With the UK scene struggling to find consistent HLTV matches for all its top teams, and with the regularity of roster moves it can be hard to track how the top teams in the scene are getting along. With limited tournaments in the scene outside of EPS, Epic.LAN & Insomnia there can be large gaps between getting to see our teams perform. In order to try and give some perspective at the top end of the scene, UKCSGO.com is going to start running monthly ‘power rankings’ to give fans an idea of where each team is currently at.
How does it work? Well without there being a system to assign points to teams, like HLTV’s rankings, we figure the best people to rank the teams would be to ask the experts; the players/teams themselves. So in order to produce our ‘Power ranking’ we reached out to a variety of players and coaches to get their individual top tens, we then compiled this into one ranking. We asked players to only consider teams with cores of three UK&IRL players, so no Endpoint or fnatic will be included.
The top 10 can be split into three different groups, with all people asked having the majority of teams in the same grouping but just in a marginally different order within those groups.
Once again this is the result of the culmination of the opinions of the pool of people asked and not a ‘official ranking’. For reference the rankings (minus one or two) were submitted on or before the 2nd of November so any results since would not have been known and therefore taken into consideration by the pool of experts i.e Any of Thursdays (03/11/22) ESL Premiership results.
#10 – #8: The Outsiders
The first grouping is the #10-#8 group what i have named the ‘Outsiders’, these are the teams that are yet to prove they can consistently challenge the top 5 in the scene and are all teams currently competing in the ESEA Main division, this was the group with the biggest variety of placings a suggestion of how close a lot of the teams are in this group.
#10 – k10
Jack “JackB” Burton
Ethan “Carterlad10” Carter
Shea “pieface” Reilly
Matthew “moz” Gelder
Arkadiusz “ifan” Dabkowski
This pick was the most debated, between k10, Legates and Clique it would be the latter that would just miss out in this months rankings.
The team recently made some changes bringing onboard, JackB,moz and ifan for the new season. It marks a return to competitive Counter-Strike for AWPer JackB after a hiatus in which he did attend and win Epic.LAN 36 with a mix.
The fresh changes, the struggle at their recent Epic.LAN showing and the team not competing in ESL Premiership Autumn, are all contributing factors to why the team weren’t placed higher by their peers for this month.
#9 – Legates
Alfie “Rayman” Bench
Dagmer “DagThePimple” Vens
Connor “Bigun007” Suddons
Kerran “K6y” Bartlett
Tom “PRAISy” Panting
Jack “Zerpherr” Kelly (Coach)
Legates have hit a rich vein of form in the past few months, which has included qualifying for the Steelseries NOVA cup UK & IRL (the pre-pre-pre qualifier for BLAST) and making it all the way to the group stage of the UK’s premium regional competition ESL Premiership.
With the majority of the season still left to play, the team will look to prove their worth and grab themselves a ESEA play off spot, whilst putting up a fight in ESL Premiership. The team recently lost rifler Seán “Atrox” Greene to the team one spot above them on this months rankings XRAVEL.
#8 – XRAVEL
Rasmus “zodi” Frølich
Mohamad “Ducky” Nourelden
William “wfn” Maskrey
Euan “synergii” Wilson
Seán “Atrox” Greene
Dan “papp” Hart (Coach)
XRAVEL were the surprise of last season from the UK scene, a team that houses talented players such as Ducky and wfn but in their totality were not expected to post as good results as some of their peers. However, the team went beyond those expectations with them being the only team to make Main play offs, alongside Dripmen (who we will get to later), grabbing a top seed after dropping just one match.
The team also managed a 6-8th finish at the BEYOND UKIC Summer Invitational losing out to 1PIN. XRAVEL also managed to make it to the ESL Premiership groups and are in the same group as fellow qualifiers Legates. The numbers put up by IGL zodi last ESEA season are super impressive and it will be interesting to see how he develops as a fragging IGL.
The team don’t make it higher mainly due to their struggles in Main playoffs and a slightly underwhelming EPIC37 where they just missed out on top four. Despite this, the team has shown some incredibly promising signs in the short time the roster has been together and i wouldnt be surprised if next month they are higher on peoples lists.
