This "guide" isn't a guide for in-game play. This guide is to increase awareness for some new members and hopefully will let them make the transition from the world of pugging to the world of competitive CS:GO.
Some tips/random information: The term "competitive" has been used very loosely over the last couple of years. For the sake of making this as short as possible, I'll be referring to the word "competitive" in reference to League-based Counter-strike, as opposed to off-client matchmaking/pugging.
In the world of competitive CS (League-based), MM rank holds absolutely zero significance. When you ask about other peoples ranks or offer your own rank without prompt, it's really easy to identify you as a new player. In fact, when you message a team leader looking to tryout, and the only thing you offer up is your Matchmaking Rank, a lot of people will be turned off at the idea of picking you up as a prospect. In competitive CS, players are measured by 2 main categories: League History/XP, and Stats.
As it stands, the talent bar for ESEA has been lowered dramatically since the inception of CS:GO taking over the franchise. Before CSGO, there was 1.6 and CS:S as the #1 and #2 games in an at-the-time dying franchise.
The players who played on ESEA for the last several years of competitive CS:S/1.6 were very skilled. It was uncommon to run into noobs in pugs, and everynav seemed to have a competitive mindset to get better at the game. In essence, the casuals played public servers, and competitive players played ESEA. 1.6 was released in 1999, Source was released in 2004, but the Counter Strike franchise lost almost all mainstream attraction with it's termination from CPL in 2009. From 2009 until the death of CS:S and 1.6 respectively, the only players left in the competitive community were dedicated Counter Strike players. As a result, the general attitude of the community was constant yearning to improve their game play. Take a look at any top level player in the world. There is a VERY high chance, with VERY few exception, that those players all played through this dead-beat ERA of Counter Strike, where love and passion of the game kept them going despite the more popular titles where a majority of the prize money was going (COD/LOL/DOTA/etc).
What does all of this mean? Everything I've said so far has been pretty boring, but it's important to learn where we came from to figure out where we want to go. North America is a laughingstock of CS talent in comparison to Europe, and this has been true dating back to the inception of the game. Whenever I pug, which used to and should be a competitive way to get better, I'm shocked by the lack of passion for the game.
There are a million different things you can do to get better, as well as hardware you'll want to get in order to maximize your gaming. There are great guides on http://www.netcodeguides.com with very knowledgeable professional players posting guides to all the many aspects of Counter-Strike, as well as paid lessons on ESEA with Counter-Strike Professionals in the form of 1 on 1 lessons or group lessons. Netcode has several in-depth guides that go into extensive detail for the enthusiasts. For this, I won't post as much detail but will keep it to the topic. Here's a brief list of terms you need to understand to become adequate at competitive Counter-Strike:
Team Roles, 144hz Monitor, CPU/GPU combination to maintain a bare minimum of 145 framers per second in game (no dips), Intensive Deathmatching, Aim Mapping, Muscle Memory, Demo Review, Self Demo Review, Trade Kill,
Team Roles Any good Counter-Strike team has 5 players who all know their role on the team. Dysfunctional teams will have 5 players who aren't sure of their roles. The more commonly known roles are In-game Leader, entry fragger, awp, and rifle. -In-game Leader (IGL) In-game Leader is pretty self explanatory. He's calling the strats, getting feedback from his team, and figuring out where and how to direct his team to victory. Different teams have different play-styles according to their IGL. Jp^ wrote up a beautiful summary of the top IGL's around the world and their playstyle (throw him a +k @ http://play.esea.net/users/257441 ). His summary: "Pronax - Fnatic - Tactical/Hybrid calling style. Opens up the round with a good pick from JW by using teammates to pop flash. Makes good mid round calls, but still likes his set smokes and flashes. Invented a strat on inferno @ A site that is copied by many to this day.
Happy - LDLC - Laid back, allows shoxie to open up the round. Good mid round caller, smart and intellectual.
