CSGO Elo Guide

Everything about the CS GO Matchmaking system
There was and still is a big discussion about the Matchmaking and Elo System in Counterstrike Global Offensive.
Today I want to talk about it in detail, how I think you can rank up faster and why.

Let’s check out how it works! bizeps

About me: I won about 800 ranked CS GO matches and at the moment im ranked as DMG (Distinguished Master Guardian). See all CS GO Ranks here.
In my opinion I am not an extremly good player & the most DMG’s or even MG’s are better than me, but I follow easy rules to rank up. With my history of games I feel confident in giving a judgement about the CS GO Elo. If you disagree on something make a comment.

Have Fun Reading. 8)

About the CS GO Matchmaking Elo system

What is Elo?
Elo means, to evaluate the players skill due to his performance in game. In most of PvP Online Games different Elo’s are used. The Elo-System was originally defined in chess.

What is Glicko-2?
Maybe you already heard of Glicko-2 before?
It is a rating system that is used in CS GO, just like the Elo from chess but it goes deeper and adds two more variables:

  • The ratings deviation defines how much a player moves away from his actual rank. The more you play the more precise the RD value gets and it gets lower. If you don’t play a long time the RD increases.
  • The rating volatility (RV) defines how constantly a player is. A more constant play means a lower RV.

This means Valve is not just taking the standart values, they add more numbers & attributes to the calculation to be more accurate. Of course the Glicko-2 Elo system is just the base and Valve adapted more things, Counterstrike Global Offensive is a complex game with a a lot of aspects to consider.

What Valve says about the CS GO Elo
Valve is taking care which information they give out to the players, to prevent them from abusing the system.
Here is a quote from the CS GO Game Developer Vitaliy Genkin:

“For Competitive, we built a CS GO-specific competitive ranking system that is significantly different and more complex than Elo. The CS GO competitive ranking system started with ideas based on Glicko-2 rating model and improved over time to better fit the CS GO player base.

All computations are performed on our matchmaking backend and multiple matchmaking parameters describing scientific set of rating variables of a player are represented to players as a their Skill Group. You should be able to find papers on rating systems involving rating volatility and rating deviations online to get a better idea about why our complex competitive matchmaking parameters cannot be represented as a single numeric value.”

Let’s see what we can get out of it to get a better understanding how it works.

The big challenge for Valve
Valve wants to keep players away from the objective to just play for the uprank, because then players just focus on how to win and disregard teamplay and of course to just have fun. Also they prevent the community from CS GO Boosting, where higher players try to get worse players up to higher ranks fast. This is a real problem in every matchmaking system, because it dislocates the real rank and Elo basis of a player.

But hey of course we want to know how we can rank up fast, as this is our main showcase to represent ourselves in CS GO.

Basics about the CS GO ranks
I wrote a complete guide about the CS GO ranks here (everything about the skill groups).

Here is a quick summary:

  • In total there are 18 CS GO ranks.
  • The 18 ranks can be summed up into 4 tiers of player types (Silvers, Novas, MGs and the Elite).
  • 32% of all players are Silvers, 35% are Novas, 20% are MGs and 13% belong to the Elite.
  • Reaching Gold Nova 3 already means to be better than average.
  • Trough the playstyle and tactics players can increase their rank a lot!

The big question about the CS GO Elo

  • Is CS GO Elo real, or is it just trash talk of some users who can’t deal with the matchmaking system?
  • What is really working to rankup? How should I behave?
  • Are 18 ranks enough if the Elo can have such a a different value?

Let’s put some light on to these questions…

Connection between the CS GO Elo and the ranks

So, what is the connection between the CS GO Elo and the ranks?

  • CS GO ranks are that what you see in your profile. It is a fix value. One rank out of 18 which is assigned to your account. That’s it. Based on that rank you can move up and down.
  • CS GO Elo is a value behind the rank, which can deviate strongly from the actual rank. Your latest performance will be calculated through the CS GO Elo until it has enough impact to lead to an upgrade or downgrade of the CS GO rank. Players with a totally different rank can be queued against each other.
    Example: A Silver guy who won a lot of hard matches in a row, can have the same Elo points as a Gold Nova or Master Guardian player and there is a possibility that they will meet each other in a ranked match.

How to Rank Up in CS GO?

Placement matches
How important are the placement matches in CS GO?
Many people underestimate the value of the placement matches.
The player SexyNoodle is showing these points, with which I agree:

  • Placement matches are important, it is much harder to change the rank later, than defining it early in the CS GO placement matches. Try to reach the highest first rank that you can get!
  • The 3-4 first placement matches are the most important, they show the system in which tier you should play.
  • Making only few kills is bad, you will get a better first rank, when making a lot of kills/MVP stars.
  • Many people start ranked too early, better train before you jump directly into placement matches.

In total it’s easy: If you win more than you lose you gonna rank up – but there is more than that…
People rank up and down in situations they don’t know why or often it is just not consistent or reproducible.

  • Fact 1: You can rank up with a win or a draw.
  • Fact 2: You can rank down with a defeat or a draw.
  • Fact 3: You can rank up and down multiple ranks at once, if you win vs higher ranked enemies.

Some People in the forums told they even ranked down with a win – if this is true the chance is of course really really low and this should not happen to you! But let’s go deeper.

What counts in CS GO Matchmaking?