#7-#4: The Challengers
The next group of teams are rosters that are in and around the Top but have yet to put up the results with their current lineups to convince our experts that they consistently can be in the Top three teams in the country. The four teams in this group are split evenly with two Main teams and two Advanced teams, but with one of those Main teams having just been in Advanced and the other being recent LAN winners this is a fiercely competitive grouping.
#7 – ROYALS
Kyle “Swaggy” Wilson
Edgaras “entz” Luksas
John “Dutchy” Holland
Timothy “tvs” Sjöberg
Xavér “xavi” Hebők
Andy “Mythix” Shek (Coach)
It shows the growing depth in the UK scene where the Seventh ranked team is a team that have spent the past three seasons in Advanced is ranked in Seventh place. ROYALS are maybe one of the most visible teams outside of the domestic scene, often having played without a UK core and finding regular reps on HLTV.
The ranking is based off the current Lineups showings and therefore ROYALS historically being one of the more visible teams from the UK scene can’t count towards their placing as Swaggy is the sole remnant of those lineups. It is yet to be seen how successful the rebuild is in practice but, at least, on paper Swaggy has certainly built a strong team around him.
ROYALS having such a fresh roster and their demotion from Advanced last season are the big contributers to their seventh place finish in this months rankings. Having now returned to a UK core with the additions of Dutchy and entz, ROYALS will be looking to reclaim their spot in Advanced and propell themselves up the rankings with a good showing in ESL Premiership.
#6 – eMasters
Emyr “eMy” Green
ManHo “mrhui” Hui
Harry “moshi” Raines
Reegan “ReegaN” Ward
Jack “DeXter” Hepple
Rhys “Rhys” Stumbles (Coach)
Coming off the back of their Insomnia69 victory eMasters, at the time Temperate, the team lost the first member of their title winning team when Beau “fluFFs” Newton decided to retire. The team picked up rifler moshi in his stead and looked to prove their chops at EPIC37.
Not long before the tournament was due to start, Marco “MMS” Salomone got the oppurtunity to go play with SOS, formerly known as EKO, leaving the team to find a stand-in for the tournament. They turned to Rory “cryths” Ursell and with the enigmatic rifler they managed to place second to Owen “smooya” Butterfields mix.
eMasters narrowly missed out on ESEA playoffs last season and will be looking to prove that they are still a dangerous opponent even after the recent changes. The core of the team took part in both succesful LAN placements which has no doubt helped them to, find themselves above ROYALS in this months power ranking.
Much like ROYALS, If the team manages to put out some statement performances in ESL Premiership and make Advanced this season, they could find themselves climb the rankings swiftly.
#5 – 7AM
Oscar “LVN” Levin
Herman “1Knas” Hattevig
Mason “Vacancy” Haines
Zy “yz0” Esponilla
Leo “Silence” I
Luke “EMPEROR” Ingram (Coach)
After losing star AWPer William “zyyx” Sjögren there are no still unknowns about the LVN led team. They kept their Advanced spot and can hold their heads high with how they performed at Fragadelphia, unfortunately the bracket led them to face fellow UK team Dripmen meaning only one of them could make it to the main event.
7AM may not have the LAN win that eMasters have but currently, with the exception of their new AWPer Silence, their team has played against tougher competition having played last season in Advanced and having tested themselves against the North American ECL/Advanced competition at Fragadelphia.
7AM’s biggest strength arguably is they have a average age of under 20, similar to the majority of Academy teams, and while the pool of experts were asked to only consider current placement there is no doubt a chance of this team growing not only as a roster but as individuals and could very easily jump up the rankings in future months.
#4 – Dripmen
Fraser “Frazehh” Sollom
Richard “Zulu” Wood
Josh “JAUSTERE” Philpott
Kirk “Tadpole” Stephens
Matas “Extinct” Strumila
Cedric “Tome” Pas (coach)
Dripmen, formerly BLVKHVND, are one of the most intriguing teams in the scene at the moment. They also got the oppurtunity to go to Fragadelphia and test themselves against the North American ECL/Advanced level. Dripmen managed one better than 7AM as they qualified for the main event after beating their fellow UK side.
Coming back from their trip across the Atlantic the good news kept coming as after sneaking their way into Main playoffs they managed a impressive play off run to get themselves promoted to Advanced. After promotion the team made a couple of changes.
