Liquid fell to ENCE in Katowice
The second month of 2019 has concluded, and thus a new North American top ten is due. As usual, this ranking covers majority North American teams only, meaning MIBR, Renegades, and others are not included. The panel for this month was composed of:
- 2 Dust2.us staff
- 2 personalities/talent
- 2 MDL players
- 2 Pro player
February contained the IEM Sydney 2019 North America Closed Qualifier, the four ECS Season 7 North America Pinnacle Cup Open Qualifiers, and ESEA MDL Season 30 for online events and the IEM Katowice 2019 Major for LANs.
1. Liquid - 1000 Points (-) / HLTV #2
The uncontested best team from North America only played one event during the month of February, that being the Major at IEM Katowice. Their seeding in the event saw them face off against AVANGAR in the first round. They passed the Kazakh team without too much trouble and followed it up with a close victory against NiP to go 2-0. In the top pool, the North American side defeated Natus Vincere in fairly dominant fashion, putting themselves into the playoffs. Once the Champions Stage began however, Liquid ended up as victims of the Major's Cinderella team, ENCE, losing in two maps.
Despite this disappointment, the result was still the best at the Major by any North American team. Due to playing at the Major for most of the month, they did not play any online matches, but March will contain ECS Season 7. As far as LANs go, the team are set to play at BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo.
Liquid's current roster is:
- Nick "nitr0" Cannella
- Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski
- Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken
- Keith "NAF" Markovic
- Jake "Stewie2K" Yip
- Eric "adreN" Hoag (Coach)
2. NRG - 900 (+12) / HLTV #11
Like Liquid, NRG only competed in Katowice. Unlike Liquid however, they competed in the initial Challengers Stage of the Major. There, NRG made a statement by going 3-0, defeating Winstrike, ViCi, and TYLOO. However, upon reaching the Legends Stage the team fared much differently. In the first game they suffered a close 14-16 loss to NiP, which was followed up by another close 13-16 loss to AVANGAR. In the elimination match, they played against their compatriots compLexity, where NRG lost in two overtime maps.
This means that NRG does not have a guaranteed spot at the StarLadder Berlin Major, and instead will need to qualify through the Americas Minor once again. This also resulted in the team replacing Jacob "FugLy" Medina with Tarik "tarik" Celik. NRG did not play any online matches during February, but in March they will play ECS Season 7. For LANs, they are set to attend StarSeries i-League Season 7.
NRG's current roster is:
- Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte
- Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov
- Damian "daps" Steele
- Ethan "Ethan" Arnold
- Tarik "tarik" Celik
- Chet "ImAPet" Singh (Coach)
3. Cloud9 - 557 points (-24) / HLTV #9
As was par for the course, Cloud9's only event this past month was IEM Katowice, and like NRG, they played in the New Challengers Stage. After defeating Grayhound in round one, Cloud9 went 1-2 after losing heavily to TYLOO and ViCi. They recovered in the end however, taking series over FURIA and Winstrike to advance to the main event. Their first match in the Legends stage was a stomp over MIBR, with their second being a 0-16 loss to Astralis. After a close loss to Vitality and a victory over HellRaisers, C9 found themselves in round five of the Swiss group. They couldn't make ends meet though, and ended up exiting the event in the group stage.
Unlike NRG however, Cloud9 managed to secure a spot at the StarLadder Berlin Major later this year. After their Major result, both Robin "flusha" Rönnquist and Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro departed the lineup while in-game leader Maikil "Golden" Selim returned. Cloud9 did not play any online matches during February, and currently have no events lined up for March.
Cloud9's current lineup is:
- Timothy "autimatic" Ta
- William "RUSH" Wierzba
- Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey
- Maikil "Golden" Selim
- Soham "valens" Chowdhury (Coach)
4. compLexity - 429 points (-12) / HLTV #26
compLexity are the first team on the list to have played online matches during the month of February. However, they also attended IEM Katowice like the teams above them. Going into the Major, expectations were very low, especially considering they were fielding a stand-in, and many expected them to go out last place in the Legends Stage. After two decisive defeats against Astralis and MIBR, compLexity defeated regional rivals NRG to avoid having to re-qualify through the Minors. In round four, they played an extremely close match against FaZe, but fell to the European side in the end.
Their online play consisted of the IEM Sydney North America Closed Qualifier, which kicked off with a relatively close win against Wins Scrims Not Matches. They followed this up however, with two close three map losses to Swole Patrol and Luminosity, removing them from contention for the Australian event. compLexity's only event lined up for March so far is ECS Season 7. It is also unsure for how long Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert will remain with the team.
compLexity's current lineup is:
- Rory "dephh" Jackson
- Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz
- Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan
- Ricardo "Rickeh" Mulholland
- Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert
5. Ghost - 375 points (-178) / HLTV #15
Unlike the four aforementioned teams, Ghost competed in exclusively online events during February, as they failed to qualify for the Minor last year. Earlier in the month they played the IEM Sydney North America Closed Qualifier. They began their bracket run with a win over Bad News Bears and a subsequent loss to eUnited, but then fought through the lower bracket, taking down Envy and Luminosity, but once again fell to eUnited in the consolidation final.
