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ESEA S14 CS:GO IM Power Rankings - Week 1

b "verizon" r on Sun, 05/19/2013 11:11PM

Welcome all to the second season of CS:GO Intermediate! I'm Brian "verizon" Rank and I'll be doing the CS:GO Intermediate power rankings this season, like I did last season.

The preseason power rankings are my educated opinion of the strength of the teams in intermediate this season, based on not only the past season's results, but off-season roster changes, experience, and perceived individual talent. I would like to think that I know what I'm doing, as I'm familiar with most of the players and teams in intermediate this season. However, this season's preseason rankings is probably the hardest one I've had to do in my 3 seasons of coverage, as the top open/im teams from last season were all moved to main, leaving a group of teams significantly harder to rank than last season of intermediate, when it only consisted of the top teams in open. With that being said, this ranking will probably not be as accurate as the ones coming up after that, so take what's here with a grain of salt, and don't be too upset if your team isn't where you expect it to be!

Without further ado, here are your preseason rankings for the first season of intermediate for ESEA CS:GO, and I hope you all have a great and competitive season!


ESEA CS:GO S14 Intermediate - Week 1 Power Rankings




TEAMRANKCOMMENTS

Simplify
Central
3-13-0 (.188)
Streak L6
1. Last season, I put SIMPLIFY at the top of the preseason rankings. They ended up going 7-9 and not even making the playoffs. This season, they are coming back with the exact same roster, and I'm putting them in the exact same spot at the exact same time. The reasoning for this is simple - SIMPLIFY is a much better team than the record they had last season. Last season, they pugged out the season, as most of the players on the team didn't have any passion for the game and as such didn't put as much time as they needed into practice. Not only that, but the division was also a lot more competitive last season, with most of the top teams currently now playing in either main or invite. With it being summertime, I expect SIMPLIFY to put some more time into the game and be in the shape they were when they placed 7th in open 2 and 2nd in source main 2 seasons ago (with still the exact same roster they have now). Schedule wise, SIMPLIFY actually has a pretty challenging schedule for their first 6 matches. However, this schedule will allow me to accurately gauge whether or not SIMPLIFY actually deserves this ranking. Either way, this team is definitely expected to be a contender this season (at least by me), and they will be if they put their mind to it.

PTW: biggs


SapphireKelownaDotCom
Central
5-11-0 (.312)
Streak L5
2. SK had a disappointing end to the playoffs last season, taking the champions DB9K to 16-14 in a closely contested match on mill in which they were up 13-7? at one point. If they won that match, they essentially could have guaranteed themselves a main spot, and wouldn't have found themselves in the powerrankings here in lowly intermediate. However, it wasn't meant to be, and they were later bounced out of the playoffs by the 4th place team in open last season, savage. In this offseason, SK redid their roster, bringing in my two least favourite brothers azn and yogurt to replace 4sh0t and ryno. While I don't think either player is an upgrade from 4sh0t in themselves, the duo has been playing with each other since they were born, and bring with them good chemistry to a team that was already pretty good before. That, combined with a pretty easy schedule for their first 6 matches, should have them start off the season on a high note.

PTW: yogurt


Eckomirage
Central
6-10-0 (.375)
Streak L2
3. Lzuruha just barely missed the cut for main, placing 13th-16th in the playoffs last season after narrowly being eliminated on nuke by the 3rd place finishers Momentus. I personally thought it was quite strange for them to part ways with one of their starters, ai, a week before the playoffs began. Whether or not that would have made in a difference in their eventual placing can only be speculation at this point, but either way, this team is pretty good. During the offseason, Lzuruha only made one roster change, bringing in FugLy to replace NAOT4R, which I would personally say is an upgrade. In all honesty, this team is probably a main caliber team, and shouldn't have any problems getting to the playoffs this season if they stay alive. With 2 or 3 hard matches to start off their season, they can demonstrate to me if my faith in putting them this high is justified or not.

PTW: FugLy



i see you
East
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
4. Something which seems to be the trend in my power rankings is pointing how many good individual players a team has. In the case of The Inactives, most of the players on this team has been a top statistical player in one division or another at least once during their counter-strike careers. In my non-professional opinion, this is probably the team with the most stacked roster talent-wise in intermediate this season. However, as it is in the case for any team sport or game, the team with the best individual talent might not be the best team in the field. While I feel like this team has just as good of a shot at winning the division as whoever I put above them, none of the players have had much success recently in terms of actually winning much in GO. Most of the players here had a disappointing end to their season last season, and is trying to use this season to mend their disappointment. I can see this team winning 13+ matches in the regular season, but their true test will be come playoff time.

