Is it Possible to Reflect Skill in Numbers? CSGO Ranks Explained

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Presenting CSGO ranks

One of the most common and universal gaming mechanics that can be found across many different genres of games is some type of progression system. Especially in titles that are built around doing the same stuff again and again. As games live when they are played and die when abandoned by a bored player base, the developers often come up with some kind of rewarding experience for sticking to monotonous gameplay. You need to have some incentive.

That’s what partially lies in the foundation of any leveling system. Of course, we can level our character or team like in almost every RPG ever made, but we can also level weapons and vehicles (Battlefield franchise). In many competitive shooters, we can level the account rather than a specific weapon or character per se. After all, competitive games have to be balanced in order to be playable and stuff like more powerful weapons or better weapon attachments would push the line from skill-based gameplay to equipment-based one. While quite common in MMORPGs it is rarely seen in competitive online shooters.

If the new level or rank doesn’t give anything, why should you care? Well, in CSGO, or really any other competitive game with a hardcore player base, a high rank is treated as a badge of honor. The ranking system includes not only a shiny badge next to your name but an opportunity to play with better players. After all, CSGO is truly about testing your skills and experience against worthy opponents and CSGO ranks help achieve that.

In this post, we’ll take a look at all CSGO ranks, how the ranking system works and what potential benefits go together with higher ranks in CSGO.

CSGO ranks in order

As with any ranking system, ranks in CSGO come in a fixed order. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make any sense, eh? So, here is the full CSGO ranks list of all 18 ranks achievable in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at the time of writing of this post. 


Silver is the bottom of the food chain. These ranks are usually comprised of total beginners, so forget complex tactics. Voice communication is also not needed. Occasionally, you can find some smurf account of high-rankers in the Silver tier, so don’t call hacks before you make sure you weren’t just destroyed by an expert of Supreme Master First Class or a Global Elite. Silver tier includes six distinct ranks:

  • Silver 1 (S1)
  • Silver 2 (S2)
  • Silver 3 (S3)
  • Silver 4 (S4)
  • Silver Elite (SE)
  • Silver Elite Master (SEM)

Gold Nova 

Novas are the bread and butter of CSGO ranks. When looking at the statistics of ranks distribution they are in the peak of the bell curve. Skillswise, Novas know quite a bit about gunplay and have some basic experience and knowledge about game economy, smokes, and pop-flashes. Some say that the top Nova ranks can be considered a final test before stepping into big boys’ territory of higher ranks in CSGO. Gold Nova tier includes 4 CSGO ranks:

  • Gold Nova 1 (GN1)
  • Gold Nova 2 (GN2)
  • Gold Nova 3 (GN3)
  • Gold Nova Master (GNM/GN4)

Master Guardian

Players in Mater Guardian ranks are generally quite good. They know the game economy quite well, can execute more complex tactics, and they know how to utilize the whole map. They all have decent personal skills and strive to always improve their playstyle. Voice communication is advised, as you will have to coordinate with your team to achieve victory. Master Guardian includes 4 ranks:

  • Master Guardian 1 (MG1)
  • Master Guardian 2 (MG2)
  • Master Guardian Elite (MGE)
  • Distinguished Master Guardian (DMG)

Top ranks in CSGO

The last four ranks are where the elite CSGO players live. Basically, every player that has passed over the DMG, can be considered an expert at CSGO. They know everything there is to know: spray patterns, nades, angles and corners, plant sites, and tactics. However, the basic differences between Legendary Eagle or Legendary Eagle Master and the Global Elites are either personal skill, so reaction time, or, much more often, teamwork experience. Many players, especially in Global Elite rank, go into the matchmaking with their entire teams. These 4 top ranks in CSGO are as follows: 

  • Legendary Eagle (LE)
  • Legendary Eagle Master (LEM)
  • Supreme Master First Class (SMFC)
  • Global Elite (GE)

How do you rank up in CSGO?

In short, we don’t exactly know how ranking system works but it safe to assume you should just play the game and try to win all round you can. There’s a lot of really great resources that go into the depths of CSGO ranks and CSGO ranking system, so if you want to know all the details and the maths behind it, you’ll easily find them on YouTube. However, if you want a brief explanation here’s everything you should know.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive uses a slightly modified ranking system known as Glicko-2. This system uses a certain set of algorithms and formulas to evaluate player personal skill based on a few factors such as their frag number, influence on round, and if the team won or lost the round. All actions such as kills, deaths, plants, and assists also have an impact on the hidden value of your rank. However, as others have tested before, winning a round, even though you died can give you more points, they fragging a lot. Moreover, if you are met with many higher-ranked opponents they will be deranked much more easily on round loss whereas you can rank up much faster if you win. 

Are there any benefits to higher CSGO ranks?

Well, it really depends on what you call a benefit. If prestige and ability to play with the best of the best isn’t enough, the rank won’t probably mean anything to you. However, the basic utility of any ranking system is to achieve balance and matchmaking players of similar skill. Even though knifing noobs may be fun for some time it gets boring easily. What keeps the blood pumping is the adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment which comes from winning over tough opponents. 


I hope we’ve answered all the questions you had and that we managed to give you all the necessary information regarding ranks CSGO ranking system has implemented, the ranking process, and what you can expect from each rank. Just one last thing – try to not get fixated on the rank too much. After all, we play games to have fun 🙂