The ranked matchmaking experience in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive varies wildly from region to region, and the stats back that up. They also reveal some interesting trends that can help to explain where players are ranked.
Leetify tracks the number of players that are at each rank of CSGO, with the site identifying a radical difference between certain regions. The differences are demonstrated perfectly with a bar graph that shows the differences with how the ranked matchmaking player pool is distributed.
For Europe, South America, and Asia, CSGO’s ranked distribution is a near-perfect bell curve. Though there are some fluctuations with players gravitating towards Legendary Eagle Master in some regions, this is largely what should happen with a ranked matchmaking system.
However, in Oceania and North America, the system looks radically different. In these regions, the player distribution is heavily skewed towards the silver ranks.
This odd phenomenon radically impacts the competitive integrity of the game, and therefore undermines the actual user experience for CSGO players. In North America and Oceania, more than half of the player base is crammed together at the silver ranks. In Europe, under 20% of players are at silver ranks. A perfectly average player in the 50th percentile would place in gold nova master in Europe, compared with silver elite master in North America or just silver elite in Oceania.
While this might not sound like a significant issue, it means that players of wildly different skill levels wind up being placed at similar ranks in some regions. A player just trying to get their bearings in CSGO’s lowest ranks are likely to immediately encounter higher-level tactics and skills.
This makes for a generally poor new player experience as they are thrown into the deep end even at the lowest ranks. It also makes it more difficult for skilled players to climb out of silver in these regions as players in the 50th percentile can very easily be ranked with those in the 10th, dragging them down and frustrating them.
The reasons for this odd ranked distribution are unknown. It doesn’t seem to stem from the player base size given the large sample sizes from the different regions involved. But players are undoubtedly upset about it, pushing for fixes from Valve.
Depending on the region, global elite CSGO players are anywhere from the top 0.5% of players to the top 1.5%.
Though Valve has allowed the lower ranks of CSGO to become a mess in some regions, global elite still represents the best matchmaking players around the world no matter where you are. Depending on the region, global elite players are anywhere from the 98.5th percentile to 99.5th.