One of the fundamental rules of Counter-Strike is that you are bad, and you will always be bad. If you start to think you’re good–and if you think you never make mistakes–well, I’ve got news for you: you’re wrong.
The silver lining in this grim outlook? Most players agree that you’ll get slightly less bad if you put lots of effort in.
The thing is, I am, and have been for a long time, consistently putting lots of effort into improving at CS:GO. I am also still terrible. I recognize this as a fact, and make no claims otherwise.
I read a fellow EsportsEdition writer’s article about improving at Dota earlier this week, and started thinking about my own motivation to get better at CS:GO. I was never lucky enough to enjoy PC gaming as a child, teenager, or even a college student. I’ve got a lot of catch-up work to do as far as aiming with a mouse and keyboard goes. So, I focus most of training on the mechanical side of Counter-Strike– I probably log about 20+ hours a week in 1 v 1 servers, aim map servers, FFA DM, pistol DM, and recoil control practice. It has helped, and continues to help. A lot.
Yet I’ve always been hesitant to really throw myself into the one kind of practice that almost everyone agrees will help anyone and everyone improve: demo review. It’s a simple concept, but far more daunting and humiliating in practice: you watch your own games, from your own perspective, and keep track of the mistakes you make.
Anyone who has ever reviewed their own demos will agree that watching yourself play can be extremely painful. I’ve done bits and pieces of demo review in the past, but my delicate ego has always prevented me from really sitting down and watching myself be terrible for a sustained period of time.
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I Am Bad at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Today, I sat down and watched demos from five randomly chosen games of Matchmaking that I played last week. These are the notes from the first two games. After that I stopped keeping track.
- I clearly don’t warm up enough.
- I die on T side trying to force the bomb plant in situations where it’s okay to wait a little longer and clear the site.
- I die on CT side trying to prevent the bomb plant when it would be way more useful to just stay alive and help with the retake.
- When I know where the enemy AWPer is, I’ll peek them dry with an AK.
- I’m great at managing my team’s economy, but I’m terrible at managing my own in-game money.
- I almost always push on CT eco rounds, but I rarely get aggressive on CT buy rounds.
- For some reason, I always try to bunnyhop when I’m in a 1 v X. (Sidenote: I never hit these bunnyhops. The only bhops I hit are when all 5 members of my team are alive.)
- I check angles by jump-peeking into them. This can be great sometimes–it’s a useful way to try and bait out a shot from an AWPer–but it’s a terrible habit to get into. By jump-peeking, you’ll need to crouch once you hit the ground in order to shoot accurately. This means that if there IS an enemy in the position I’m checking, I’ve just committed to the fight–there’s a chance that your opponent will fall back, but in most cases, I’d be better off either shoulder-peeking the angle or doing a more traditional peek that allows for more mobility.
- I assume the other team is terrible if we win pistol rounds and we don’t suffer extensive losses during our anti-ecos.
- I’ll try to watch two angles simultaneously because I don’t trust my random teammates. When I switch between two different defensive positions–like, say, checking Mid and watching Squeaky on Cache–I often strand myself out in the open, as far away from cover as possible. I die because of this. Often.
- I play ridiculously aggressive in 1 v 3s if I get at least two kills while being the last person alive. It makes sense to play differently in these situations, but some of the crap I tried to pull was downright stupid.
- I dump all my nades at the start of the round on CT side because I’m afraid of rushes. As a result, I have to rely on scavenging utility from dead bodies if I need to retake.
- I try to take long distance fights with the Glock. Why. Why do I do this.
- I pull out grenades during 1 v 1s when I don’t know where the enemy is.
- I tell my teammates not to peek after we’ve planted the bomb, but I apparently never follow my own advice.
- I guess I must call out the flashes I’m throwing after I’ve already thrown them. This mistake was the most painful to watch happen over and over again–there are a lot of teammate deaths that I didn’t know I had caused.
- If I’m holding a defensive angle on CT side and I end up taking an aim duel with an opponent, I never switch up the timing of my re-peeks. For example: let’s say I’m hanging out at White Box in Mid on Cache. I’m watching Mid Warehouse from the right side of the box, jiggle-peeking the edge. I spot a Terrorist peeking out of the right side of Mid Warehouse. I strafe into safety, attempt to lineup the prefire, peek out, counter-strafe, immediately shoot 3 – 4 bullets, then fall back behind White Box. Then, as soon as my recoil has reset, I’ll repeat that exact same process. There’s nothing wrong with making this kind of re-peek once–or even twice–in a single gunfight, but the enemy will quickly be able to predict the timing of your peeks and adjust their shooting appropriately. I should really stop doing this.
- I rush into retakes.
There were more–a lot more. But those were some of the mistakes that I noticed. Use them. Learn from me. Don’t let my mistakes be your mistakes. We can grow together. As bad CS:GO players. I’ll definitely be doing demo review again, though–once I got over the initial cringe, it might actually have been the most helpful thing I’ve done to improve my Counter-Strike decision-making.
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