CS2 Ratings System: Premier Ranks & Competitive Mode Explained
CS2 has undergone a lot of changes compared to its predecessor. The game has new graphical features and other innovations in gameplay designed to bring the beloved game up to modern standards. However, on a meta-level, one of the most noticeable changes was the rating system. Valve finally listened to the requests of the community and enhanced the system of players' skills evaluation in the new version of CS. In Counter-Strike 2 users aren’t limited by the "ceiling" in the form of Global Elite: they will be able to continue to increase their rank forever.
This all is thanks to the introduction of CS Rating, a new system that has replaced the old ways of assessing the skill level. The usual matchmaking is not the main mode in the shooter anymore, as the developers emphasized Premier mode. So let's get the CS2 ranks system explained, understand how the CS2 premier ranking works, and find out what the most major CS2 rating system changes are.
How Does the CS2 Rating System Work?
First, let’s get the CS2 rating system explained. The new rank system in CS2 has two distinct rank lists: in a Competitive mode and in a Premier mode. At the same time, the developers put a strong emphasis on the latter, hinting that it more accurately reflects the real level of a player's skill. Let's take a closer look at each of them.
In regular matchmaking, everything remains in place. Users will be divided into 18 groups based on skill, ranging from "First Silvers" to "Globals". It will take about three to four wins to get promoted — same as before. Playing against teams with ranks much higher than yours will cause you to rise faster.
However, there is one key difference from the old ranking system. Now, each rank is only assigned to you for a particular map. Thus, the Counter-Strike 2 ranking system reflects your actual skill level less and more about your knowledge and ability to win on a particular location. At the same time, having high CS2 rankings on all maps will certainly be a marker of a powerful player.
Here's an overview of ranks in CS2:
Silver Elite Master
Gold Nova I
Gold Nova II
Gold Nova III
Gold Nova Master
Master Guardian I
Master Guardian II
Master Guardian Elite
Distinguished Master Guardian
Legendary Eagle Master
Supreme Master First Class
The Global Elite
So, how does CS2 Premier work, and how does it differ from Competitive? In a Premier mode, the differences in the rating system are more noticeable. In particular, teams now ban the maps one by one before a match, and the advanced rating is now theoretically infinite. Each player gets a certain place in the rating, ranging from 0 to virtually unlimited. No one knows if the rating has any ceiling, but so far, the highest it has reached during the beta season was over 40,000.
To increase the rating, you need to win matches, and the game does not consider individual performance such as kills, deaths, assists, etc. The main indicator now is the performance of the team as a whole. Every 5,000 rating points are marked with their own color, which determines the rank or, rather, the category of a player. In total, there are seven of them, and below, you can see the approximate correspondence between the new CS2 Premier rating system and the old ranking of evaluating the level of skill.
CS:GO rank equivalent
0 – 4999
Silver – Gold Nova
5000 – 9999
Gold Nova – Master Guardian
10000 – 14999
Master Guardian – Legendary Eagle
15000 – 19999
Legendary Eagle – Supreme Master First Class
20000 – 24999
Supreme Master First Class – Global Elite
25000 – 29999
Upper Global Elite
The highest-ranked Global Elite players
How to Calibrate Your CS2 Rating?
With CS2 ratings explained, one crucial thing to mention is that you need a prime status to experience the new ranking system in CS2 to the full extent. To get it, you need to buy it in Steam and up your Counter-Strike account to level 10. It's worth noting that the latter requirement can be quite tiresome for newbies, and we recommend farming XP in Death matches to move through levels quickly.
After these two conditions are met, you can access the Premier mode. Next, you need to pass the calibration, namely, WIN in 10 matches, to just play them. To get higher CS 2 ranks, you’ll need to keep winning and forget about your individual results, such as the total number of kills and deaths. Before the game starts, each team is told how many points they will gain or lose.
Also, a long losing streak increases the number of points you'll lose with each lost match. This is due to accelerated rating adjustments, as the loss streak is seen as a mismatch with the player's current skill level. The same approach is applied in the other direction: on a winning streak with each subsequent match, more points are assigned than in the previous one.
When you rank up in CS2, for every 5,000 points, you must play an up/down match. Let's say you got to the 9999 points in a previous match; this means you will play a game to move to the light blue category. You will receive exactly 10,000 points if you win and go back to 9,000 points if you lose.
Do Players Match the Same Rank in Premier Mode?
The new CS2 rank system completely nullifies all your progress made during your CS:GO game. The developers have significantly changed the skill evaluation system in Premier mode in Counter-Strike 2. Such a decision resulted in a calibration process that allows rookies to play with pro players. Silver I and Global Elite can be on the same team and play against each other. The obvious disadvantage of this system is the potential for a rookie to get a very high rating during calibration at the expense of strong teammates.
