four don’t change a bit. G2 Esports have done nothing to destabilize their stranglehold on the top spot, while the chasing pack haven’t done enough to close that gap. The teams in contention for the top spot, namely: FunPlus Phoenix, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid all will have to quickly turn their attention to the teams in the middle of the rankings as G2 seemingly ride into the distance at a canter. The next pack, behind the big four, are essentially identical to each other, splitting three positions by less than 30 points, and the bottom 6 positions by less than 70 points. Plenty of the teams here are expected: SUMN FC, Oxygen Esports and Guild Esports, the shock comes from the teams that are closing on them at pace. Gambit Esports are the new kids on the block following wins in Nicecactus Fall Trophy and NGL Open Cup Qualifier 3, the CIS roster seems to be on the rise. HSDIRR and Vodafone Giants have shot themselves straight onto the top 10 following impressive head-to-head, and regional performances. HSDIRR in particular soared up the rankings due to some missing results from the previous ranking update. Notably winning A1 eSports League – Fall Split 2020, as well as taking top honors in the Fragleague Season 5 Cup #1 – Nordic over Guild Esports shortly after the previous update. Vodafone Giants put together a strong showing, winning Valorant Master Series Invitational #1 to secure their own eight spot rise up the rankings. It remains to be seen if Vodafone Giants or HSDIRR are here to stay, but they could both be dark horse contenders in what is a nearly impossible to split European ladder.
The Asian rankings feature many small changes, as teams compete for what is essentially a bronze medal behind Vision Strikers and Absolute JUPITER. T1 Korea break into the top three, and look to be solidifying that spot as they finalize signing their wildly successful duo of Ye “Anaks” Sang-jun and Kim “Harry” Han-gyu. That said REJECT is only a single point behind T1 Korea, and one small slip up could see them back on the podium. The biggest movers in the region are Quantum Strikers who took home the top prize in Clan Battle Act 2 #4, over teams such as T1 Korea, Cloud9 Korea and PROPARTY, with Vision Strikers notably absent. Quantum Strikers shot all the way up to 10th on the ranking an early success with their recent roster change, slotting in just behind ahq e-Sports Club. Asia remains one of the hardest to split regions, barring a dominant top two that look nearly impossible to take down, though First Strike has done little if not surprise us in other regions, who’s to say Asia won’t be chock-full of surprises as well.
This is our second update of the rankings to be accompanied by an explanation, we would love to hear what you think about both the rankings, the additional insight, and anything else we can do to make this system as transparent as possible. We are still working diligently to expand the rankings, with regions such as LATAM, Brazil, Oceania and MENA all on the horizon, though we want to make sure that we release proper rankings that are given all the effort those regions are due. Who do you think will come out on top in First Strike in Europe and Asia? How do you think the closed North American qualifier will go? Let us know in the comments down below.