They also competed in the ECS Season 7 North America Pinnacle Cup Open Qualifier #3, albeit with a slightly altered roster. According to a report, Joshua "steel" Nissan was set to be replaced on the lineup by former Ghost player Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik, and they indeed used the reported roster in the qualifier, though steel was not eligible to play, anyway. Following another report that Ghost had decided against the move and to keep steel, the team pulled out of the Pinnacle Cup and were replaced by Hysteria.
Regardless, in the open qualifier they had two straightforward victories over iNTACT and Big Frames. Ghost currently have no events lined up for March, with the ESL Pro League in April being their next confirmed appearance.
Ghost's current lineup is:
- Matthew "WARDELL" Yu
- Joshua "steel" Nissan
- Kenneth "koosta" Suen
- Jason "neptune" Tran
- Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir
- James "JamezIRL" Macaulay (Coach)
6. eUnited - 332 points (+184) / HLTV #31
The only event for the team from which the majority of these players hail was the IEM Sydney North America Closed Qualifier. Then going under the name Swole Patrol and using Braxton "swag" Pierce and Sam "s0m" Oh, before Kaleb "moose" Jayne and Austin "Cooper-" Abadir joined, they kicked off the qualifier by taking down Envy and compLexity. They followed this up by defeating the previous eUnited roster in four straight maps to win the qualifier and a spot at IEM Sydney 2019.
During March, eUnited have already successfully competed in the DreamHack Rio North America Closed Qualifier, and also will participate in ECS Season 7. Their next LAN appearance is set to be the ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas in April.
eUnited's current lineup is:
- Kaleb "moose" Jayne
- Austin "Cooper-" Abadir
- Edgar "MarKE" Maldonado
- Anthony "vanity" Malaspina
- Victor "food" Wong
- Armeen "a2z" Toussi (Coach)
7. Rogue - 279 points (+45) / HLTV #90
Interestingly, Rogue played no officials during February (other than the two that were covered in last month's ranking). Despite this, they managed to gain 45 points and move up a spot in the ranking to #7. In the January ranking, their only results were a win against Dogs of War and a loss to Bad News Bears in the second IEM Sydney North America Open Qualifier.
During March, Rogue have ECS Season 7 and StarSeries i-League Season 7 at the end of the month. Rogue are the only North American team other than NRG that will be at the Ukrainian event, having won the North America Qualifier in December.
Rogue's current lineup is:
- Daniel "vice" Kim
- Spencer "Hiko" Martin
- Hunter "SicK" Mims
- Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen
- Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen
8. Envy - 196 points (-62) / HLTV #47
The only event for Envy during the month of February was the IEM Sydney North America Closed Qualifier, which contained many other teams within this list. They kicked off their run with a loss to Swole Patrol, but followed up with a win over Win Scrims Not Matches. However on the next day they fell to Ghost and were eliminated from contention for the spot in Sydney.
In the qualifier, they continued to use Finn "karrigan" Andersen, who has just joined mousesports. Envy currently don't have any events lined up, but will need to sign a new player before the new season of EPL begins next month in April.
Envy's current lineup is:
- Taylor "Drone" Johnson
- Stephen "reltuC" Cutler
- Noah "Nifty" Francis
- Josh "jdm64" Marzano
- Zachary "Eley" Stauffer (Coach)
9. Singularity - 79 points (+35) / HLTV #48
Singularity are the first (and only) team on this list to be competing in ESEA's MDL. During February, Singularity's only officials were for MDL, having failed to make the IEM Sydney North America Closed Qualifier. During the month, they took wins off of the now disbanded Stay Frosty and Fragging for Andy, Mythic, MASSIVEimpact, oNe, and Party Astronauts, and a forfeit win over Old Guys Club. They also dropped maps to Infamous, Spacestation, and Denial.
Singularity were the lone American team competing at the WESG World Finals in March, and also topped the ECS Season 7 Pinnacle Cup. They have finished their regular season matches for MDL, and are in good position for playoffs.
Singularity's current lineup is:
- Josh "oSee" Ohm
- Cameron "hydrex" Kern
- Ryan "ryann" Welsh
- Ian "motm" Hardy
- Ricky "floppy" Kemery
- Jared "MAC-1" Schneider (Coach)
10. Swole Patrol - 36 points (NEW) / HLTV Unranked
The eUnited/Swole Patrol moves during February have resulted in a team without an official roster being ranked. For the purposes of this ranking the lineup that competed in the DreamHack Rio North America Closed Qualifier is used, although the results of that qualifier don't fall within the purview of February.
This unforunately means that the team is being ranked off of no results. As was mentioned in the article on the report detailing the possible new Swole Patrol lineup, the team's license in the ESL Pro League is not guaranteed.
Swole Patrol's lineup for this ranking is:
- Braxton "swag" Pierce
- Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro
- Michael "dapr" Gulino
- Gage "Infinite" Green
- Maxim "wippie" Shepelev
- Danny "fRoD" Montaner (Coach)
March's ranking will include the DreamHack Rio North America Open and Closed Qualifiers, ECS Season 7 North America Pinnacle Cup, ECS Season 7 Week 1, BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo, StarSeries i-League Season 7, ECS Season 7 Week 2, and the DreamHack Master Dallas Open and Closed Qualifiers. Continuing events such as MDL Season 30 will also obviously be counted.