The team landed two players who have experience playing right at the top of the domestic scene in Tadpole and Extinct. Tadpole played with the previously undisputed number one UK team Into The Breach (on and off) for almost a year, August 2021- March 2022, and Extinct had spent three years with the, now viperio, former SOS core.
The experience and skill these two pickups provide Dripmen makes for a exciting prospect, with them playing in Advanced and ESL Premiership the team will have plenty of chance to prove they deserve to be in the top three conversation.
#3-#1: The Top Dogs
Now we reach the final set of groupings, the top three, as previously stated there is close competition up and down the rankings and the top three is no different. The top three teams were unanimous, and the top team was also placed there by every single member of the pool asked, however there was a mixture of order for the other two teams in the top two.
#3 – Viperio
Marco “MMS” Salomone
Javier “Ping” Griffiths
Tom “arTisT” Clarke
Jack “Gizmy” von Spreckelsen
Callum “Girafffe” Jones
Ciaran “biscu” King (Coach)
SOS have found themselves a home and with it they brought back former player Ping. Signing with Viperio has given the team the oppurtunity to play almost full time, as MMS stated when he joined the team, which is a rare but important opportunity for the UK scene.
At the time of gathering peoples rankings, Viperio had yet to start their ESL Premiership journey and so their upset win over ITB was not taken into account when placing them. Still it is clear that the scene has faith in this new lineup as they sit in third place this month despite barely having played a game at the point of ranking.
It will be MMS‘s first test at the Advanced level but Viperio will look to be fighting for playoffs alongside Dripmen, 1PIN and ITB. The team also are playing in ESL Premiership Autumn, in a tough group alongside ITB, 7AM and MMS’ former team eMasters.
The freshness of the team and the lack of games together is what led them to miss out on a top two finish for the month, however, having shown promising results in their early showings they will look to battle for the top spots in the coming months.
#2 – 1PIN
Ryan “dox” Young
Oliver “leaf” Jackson
Oscar “AZUWU” Bell
Tobias “shyyne” Sæther
Kristian “Krs7N” Mladenov
Sam “wilksyy” Wilks (Coach)
1PIN were the UK success story of the summer, great runs in a number of Cash Cups which included a all UK battle against Into The Breach and a top 32 run in the first RMR open qualifier managed to get some very keen eyes on the young team.
I think i speak for the entire scene when i say it is baffling how they are still unsigned, the teams potential if they could play full-time would be exponentially greater than what it is whilst they are restricted by ‘real-life’ commitments. The teams inability to find support was part of the the reasoning behind them losing one of their star riflers Andrew “wolfie” Allan.
They have gone from being the team that looked to be challenging ITB for the top spot in the UK, when talking about majority UK cores, to having to look over their shoulder at the teams chasing them. It is not entirely the teams fault though as a large part of the questions that have sprung up have been their lack of reps in the past months, they have one HLTV match on record since September a 0-2 loss to JiJieHao International in a Cash Cup.
With the team Competing in ESL Premiership already proving they can hang with the dominant Endpoint in a super close 14-16 loss against the resident Regional Champions in their opening match. 1PIN will be gunning for playoffs in both ESEA and ESL Prem, and will look to remind the scene why they were on everyones minds over the Summer.
Sidenote, someone please sign these guys.
#1 – Into The Breach
Adam “Adam9130” Ahmad
Cai “CYPHER” Watson
William “dobbo” Dobson
Alfred “RuStY” Karlsson
William “draken” Sundin
Gustavo “juve” Alexandre (Coach)
The first UK team since Endpoint to break into the HLTV top 50, Into The Breach’s signing of former NIP AWPer draken was seen as a statement from the org. They were ready to take the next step in progression and challenge for the top 30.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the team since though, at times they have shown glimpses of form that would put them easily in the top 30 conversation but the problem comes from the lack of consistency in those results and displays. Despite this they were still unanimously voted as the number one UK core, and will look to steady the ship in this season of Advanced and ESL Prem.
Into The Breach are one of the most active UK sides in terms of HLTV games and finding consistent Online European tournaments to participate in, something the UK has lacked for years. ITB will no doubt not be satisfied with their recent up and down form, and if things dont improve it will not be a shock for them to make changes going into the new year.
So there are the top 10 UK teams for this month compiled from the votes of our pool of experts, i think it is worth re-iterating just how close and competitive a lot of these teams are to each other and i wouldnt be surprised to see some shifts come next month.