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When does Tier 2 end and when does Tier 1 start?

Discussion: When does a team enter Tier 1 status?

Topic: Discussion - CS:GO Tier 1/2

It’s an ongoing argument of what makes teams Tier 1. Is it Top 15? Top 10? Top 5? What metrics should we argue for when Tier 2 ends and Tier 1 starts?

That and more will be discussed in this article, where I will also present my argument for how we should argue this topic in the future. We invite each one of you to take part in that discussion on our Social Media!

  puffin   Andy

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There are several layers to this discussion, but a good place to start is to say that Tier 1 teams should be in general the top 10 teams in the world! But there are dimensions and a big skill discrepancy within these 10 teams.

Sometimes there are teams outside of the top 10, who haven’t got their points after a player change to place them into the top 10, or teams good enough for Tier 1 LANs, but not ranked in the top 10. And other times there are teams within the top 10, who are not good enough to be qualified as a Tier 1 team. These dimensions within Tier 1 go all the way from the title contenders to the dark horses, outliers, and ranked but not top teams.


These four categories can be divided into four ranks: S, A, B, C as shown on the picture above. This will create new, more nuanced discussions. Instead of the classical conversations of what teams are in what Tier, this will lead to discussions within Tier 1 of the level of the different teams and you can set criteria to see if the teams can be justified to be in Tier 1, or if they are in Tier 2.

This also leads to Tier 1 being dynamic, where it can be less than 10 teams as well that are available to be in Tier 1, which again will create goals and focus points for the teams to strive towards. Buzzwords aside, what achievements should be considered when assessing a teams skill level? The first point is the results: Have they achieved satisfying results during a longer period? Have they beaten better teams consistently or has it been one-offs?

The second point is the actual gameplay on the server, are they passing the eye-test? Assess the individuals of the team, is there a clearly defined star player amongst them, and how good is this star player on a micro level? What about the supporting structure on the server, are the pieces good enough to facilitate the star players? What style are they playing? Is the IGL having a big impact on the game, both calls and fragging wise?

The third point goes hand in hand with the prior two, which is the experience of playing in high stakes games under pressure and at LAN. Have the players had the trial by fire? Have the overcome the hurdle of gaining experience and results in high stakes games? Can they perform under this pressure?

Concluding words

At this point it is more philosophical for the criteria and where the real discussion can begin. Are there some points that need to be assessed as well? What criteria would you set to define the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams?

We would love to create a little discussion amongst our readers on social media and invite each one of you to take part in them! Share your point on what teams should be considered "Tier-1" and how they should be categorized!

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