With the final minor of 2019 in the books, there have been some big shifts in the top-ten. How high will Liquid's dominant win push them? Will SSG make it back into the top ten? Read below to find out!
1. Team Empire (-)
Empire remains on top of the Siege world after winning back-to-back titles this year at Pro League in Milan and the Major in Raleigh. The only thing that could shake them from the top spot before the upcoming Six Invitational is a collapse in their online performance combined with Navi continuing their strong form into Season 11. The Invitational will be their biggest test yet and will determine whether their best days are behind them, or if Siege has entered a new era of Empire's dominance.
Placements: (last six months)
2. Natus Vincere (+1)
Na'Vi moves up a spot in the ranking, claiming the spot of their European rival G2 Esports. The team has been on an upward trajectory since their entrance to Pro League just at the beginning of Season 10. After winning a title in their inaugural season, the British squad is now the second team in a row to win the League in their first-ever Professional season (Empire in Season 9). Navi does not seem to have slowed down since adding Pie as a stand-in for Doki following his game ban and look to compete for a world title at the Six Invitational.
3. Team Liquid (+5)
Liquid's rank of 3rd marks the highest a LATAM team has achieved since FaZe Clan's run to 2nd Place in the Season 8 finals last year. Their run has silenced many doubters, who questioned the team's true level after several prominent finishes were met with narrow misses online, which resulted in a failure to reach the biggest tournaments of the year. Even so, Liquid has proven they can hang with the best on LAN, with this roster earning a top-three placement at each of the three minors they attended this year, as well as taking home a trophy in Brazil's national league: the BR6. Going into the invitational the team looks to improve upon their top-eight finish from last year, where they fell to runners-up Team Empire in a closely contested quarter-final.
4. G2 Esports (-2)
After being the dominant, dynastic team of the past two years, G2 appears to be falling to new lows never before seen from this core. Struggling to mimic their traditionally strong LAN showings online for the majority of 2019, the team's run to the grand final of the Raleigh Major appeared to be a sign that the team could get back on track. Unfortunately, their Major run seems to be the exception to the new rule: G2 were eliminated in the group stage of DreamHack Montreal, and after making a controversial roster change by swapping Goga for Cryn, exited in the first round of the OGA PIT Minor with a stunning upset loss to a new-look MIBR.
Now, the team must regroup for the Six Invitational online qualifiers. This marks their last chance at reaching the event to defend their World Championship title, a statement that would've been unthinkable just a year ago after the team had won their third consecutive major.
5. DarkZero Esports (-1)
DZ remains North America's best team after finishing second at the Pro League Finals in Japan. After a long run of strong online performances, they have finally translated that success to LAN, and look to continue the momentum next week at the US Nationals Finals. The team's drop is a result of their two roster changes immediately following their high placing, but with a strong showing in their LAN debut, they can easily regain their position.
6. Team SoloMid (+3)
TSM remains the most enigmatic team in the top-ten, after a series of strong placements in the summer capped off with a win at DreamHack Montreal, the team made a roster change and returned to mediocre form during the second split of NA Pro League. Especially with even newer roster changes, it is unclear what their level will be like going into USN and Season 11.
7. Team Secret (-2)
Team Secret drops two spots in the ranking after an upset loss to Luminosity in the first round of the OGA PIT Minor. After a run of strong performances in the summer, the team appears to be cooling off. If the team does not place well in the Invitational qualifiers (no easy feat given the strength of the European field), they won't have an opportunity to gain points for the next several months, and decay from their finishes at the Allied Minor and Raleigh Major are going to start accelerating rapidly, which could see Secret knocked out of the top-ten entirely.
8. Spacestation Gaming (+3)
Spacestation made a statement with their return to form at the OGA PIT Minor. The team, who has been one of the most hyped rosters in NA after their acquisition of Canadian from EG following the Raleigh Major, had yet to really show their strength, with their initial LAN showing at DreamHack Montreal ending with a mediocre top-eight finish and an unimpressive online season. Despite this, the team managed to grind their way through the Minor, eventually ending with a 2nd place finish in Croatia. USN next weekend will determine if the squad can truly compete with top-tier competition, as a first-round matchup with NA favorites DarkZero looms large.
9. forZe (-3)
forZe fell three places as their achievements at the Raleigh Major begin to decay, and the team's failure to reach the OGA PIT Minor. There were extenuating circumstances that prevented a greater drop (forfeit map 2 of the third-place play-in game, forced to play map 3 with a stand-in), but despite this, forZe needs to again prove that they can contend with the best in Europe. Their opportunity is the upcoming Six Invitational qualifier, which will send one final team to next year's world championship (except a possible invite to a single, final team who does not qualify). Success in this will see forZe regain their status as a top European team.
10. Giants Gaming (-3)
Giants continue their freefall after a disappointing loss to heavy underdogs Aerowolf at the Season 10 Pro League Finals. The team is already qualified for the Six Invitational and so did not play in the OGA PIT Minor (or its qualifiers), nor will they play in the online qualifiers in the coming weeks. Giants' benching longtime support player Alphama also cost the European squad points. Their next chance to prove their strength as a team will be the first split of Season 11, but without a strong showing at the Six Invitational, the 'LAN Curse' will continue to loom over the shoulders of Giants.