Where the AWPs are free, and the frags don't matter!
Welcome to Counter-Strike school.

Stop Peeking the AWP: No, Seriously, What Are You Doing?

Aug 29, 2016
Welcome to Counter-Strike school.

School is starting back up again for lots of folks. Tough, I know. Between homework, establishing a vaguely reasonable sleep schedule, and part-time work, you’ve got way less time to spend on your grind to Global.

Where the AWPs are free, and the frags don't matter!
Welcome to Counter-Strike school.

But, hey, we’re big fans of school, and we’re big fans of our readers trying to ‘git gud.’ In fact, we like school so much that this article is actually just a lesson in disguise. There’s no cutting class on the internet, friends, so listen closely and start taking notes.

Here it is.

Stop dry-peeking the other team’s AWP one-by-one.

When you hear an AWP go off, here’s the mental checklist you should be running:

AWP Lessons Peeking
This notebook belongs to a real Gold Nova.
  1. Where is the AWP?
  2. Did my teammate die to the AWP?
  3. How can I avoid the AWP?

It’s that last point that’s tough for people.

I’ll always put my money on the reaction times of an AWPer holding an angle over an inexperienced rifle player who thinks they’re going to wide-peek them and pop off an easy one-tap. (Newsflash: it’s not going to happen. Except sometimes.)

Here’s a scenario. It’s Nuke. You’re on T side, and we’re seven rounds deep into the half. Your team has been focusing on getting control of Outside for the past couple rounds and finding decent success against the CT buy rounds, even though you haven’t been using grenades effectively.

Then, this happens.

This is a perfect example of what NOT to do when you’re up against an AWP whose location is known.

What They Did Wrong

  1. The players on T side – who were on eco – decided to try and take a long-range aim duel against an AWP. Eco rounds are, funnily enough, the perfect time to rush down an AWPer–you’ve got mobility and weapons that fire quickly and they’re slow and have to wait between firing each shot. It’s not a good idea to take long-range fights against an AWP in general, but it’s an even worse idea when you don’t have automatic rifles.
  2. Peeking one at a time. Here’s the great thing about the AWP–it can only fire one bullet at a time. If you expose yourself one at a time, you’re giving the AWP every advantage they need to win the duel. Don’t do this.
  3. Going Outside on Nuke on an eco round. This is down to personal preference, but unless your team can coordinate some easy smokes to let you cross to Secret, Outside is a terrible place to send five people if you’re playing T side on Nuke. The map’s interior is full of close-range engagements if you play your cards right, and a committed pistol rush can be lethal. Going Outside without smokes on an eco is a terrible idea.

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The Right Way

Assuming you’re on a full-buy round, and your teammate gets picked by an AWPer. Here are some of your options.

  1. Use your grenades. You buy smokes. You buy flashes. Use them against AWPs. Smoke off the AWPer. Flash before you peek. Double flash before you peek. Just use your grenades.
  2. No, really, use your f***ing grenades. It’s hard to hit a target you can’t see. Smoke off an enemy AWPer, force them to relocate.
  3. Repeek immediately and use the time between shots to move behind cover. In the case of our Nuke scenario, it would make sense for one of the players on T side to sprint towards T Red after their teammate got picked–even if I had immediately re-peeked instead of checking Cat/Silo, there’s a good chance they would’ve made it to T Red while their teammates fall off. Without nades, this would be the optimal choice to make.
  4. Peek an exposed AWPer from two different angles at the same time. This takes more coordination than most PUGs have, but if you and a teammate are able to catch an AWPer in a bad position and can attack from two different angles, you’re almost guaranteed the kill. Remember, the AWP can only fire one bullet at a time.
  5. I’m not kidding, use your grenades. Even the debris created by an HE grenade can obscure an AWPers vision enough to give you an advantage.
  6. The closer range you can get, the better. The AWPer will always have the upper hand when it comes to long-range duels. Close the gap and your life gets easier.
  7. Wait until the AWPer gets bored and changes positions. If one of your teammates gets picked at the start of a round, you should be able to hold a 4 v 5 on T side for 30 – 45 seconds–after this much time has passed, it’s common for AWPers to relocate.
  8. Just go somewhere else. If you can’t get past an AWP, then maybe you shouldn’t even bother trying. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and try and work a pick at a different chokepoint.

When J.P. Corner isn’t losing games of Matchmaking, you can find him on Twitter.

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J.P. Corner
J.P. Corner is Esports Edition's Executive Editor. He was introduced to the wonderful world of esports by his older brother in mid-2014, and has a degree in Literature from Bard College. You can contact him via Twitter at @jpcornerGG.
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