CSGO Ranks List 2019 (CSGO Ranking System Explained)

CSGO Rankings List
CSGO Ranks

CSGO Ranking System Explained

Whether you’re stuck in S1 or coasting smooth in GE, the ranking system of CSGO can be quite frustrating. Mainly because Valve neglects to inform players on their current standings, leaving us confused and annoyed, to say the least. This is especially true for beginners who are jumping headfirst into one of the most archaic ranking systems in eSports. 

But fear not! If you’re dedicated to climbing this incredibly steep hill, it is possible! It will just take a lot of practice and a very, very good headset (as well as a few other things). Read this article to learn all about the CSGO ranking system and pick up some tips that will help you rank up! 

Competitive Matchmaking: 

  • After reaching level 2, you can try Competitive Matchmaking. 
  • You’ll unlock Prime at level 21 or immediately upon purchase at the Steam Store. I highly suggest getting it to avoid hackers and smurfs!
  • After winning ten Competitive Matchmaking games, unlock your rank and begin the climb towards GE.

Ranking system explained:

  • The CSGO ranking system is based upon Elo. You know, that system by that Hungarian physics professor? For those of you who aren't familiar with Arpad Elo, that means the people you play with are in your skill group.
  • As you win and as you lose, your Elo is adjusted accordingly. 
  • Unfortunately, Valve fails to include a direct indicator towards a player’s next rank-up so pay attention to the ranks of players around you (these are displayed on the scoreboard at the end of your game). Surrounding ranks will give you a glimpse towards your current Elo standing.
    • Ex: if you are LE and you see six LEM players this might be an indicator that you are on the high end of your Elo and closer to ranking up. But if you are encountering mostly DMG and MGE players, this might be a sign that you are close to de-ranking. 
  • Furthermore, the Steam Community -and civilization as a whole- have learned winning is better than losing. So, don’t lose! Easy, right? 
  • Grand speculation also suggests MVP have a significant impact on your Elo standing. Meaning, someone who has received the most MVP that game might have a greater chance at ranking up after a win and a lesser chance of de-ranking if you lose. (This isn’t always true though). See the rank up section below on how to get MVP.

The Ranks List (lowest to highest):

Overall, there are 18 ranks -aside from professionals. Intimidating? It should be. But before you become too overwhelmed let’s consider dividing these ranks into 6 sub-categories, for convenience sake.


  • Silver I (S1)
  • Silver II (S2)
  • Silver III (S3)
  • Silver IV (S4) 
  • Silver Elite (SE) 
  • Silver Elite Master (SEM) 

The largest of all groups, Silvers are the lowest tier of CSGO. Generally, they are there… most of the time. They’ve probably played at least one First Person Shooter before and have basic mechanics down but struggle with communication, game sense, teamwork… alright, fine they struggle with everything but if they play enough and stop aiming at the ground, they’re sure to see the light of gold one day. 

Gold Nova

  • Gold Nova (GN)
  • Gold Nova II (GN2)
  • Gold Nova III (GN3)
  • Gold Nova Master (GNM)

The captains of can't clutch, Gold Nova’s have a stronger game sense than Silver’s but their inability to communicate and lack of teamwork inevitably leaves them stuck here. Perhaps if one day they decide to start making those call-outs before they die rather than after and actually practice before they dive into competitive matchmaking they might actually find themselves improving rather than muttering a, "my teammates suck". 

Master Guardian

  • Master Guardian (MG)
  • Master Guardian II (MG2)
  • Master Guardian Elite (MGE)
  • Distinguished Master Guardian (DMG) 

If you’ve made it to the MG’s you’ve developed some pretty strong communication and your game sense isn't half bad either. Unfortunately, your teamwork and map awareness is still quite flawed. Sure, you can secure site but that isn't necessarily helpful when bomb carrier is on the other side of the map, now is it? But hey, at least you can clutch a round. 


  • Legendary Eagle (LE)
  • Legendary Eagle Master (LEM)

If you fall into this category your dedication to Counter-Strike is impressive. You know how to send a lethal flash over A-Long and you’ve honed map awareness, however, the inability to function as a whole unit is a major weakness. Of course, it’s great your flashbang helped you get two kills but when you lose three teammates in the process because you forgot to call it out, there’s a major problem in your communication. 


  • Supreme Master First Class (SMFC) 

The awkward middle child between LEM and GE, you’re the player whose skills are honed but you’re just not as serious about Competitive Matchmaking as GE players. You’re forgotten by most people and simply raked in with Legendary’s. But, I think you should be recognized as your own category. After all, you're in the top 2% of all CSGO players and that's a major accomplishment. 


  • Global Elite (GE)

From game mechanics to map awareness, Global Elite players are the true masters of CSGO. Being among the top .6% of CSGO Competitive Matchmaking players isn’t easy and your dedication is noticed. You've put in your practice, Valve is awarding you an honorary communications degree, and you could get from spawn to site with your eyes closed. You are the epitome of CSGO and you should probably go outside. 

How to rank up, fast:

  • Win consistently -without losing.
  • Learn to communicate. 
  • Work together. 
  • Change your crosshair. 
  • Practice before trying Competitive Matchmaking.
  • Don’t let your rank expire.
  • Get MVP. 

Competitive Matchmaking FAQ: 

Can non-Prime members still play Competitive Matchmaking? 

  • Yes. However, I highly suggest getting Prime before trying Competitive Matchmaking. You are more likely to encounter smurfs and hackers if you do not have it.

How do I get Prime status? 

How do I reach level 21? 

  • Play game modes like Danger Zone, Deathmatch and Casual. The better you do, the more XP you will receive. 

Can I rank up off a tie? 

  • Yes. You can rank up off wins and ties.

Will my rank ever reset? 

  • Yes and no. Your rank will disappear after four weeks if you do not play Competitive Matchmaking but you will most likely be placed lower than your previous rank after placing it again. 

Are ESEA and FaceIt better than CSGO Competitive Matchmaking? 

  • Yes but they're also much more difficult. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these, ESEA and FaceIt are anti-cheater clients for CSGO. They also have a very direct ranking system which helps players keep track of their current standing. 
  • Before trying either of these, I highly suggest toughing out Competitive Matchmaking and giving yourself some practice. 


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If Haylz isn't playing games, she's probably tending to the basic needs of human survival.
Gamer Since: 1996
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: CSGO
Top 3 Favorite Games:Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fallout: New Vegas

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