Nevertheless, even if they get a lot of points after calibration, the score for such players will soon equalize to their real level because when playing against opponents with a high rating, the newcomer is likely to suffer a series of defeats. And it only applies during calibration. You're unlikely to meet even a 10,000-rank opponent if you only reached 5,000-7,000.
The developers took this step to raise the prestige of the official CS2 ranking system, as well as to reflect the real level of skill more accurately. Such innovations are not unique. For example, Dota 2 has long been operating a numerical rating system. If after calibration you did not get a lot of points, do not be upset: NAVI AWPer Oleksandr s1mple Kostylev, who was recognized as the best player of 2022, received only 19,000 points, and ex-captain of FORZE Andrew Jerry Mehryakov at the end of 12 matches calibrated at 13,600. If your skill is high and the teamwork is even better, the growth of your rating is only a matter of time, and all you need to do is play.
What Indicators Does CS2 Rating Include?
Understanding CS2 ranks requires you to know that there are currently two crucial metrics that really affect your ranking in CS2. As we’ve already said, the first and most important is winning or losing, regardless of conditions and individual performance. Yes, this means that even if you are not a very strong player but have strong teammates and win the match, your rating will go up even if you were the weakest link.
Indicators like how many kills you've made, how many times you've been killed, how much damage you've done, or how many rounds your team won still have a slight effect, but it is barely noticeable compared to how it was in CS:GO. Perhaps this way, the developers wanted to say that in CS2, it is team play and the overall result that comes to the forefront rather than personal performance. Yet, it is also possible that the system is still only taking its first steps, and in the future, the developers will refine it, paying more attention to all these parameters.
The second important factor is the rank of your CS:GO account. The developers realized that with the zeroing of all ranks, strong players would get into teams with weak ones, which would strongly affect the balance. Therefore, a hidden rank was added for such players that affects how many points they will get after each win or loss during their calibration.
Do Your Previous CS:GO Indicators Affect the Calibration Results?
As we said, your old rank does affect your Counter-Strike 2 rankings when calibrating. Officially, it is not stated anywhere, so players had to study this issue by experience. In particular, a team of players tried to get the CS2 ranking system explained and took almost new accounts in which the rank in CS:GO did not exceed Silver and began calibration. In the end, out of 10 matches, the team ended up with 9 wins and only one loss. All accounts received about 13,500 ranking points, but one player received more than 14,600 points. Despite the expectations, this player demonstrated the smallest amount of damage dealt and also the fewest kills in the team.
The only difference between him and his teammates was that they all had Silver I, II, and III ranks when this player's CS:GO account had a Silver Elite Master rank. This mechanism is most likely done to ensure that beginners do not possess too high a rank at the expense of strong teammates after the calibration.
Is It Possible to Re-Calibrate?
CS2 currently has a seasonal rating system in place. This means that your rating will be earned throughout the season, but will be reset after it ends. Accordingly, for the new season, you will need to re-calibrate and earn the coveted points. It is currently unknown exactly how long a season lasts, but as a rule, it is about 4 months. At the time of writing this text, we can only observe the first season, and therefore the rules may change.
Can the Rating Decrease Over Time?
It seems to be too early to get a clear understanding regarding this issue. CS2 became available to everyone relatively recently. Players who bought prime status are in a hurry to take advantage of it, and those who play rarely may not even know about the existence of any ratings with numbers. Thus, it is still unclear whether the rating will decrease because of low activity.
Nevertheless, we can expect that the Counter-Strike 2 ranking system will be similar to that of CS:GO. Previously, if you didn't play CS:GO for more than 30 days, your rank simply stopped being displayed. If this happened, you had to play one match, and your rank would be visible again. Also, if you didn't play for a very long time, you could be demoted altogether and be required to re-calibrate.
What Ratings Have CS2 Pro Players Got?
With the Counter-Strike 2 ranking system explained, it's time to see what places the top players got in such a short period. But, you should remember that ratings are constantly changing, and you can increase your rating by several thousand points in just a couple of days. Thus, the results of most pro players may have changed several times already. At the time of writing, the leaderboards of the highest-ranked pro players are as follows.
For the latest updates and a detailed leaderboard, check out CS2 player rankings to see where the pros stand now and how you can climb the ranks.
Overall, a rating of over 10,000 can be considered quite good. Players who previously had the Silver rank and won 9 out of 10 matches when calibrated got about 13,000 points, so if your result is similar, then you are on par with most players. To get the CS rating explained in more detail, read the full article.
It is not quite correct to say that Premier mode and FACEIT are similar, although the developers were clearly inspired by the FACEIT ELO ranking and matchmaking system. Currently, players note that matchmaking in CS2 is somewhat inferior to FACEIT in terms of adequate selection of opponents, but this situation is likely to improve. Read the full article to get CS2 Premier explained in terms of ranking in more detail.