Xizt/Pita - NiP - Tactical, if/else strat calling. Laid back at first, but very specific on the followup. Setups are used in order to gain control of the map. Pop flashes are used to open up a kill, then follow up with either a fake/split/5 rush. You never know what is coming. Beware of a lurker getting 3 kills when you're rotating.
FeTiSh - Dignitas - Tactics tactics tactics, calls out of spawn , set smoke/flashes, strats that have been dry run 1000 times in practice.
DaZeD - IBP - Hybrid. Likes to mix it up and control the tempo of the game. Capable of calling on the fly. Can throw other teams off. Studies the game immensely and uses his knowledge of other teams against them. Anti-strats are strong with this one.
Ex6TenZ - Titan - Tactical. Set strats, set smokes, set pop flashes. Allows teammates to work together and get trades efficiently. In many cases, waits for a pick from kennyS, then calls a mid round strat. Great CT side tactics, some of the best setups have come from him. TALKS A LOT, HARDLY EVER SHUTS UP ACCORDING TO TEAMMATES!
Taz - VP - Aggressive, likes to give paszaBiceps a chance to do his thing. Calls from spawn and during mid round. Capable of winning both pistol rounds and putting the other team in a tough position. Be ready for the train wreck.
adreN - Denial eSports - Intellectual and calculated. Uses logic and reasoning to make a precise mid round call based on early round information. Likes to run a default setup to gain information, then pounces on the enemies weakest point. One of the best in North America and can lead teams to victory ESPECIALLY on LAN. LAN KING.
Warden - eLevate - Classic calling style, will mix it up all the time. You never know what he's going to do so prepare for anything. Can call a mean fake. Also, can make mid round calls and audibles. Legend. Has proven to everyone that he has what it takes to win at the highest level."
-Entry Fragger Beast fragger. This is the guy who's first into a site looking to pick up a quick 1 tap kill. His support player will be close behind to pick up the trade kills, but the responsibility of an entry fragger is to open up the round with a frag. You can practice for this particular role by watching demos to find out the most commonly played spots on each map. Then, hop into an empty server and start working on dry-running maps, figuring out the most effective ways to quickly peek those common spots while minimizing the angles you can be shot from.
-Awp You will have an awp in your hands every single time it's affordable. Good IGL's will partition the team's money in order to set aside enough $$ to make sure you have an awp in your hands. Practice often with the awp and scout, don't use a rifle unless you absolutely need to. It's very difficult to be great at awping and rifling (hybrid), so pick one and stick to it until you're a monster. When you deathmatch, don't camp all the time. Work on aggressive peeks and work on prefiring common spots.
-Rifle You will have a rifle in your hands at all times, and you'll never use an awp or a scout. Set yourself apart from the competition by becoming a rifler instead of a player.
Deathmatching in Limitation The worse thing you can do for yourself is continual extended hours of deathmatching. You will start to develop lazy habits that take far too long to correct. Typically, I try to keep my deathmatching limited to 15-minute intervals where my focus and attention is 100%. I keep it intensive and quick paced and I usually aim for 35 pistol frags and 35 rifle frags. Then I'll take a long break to reset the mind, and deathmatch again. Some players prefer to deathmatch for 30-45 minutes straight, but you should do whatever you feel you're capable of as long as your focus and attention remains high. Don't camp, don't use your mic, don't camp, and don't camp. This is your time to work on your shot, your crosshair placement, and your movements. There are several deathmatch servers including Netcode's. Find 128-tick deathmatch servers and add them to your favorites.
Aim Mapping Just got done with an intensive deathmatching session? Awesome, take a break and then dive into a ESEA Aim server. Fire in 1-2 shot bursts (no spraying) and aim only for the head. Don't camp, don't use your mic, don't camp, and don't camp. The idea is to train your muscle memory into hitting headshots around tight spaces or when only a small portion of the enemy can be seen, or while strafing corners.