PTW: oxide



goLLy deluxe
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
5. With 7 paid, and talc most likely not just sitting on the roster to roster ride, I'm not exactly sure who is starting for goLLy this season. While the core of the group has played with each other for 5 or 6 seasons now, they always seem to switch their roster up by one or two players every season, while still remaining competitive. This time, they are using the roster previously occupied by azn/yogurt & crew, and replacing it with deka/zig & the original goLLy crew. Regardless of who they decide to play, this team has a roster filled with players that can compete above the intermediate level. Their schedule is probably edging on the side of hard, but if they can play at the level of the individual players on the team, I don't expect anything less than a top 5 finish this season.

PTW: coco


Boreal eSports
Central
9-7-0 (.562)
Streak L1
6. Vae Victis is back for another season of intermediate, using a different roster than they used last season when they just barely missed the playoffs in intermediate. While I'm not exactly sure why the team decided to implode last season when they essentially already earned themselves a spot in main (and ended up losing early on in the playoffs in open...), it's not in my position to judge their decisions. However, what I do know is that the core of d00m and Romulus is back together, bringing with them 3 new teammates for another shot at main. Is this an upgrade from the team they had last season? I don't really think so. However, the competition has also been downgraded, and as a top 10 group for all of last season, I can only hope they can play to their level and be a top 5 team this season against lesser competition. Whatever the case is, Vae Victis has a pretty easy schedule to start off the season, and is looking to be in good shape to actually make the playoffs this season.


PTW: sLi


canceR
East
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
7. Using last season's Vae Victis roster (which should be in main...), canceR brings together a lot of good french-canadian players that haven't played with each other a whole lot on ESEA. Does that mean that they won't be good? Absolutely not! Otherwise I wouldn't have placed them so high in the power rankings, duh! This is one of the teams this season that I can't really predict early on, as these guys haven't really played with each other much before in the seasons that I've paid attention to. However, I can't doubt the amount of individual talent on this team, and just based on that alone, I have confidence that they should be able to take this roster to main, which is something that should have been done last season.

PTW: hRL



Wizards Never Die
East
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
8. The team known as HAMMERTIME last season is back for another season of intermediate, after a disappointing 7-9 record last season. The roster was completely re-hauled during the offseason, with the only returning starter being PapaSmurf323. He decided to bring along syN, JonjoN, wizdumb, and dem into the fold, making this roster significantly better than the team they had last season. If scrims are any indication of how a team will do, Wizards Never Die will probably end up placing top 5. However, that usually doesn't end up being the case, and as this is the first time that most of these players have played with each other on a team, this group's chemistry during match-time is still yet to be seen. However, I'm pretty confident that they'll definitely improve on their 7-9 record last season.

PTW: syn



Mostly Harmless
Central
2-2-0 (.500)
Streak L1
9. I think this might be the 3rd or 4th consecutive season that I've had to write about CyberRev, but it is what it is, and here they are again, back in my division. As usual, CyberRev made very few roster changes during the offseason, bring in wieBz and nsKb to replace triq (not exactly sure who is starting with the current players on their roster). With these minimal roster changes, this places them somewhere around this spot, if they manage to play to their full potential. As one of those teams that always has a chance to win but never actually end up winning it all, 9th might be a generous ranking. However, as the first time in which this team no longer has source as a distraction, they might actually go above and beyond what they've done in GO previously, being able to dedicate all their time to this game and all. Sometimes I miss the days when my good friend Joshua Nissan graced this team with his presence, but even without him, CyberRev will still be a competitor.

PTW: LACOMBE


Exalt
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
10. During the offseason, Hackers Anonymous finally decided to clean house, getting rid of the 25 people sitting on the roster. After that, EpOxx decided to bring on some more source talents on board, including Madcock (probably best individual aim in IM), halfrican, and kty. This should probably help stabilize this roster, considering that their biggest downfall last season was not having their starting 5 show up every match, with 16 different players playing at least a match for this team. In my honest opinion, the loss of oxide is a big blow for this team (even though he isn't nearly as good as GO as he is in source). Luckily, his replacement, Madcock, is probably just as good, if not better. If this team doesn't have the same roster troubles as they had last season, I can see them rising from this ranking rapidly in the coming weeks.