  • Amount of won and lost Rounds (Highest Impact)
  • Win the game
  • MVP-Stars Count (Most Valuable Player of a round)
  • Getting kicked (very bad)
  • KDA Count (kill / death / assist)
  • Placement in the team (Position 1-5)
  • Winstreaks / Losestreaks
  • Time of beeing offline (decay)
  • Leaving a game
  • Shooting accuracy

How to rank up in CS GO:
Which Conditions are most important in CS GO and how can I rank up as fast as I can? crown
I created an empiric priority list what counts most:
Important to Rank Up:

  • 1. Win games with a high amount of won rounds (Example: 16-0 is GOOD, 16-14 is BAD)
  • 2. MVP-Ratio (defuse bombs, Get the most kills, get more stars)
  • 3. Learn! The worst thing you can do is, to stay on your level.
    Learn with our CS GO Guides and use the best CS GO configs!
    Are you a CS GO Beginner or an experienced CS GO player who needs pro tips?

Not so important but it can help:

  • 4. KDA-Ratio (Example: 30-4-4 is GOOD, 10-25-0 is BAD)
  • 5. Placement (Beeing on position 1 is not too important, but this brings a better KDA, MVP and Win-Rate anyway so this should be your goal)

What happens if I leave or get kicked?
What is the effect of surrendering to my Elo points?
Surrendering is quite good if you are leading. At the exact time of when you quit, CS GO is calculating the new rank update based on the won rounds, kills and MVPs of the match. This means sometimes it could be the best thing to just leave the game. Example: There is a troll player that tells you he will go afk on purpose or ruin the game. Or 1 or 2 others players are out. If you are leading, you could surrender and take the positive Elo points.

Getting kicked is really bad: You will get an Elo/Rank update when the game is finished and not at the time when you get kicked. This means the game counts every won or lost round and counts all played rounds as if you are AFK, this means every round you make 0 kills, 0 deaths and 0 assists. A very very bad statistic for the Elo and your team will probably lose more rounds with only 4 players.

What happens on Tie or Draw?
A tie or draw means that both teams won the same amount of rounds: The won rounds are the most important thing and since the difference is zero, there is not much impact. The only impact gives the amount of kills, MVPs and other stuff. You can get a promotion or demotion with a draw!

Things you should NOT do:

  • Complaining about the CS GO matchmaking system and telling all people how bad the system is, does not help at all. Don’t act as a victim, better abuse the rules and profit from them to boost the Elo.
  • Playing CS GO with that one Friend:
    Also you should decide wisely with WHO you play. Impatient, loud or unconstant skilled people are poison for your career! 😀 Play alone or with the right people.
    I have more fun playing with friends usually, BUT I feel that it’s bad for my rank often. 😀 If you play in team, it feels like no matter what happens, just the win counts. We rank up and down at the same time (while having different ranks). This sucks! One of my Friends is always Place 5 and has a low KDA & MVP and I am place 1 or 2 but nothing seem to matter. After a while now, we are in the same Rank Group, but in reality there is a huge gap between our skill…

    Check here which CS GO player type you are.

Contrary opinions and theories
The CS GO player RetriButioN posted his theories about the Elo system and claimed that only MPV’s count. CS GO Matchmaking is just based on a round-by-round basis, with a redetermined expected winner, which is safe. This theory could explain why it is possible to derank after a won match. Valve dispelled that claim, that this is the case, there are definetly more factors.

Extra Tips and Tricks for CSGO Ranked Matches

Here are the things you SHOULD DO! crown
Check your playstyle and try to improve it and make it smarter. Of course it depends on the invidual habits, but I can really recommend the following stuff:

Always try to get better
No matter how good you are, always try to do the smartest thing you could do now, to get better and better. Get a full understanding of the game mechanics and use them for yourself, learn from our CS GO guides and configs and step up the game to the next level! Don’t settle at a rank, try to reach the next one!!!

Freshness FTW
What if I told you, you can rank up faster if you play less? Well that could be an issue. I checked my habits and found myself sometimes playing a ranked match late at night. What do you think was my winning percentage in these games? Wasn’t too good. xD I realized how bad I play when im tired and how fast I lose the concentration to the game and tab out beeing afk watching youtube.
I found that I have my best performance when I wake up in the morning (yes, I play before work xD ).

Warmup before you play
Do not jump directly into ranked matches. Join a quick 5 minute public session on any server or gungame match. Then decide about your daily performance, sometimes you feel that no one can beat you and you are full of fire and motiviation – and then there are these days where you can’t hit a static target. Maybe you better log out and watch some netflix or play tetris. xD

How to deal with flamers in CS GO
CS GO is full of retards, game ruiners and flamers!
…Well everyone of us can get a bit hysteric and our private circumstances can trigger such things.
Fact is: In the upper ranks are less flamers & ruiners than in the lower ranks.
This means on the one hand, don’t be a part of the ruiners, it will easily destroy your Elo & on the other hand get to the higher ranks to escape from the ruiners.

Now if there is a guy who wants to absolutely make you lose & is raging and teamkilling, the first rule is to not care at all. Just make the best out of it.
Sometimes playing with less players than the enemies and winning rounds can be extremly motivating, can turn things and lead to a winning streak of many rounds. At that time many ruiners get picked up and play normal again.
Do not flame back or react, because it reduces your focus and concentration. Better take the lead and do some commands for the rest of the players to show that you totally ignore him. There are different psychology methods, read more about how to deal with flamers in our advanced guide section.

Does the CS GO Elo system work?

Is the CS GO Elo matchmaking system good, does it work?

Definetely yes.

The most of us love the CS GO Matchmaking and the Elo system behind it. It makes so much fun to try to rank higher and higher. And it’s also big fun to bully friends who suck and rank down! xD

In my opinion when taking a look on to the steam friendlist, then we all can see:
Yes the most guys have a rank that totally fits to them!

It is hard to rank up for nobrainer guys, but with these tips, I hope it gets a bit easier for you… 😉

What about you?
What’s your opinion about the CS GO Elo, do you feel like what you do in game pays off? crown
Do you disagree with any given information?
Ever experienced weird things in the CS GO Matchmaking? Let us know!

I did some research for this, I hope you enjoyed the article!

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