The Updated Ranking System for CS: GO

This close to winter update for Counter Strike: Global Offensive has manipulated the ranks of those in the Counter Strike community for almost a month now and Valve has not touched with the matter. On December 18, 2015, Reddit user EquivelantCS posted saying that he had noticed a change in the ranking system. Valve employee Brian Lev responded to this accusation on Reddit with this statement.

We did initiate a slow shift of the Skill Group boundaries recently, due to an increase in players and a substantial upward drift over time in the skill groups distribution. While this won’t impact the quality of your matches (you are matched based on an underlying rank value and not the visible Skill Group), many players will experience a change in their Skill Group as the distribution returns to a bell curve centered approximately at Gold Nova 4. We also shipped a recent update that will automatically monitor and maintain consistency of the players skill groups distribution. That should eliminate the need to make such disruptive boundary adjustments in the future.”

EquivelantCS had been the rank Distinguished Master Guardian and over the course of two weeks his rank has dropped significantly because of the change. The game has a very unique set of ranks seen in this set below.


Valve put this update into motion because they believed that the higher ranks in the game were too easy to achieve. As some may agree with this, there are a lot of bad things about this as well. People from all over the CS community have been saying that they will win ten games in a row and not rank up, but when it comes to losing one game you will de-rank. Valve has also said that they have created a new internal system for most of the ranks like the game League Of Legends has done. For example, you can be Legendary eagle master, but there are sub ranks dividing that rank into separate smaller ranks ranging from division 1, 2, 3, and 4.

These subdivisions will divide people into their own rank in the rank that they are in (if that makes sense). So as you may be distinguished master guardian, you will have to play enough to achieve a higher sub-rank in or to rank up to the next division.

On the left you will see the average rank of people before the update in November 18th of 2015. On the right you will see the massive drop in ranks dating from January 11th 2016.


In spite of all the negativity that has been appointed to Valve developers, there has been a ray of light that has not yet been emphasized. The Valve developers have found a way to rid all the bad players out of the game and replace them with good ones. All of the gold nova masters that should be in silver are now being flushed out of Nova Master.

By Giovanni Quintana-Sanchez