CS:GO Ranks or skill groups, is a way of pairing you with other players when playing in competitive matchmaking. It’s like the ELO rating, where you get a rating. Depending on your rating, you will be set up against players with the same rating/skills as yourself. If you keep winning against the other team, the system will notice and put you in a higher skill group. The algorithms for calculating the skill group is not known though, so how exactly you rank up is unknown. If you haven’t played competitive matchmaking yet, you will need to WIN 10 matches to be displayed in a skill group.
The ranks/skill groups are:
- The Global Elite
- Supreme Master First Class
- Legendary Eagle Master
- Legendary Eagle
- Distinguished Master Guardian
- Master Guardian Elite
- Master Guardian II
- Master Guardian I
- Gold Nova Master
- Gold Nova III
- Gold Nova II
- Gold Nova I
- Silver Elite Master
- Silver Elite
- Silver IV
- Silver III
- Silver II
- Silver I
Where The Global Elite contains the absolute best players in the world and Silver I is the not so experienced players.
The ranking method is as before mentioned unknown. But based on experience, we can tell you a little bit of how it works. Your rank can be increased or decreased every round. Loosing one round will normally not decrease your rank – the system is made so that over a period of time, you should on average win 50% of the time (this is based on players experience). If you keep loosing, the system will put you in a lower skill group.
Another thing to notice, is that winning against players in a higher skill group seems to benefit your rating more positively than winning against an equal skill group. Loosing against a lower skill group will then have a bigger negative impact on the rating. One thing I noticed, is that if you keep winning and being on top of the scoreboard, the system will put you against higher ranked players. In my opinion this is to test if you should be placed in a higher skill group before actually changing the skill group. This way, it will take longer to decrease or increase the rank. This is good IMO, because you will not be de-ranked for having a bad day and makes the system more consistent.
List of CS:GO Ranks
Competitive Skill Groups FAQ
The official FAQ.
Q. What is a Skill Group?
A. Like an Elo rating in Chess, the CS:GO competitive Skill Groups predict how well players will perform when playing against other players. Two equally skilled teams should, on average, win an equal number of matches when competing against each other.
Q. Where can I see my own Skill Group?
A. Once your Skill Group has settled and you have won 10 competitive matches, your Skill Group will be displayed on the main menu.
Q. Where are Skill Groups displayed?
A. Skill Groups are displayed in the main menu, in party lobbies, and in the match scoreboard (once the Skill Group has settled).
Q. When are Skill Group emblems shown in the party lobby?
A. Any player with a settled Skill Group will display it in lobbies to other players.
Q. I’m not a very good player. Should I still use competitive matchmaking?
A. Absolutely. Competitive matchmaking will match you with other players of similar skill, which is more likely to result in a fun match than jumping into a random game.
Q. Should I avoid partying with lower skilled friends because they will hurt my rating?
A. No. Firstly, the matchmaking system will take your lower-skilled friend into consideration when finding a match. And second, the system makes a prediction about how well each team member will perform in a match. So losing a match with a lower skilled player on your team is not likely to significantly impact your Skill Group. If you always play your best then your Skill Group will provide you with well matched teammates and opponents.
Q. How can you predict my skill in only winning 10 games?
A. When you play your first game, we have no idea what your skill is. As you play more games, we use those wins and losses to make predictions about what Skill Group we think you should be in. The more games you play, the more confident the system is in predicting who the other players are that you should be playing against. Winning 10 games gives us enough data to confidently place you in a Skill Group where we think you’ll be matched up with others matching your skill level.
Q. When are Skill Group emblems shown in the scoreboard?
A. Players with settled Skill Groups will display their emblem to their friends at all times. At the end of the match, after the last rematch, any player with a settled Skill Group will display it to everyone else.
Q. Why do I see a range of Skill Groups in the end-of-match scoreboard? Shouldn’t everyone in a match have the same Skill Group?
A. Most matches have a small range of Skill Groups represented. If you see a larger range of Skill Groups then it is likely that those players came into the match as a party.
On a side note, gaming-tools.com made a funny list of what the ELO ranks really means.