PTW: Madcock



Limitless
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
11. As I stated above, this season of intermediate is significantly easier than last season of intermediate (which was probably equivalent to the normal difficulty of a main division for any game). As such, Limitless, which went 8-8 last season, is probably looking at finishing around this spot this season considering their entire roster is returning for another season. Not only that, but out of the 8 teams they lost to last season in the regular season, only 1 if them is returning to this division, which makes the outlooks for this team look even better. Limitless has the advantage of already having a season under their belt with the same group of players, and under the fearless leadership of underage CSGO phenom boshy, is looking to make that leap into main, something which they couldn't achieve last season.

PTW: boshy



Play to lose
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
12. There are 3 sure things in life: death, taxes, and anneX making the playoffs. However, the problem for this team is that every season there is a fourth element - not making it very far into the playoffs. Every season I see anneX make the playoffs in whatever division they play in (open, im, main, whatever), and every season they get eliminated before getting anywhere. Regardless of what players SuB decides to bring onto the team, I'm sure that they have enough skill to make it to the postseason another time, but I just doubt the team's ability to stay there for very long. If it goes as it has for the past 4 years, anneX will probably end up somewhere around this spot when all is said and done.

PTW: Dvo



- Geeks R Us -
West
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
13. Last season, Solace (aka gRu) started the season strong with 2 wins in their first week of matches, including a 16-1 beatdown of a very good maynes team. At that point, I considered this team a team to beat, and was excited to see my local BC friends taking it up a notch. They then proceeded to lose 8 matches in a row and be eliminated from playoff contention about as fast as I can down a plate of poutine from Triple-O's (which is very fast). Part of that was due to their extremely hard schedule, which only got easier at around the time they no longer had a shot at the playoffs. Part of that is probably due to their lack of practice and their opponents simply being better. They ended the season 6-10, which just barely allowed them to keep their intermediate spot for this season. However, like I have said before to other teams, this is a team which is much better than their record shows. That, plus the fact that this season is much easier than the last, should probably mean that this team won't end up losing 8 in a row at any point during the season. I don't expect a 16-0 drubbing of the division, but I do feel like this team has what is necessary to make the playoffs this time around.

PTW: Kshack



Infinium
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
14. I'm not going to do any math, but the average of the players on this team is probably somewhere around 47. Most of the players on this team have seen it all, and have been around for much longer than I have. That isn't to take anything away from their skill, considering GB ended up 3rd in intermediate last season, but the glory days have passed for many of the players on this team. With that said, Infinium still brings with them a lot of individual experience to the table, probably more than any of the other teams in the division, and that alone should be more than enough for them to grab a playoff birth which has been the norm for many of these guys for the past 10 years. Judging from performances from recent seasons, I can't consider this team to be a true contender for the championship. However, they should have more than enough in the tank to put up a good fight until the very end.

PTW: deppy


Rendezvous with Destiny
Central
6-10-0 (.375)
Streak L1
15. Volition was another team which severely disappointed me last season. Starting off the season 4-2, with a group of players with many seasons of main+ experience behind them, Volition was looking good to make the playoffs and get themselves back into the division they belong in. They then decided to only win 3 out of their next 10 matches, which dropped them to below .500 for the season, and out of playoff contention. For many of the players on Volition, that simply wasn't good enough. As such, the team has also decided to completely revamp the roster during the offseason, bringing in 4 new players in Rotaderp, jsd, Dankman, and Moscow. Aside from Moscow, all of these players have played main or higher, so all of the experience lost from the 4 players departing shouldn't be that much of a problem. However, another problem arises when you replace 4 old teammates with 4 new players, and that would obviously be team chemistry. These guys haven't played much together as a team with this current starting 5, so the place where I'm putting them right now is purely speculation based on individual experience and skill. If they play up to their individual level of play, this team is probably going to end up a bit higher than 15. However, they'll need to actually get there before I put them any higher.

PTW: jsd



iPerfection
Central
1-2-0 (.333)
Streak L2
16. Like some of the teams above, Mistral completely redid their roster during the offseason. The team parted ways with shinobi, wizdumb, and phroxen, and brought in declinedn1, plat, and patt1s to replace them. While I'm not exactly sure if this is a net upgrade or downgrade from the roster they had last season, I'd probably say that last season of open might actually have had harder competition as a whole than this season of intermediate. Not only that, but this team has been practicing quite a bit since getting this set starting 5, and is well on their way to taking the next step as a team. While I don't expect this Mistral to go 8-0 to start off the season like the last Mistral, they should ultimately end up with a better record than 8-8 like their predecessors.

PTW: patt1s





Honourable Mentions:


17
KICKBAN gaming
Central
0-16-0 (.000)
Streak L16
18
Selfless
Central
4-0-0 (1.000)
Streak W4
19
KING Gaming
Central
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
20
YouNg knowNie oN dA bE4T
East
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A
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