Muscle Memory This is something that some people swear by, while others say is completely ineffective. Use the Counter-Strike Workshop to search for a Muscle Memory map. This is typically what it will look like. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/PWxv082xsMs/maxres ... There are multiple levels, you can select any gun you want as well as settings for your targets. When you press 'Go', small targets will appear on the wall in timed intervals. Shoot the target as fast as you can before it disappears. I highly recommend this to help Awpers improve their flick shots. Don't overdo this either, 5-10 minutes per day is plenty.
Demo Review The best way to get better is to watch people that are better than you. Try to pick up their habits and see what they do well which you fail in. Download demos from Invite or Premier teams and watch how different players hold a particular area. Pay attention to rounds he gets aggressive on, rounds he stays passive on, and his crosshair placement (always holding the crosshair at head level instead of staring at the ground). Pay attention to how he rotates, when he rotates, and when/why if he doesn't rotate. Pay attention to how he retakes sites, when he decides to save, what kind of angles he holds, where he falls back to when he gets an entry, where he checks when taking a site. There is a LOT of information you can take from watching an invite player play.
Self Demo Review After you play, download your demo and watch yourself play. Watching a full demo of yourself should take about 10 minutes if you skip through downtime. Write down on a sheet of paper the bad habits you see yourself do: crosshair placement, peeking too wide of angles, making footsteps/sound at poor times, pushing through enemy smokes, etc. Write down the things you think you did well. Keep it brief, you don't need extensive details. Before you play the next day, read your Cons and decide what you want to work on. This is an ongoing process, and you will constantly improve your game.
Trade Kill Trading a kill means you kill an enemy that killed your teammate. The most effective way to do this, is to stay on the hip of your teammate. If he engages in a firefight with an enemy, it is your responsibility to kill that enemy if your teammate dies. Aware players will get trade kills within 1-2 seconds of his teammates death. Position yourself so you don't fall too far behind your teammate.
144 Hz monitor 144 Hz indicates that the monitor is able to display 144 frames per second, as opposed to standard monitors which are only able to display 60 frames per second. I'm going to tell you this now, as bluntly as possible. Every player at the top level uses a 144 hz monitor, and if you aren't using a 120/144 hz monitor already, you are at a BIG disadvantage. There is no more "is it really worth it?" or "should i get it?". Get it, you won't regret it. Over the course of 13 months, I demo'd and sold thousands of computer related items including the Benq and Asus 144 hz models. The ONLY returns on them I had my entire time spent there were on defective models. There are a few models that are highly recommended for this, but only two brands: Asus and Benq. Stay away from other cheaper brands, as the colors are generally awful and cheaply designed. Anynav who encourages you to get an Acer/Samsung/Viewsonic 120/144hz monitor because they have one are completely ignorant to what they're missing out on, and you should steadily remove them from your life. The monitors are fairly pricey, which intimidates a lot of people. These are the more popular models and for good reason. Google them to determine how much you're willing to invest to your CS future. 120/144 Hz Models: (Price $Low-$High) -24 Inch ASUS VG248QE ($249-$299) BenQ XL2420Z ($350-$420) BenQ XL2411Z ($289-$350) BenQ XL2420TE ($339-$420
-27 Inch ASUS VG278HE ($350-$579) BenQ XL2720Z ($399-$499)
-27 Inch GSync ASUS ROG PG278Q ($699-$899)
There you have it, I skipped several models that are now obsolete or becoming obsolete. I've personally used every single monitor in the list for Counter-Strike. BenQ has a few features that are absent from the Asus models, but they make little-to-none difference in relation to in game experience. Their advertised built-in anti-flash is essentially a marketing technique which can be achieved on the Asus monitors with some small tweaks. The BenQ monitors are fantastic, sturdy, and well designed, but the company itself has almost turned into the Apple of the PC Gaming world as far as their advertising. Lots of buck, not a lot of bang. The ASUS VG248QE has been around forever now, and has a 5-star rating on every website for good reason. It's the cheapest of the top-class gaming monitors, and the features absent from it which are present in BenQ do not justify the extra hundred dollar price tag.