Although I am playing Counter-Strike games for a very long time now I didn't care much about CS:GO competitive matchmaking until recently. And I only play with a friend or otherwise we just play something else.

So we face the following situation: One of us is ranked pretty high and the other one has no rank. It kinda looks like smurfing, but it isn't.

  • What opponents do we have to expect when joining Competitive?
    (High rank, low rank or something in between?)
  • Does it matter who opens the lobby?
    (Does the leader's rank determine who we get compared to?)
  • Also there is a limit on how many games we both can win due to a smurf protection. This seems to be two. What's the cooldown until we can play again? When can we play without any limit?

Sorry for not asking 3 separate questions, but the answers of all those would nicely fit in one answer, since this is about the same situation.

2 Answers 2


You'll be placed against players of your rank as your friend doesn't have a rating yet.

It does not matter who opens the lobby.

The cooldown is 24 hours, once your friend has a rank the smurf protection goes away. Although if your friend's rank is too low after placements you'll not be able to play together unless you get a 5 man team.

  • Nice and short, thanks. Kinda bad to get pushed out of each others range, though. How are the odds of getting ranked high enough as newbie to avoid this? (It's only Nova 3)
    – dly
    Aug 22, 2016 at 8:12
  • 1
    If you're nova 3 your friend needs to be Silver Elite / Silver 4, so that's easily doable.
    – Riley
    Aug 22, 2016 at 8:13

When you are not ranked you have to win 10 games to get a rank. The cooldown for competitive games when you dont have a rank is 24 hours and it triggers after 2 wins. On the question as what players you will be placed against its rather difficult to answer. You see the guy without a rank actually has a rank based on his performance. Its just hidden. So both ELO rankings are taken into account. However due to the nature of the system you are more likely to be placed against players who also dont have a visible ranking yet.

  • Thanks for the heads up on the 10 win limit. You're talking about invisible ranking (so they're people with < 10 wins, too). What range of ranks are we talking about? Invisible Silver if I start with a Silver guy or Nova, because I have Nova myself or even higher, because we did really good before? I should really pay more attention to the scoreboard to check ranks.
    – dly
    Aug 22, 2016 at 8:26
  • Your actual rank in the cs go system is not silver or gold. Those are just fancy badges you get for a range of a number. Now I dont know the exact number but for example Silver could be from 1000-2000 ELO and then Gold nova could be from 2000-3000 and so on and so on.
    – Uri Popov
    Aug 22, 2016 at 15:35

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