PC Gamer

Polish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team ALSEN has been accused of match fixing during the ESL Pro Series Poland Season 9. Evidence has emerged that three members of the team, including captain Damian "DiAMon" Zarski, actually placed bets on their opponents, and then went on to lose the match despite being heavy favorites.

Rumors that ALSEN would throw the match were floating around before it even began, according to HLTV.org, and in the end they did end up losing to eliminacja by a score of 16-10. After the victory, online betting site CS: GO Lounge revealed that Zarski, as well as players Michal "bCk" Lis and Jakub "kub" Pamula, had actually placed bets on eliminacja. Lis and Pamula made their bets from their own Steam accounts, while Zarski used four alternate accounts, but also used his primary account to place a smaller bet on his own team.

Players betting through CS: GO Lounge wager in-game items, not cash, but the monetary values can still be substantial. Based on the valuations determined by the site, Lis won more than $300 in items as a result of the loss, Jakub won more than $550, and Zarski walked away with nearly $1500 worth of items. 

The other three members of ALSEN—Michal "michi" Majkowski, Mateusz "matty" Kobodziejczyk, and Rafal "sany" Pietrzak—were not found to have been involved in the betting. There is, however, evidence that other EPS Poland teams were aware of the situation but didn't report it; instead, they placed bets of their own on eliminacja, taking advantage of the steep 81-19 odds against them.

Given that in-game items were involved rather than actual cash, the exact legality of the situation (or lack thereof) is unclear. But it's incredibly sketchy behavior, and worse, it invokes the specter of rampant match-fixing in lower-tier pro leagues, where oversight may be lax. It's a lot easier to lose a match than it is to win one, and while the most egregious examples may be easy enough to pick out, more skillfully-managed fixing (and let's be honest, using your own Steam account to place bets against your team is pretty ham-fisted) is much harder to pick up on.

"Tournament admins and organizers, and [CS: GO Lounge] site admins did and will do everything to stop stuff like this," CS: GO Lounge admins said in a statement. ESL Pro Series Poland reps have not yet commented.

PC Gamer

Evan writes about CS:GO and other FPSes each Monday in Triggernometry.

Counter-Strike became a more interesting game to me the moment I embraced that it's as much about information gathering as it is about gathering sick AWP noscopes.

In a five-on-five format—the way you should be playing Counter-Strike, regardless of your skill level—CS shrinks to a size that fits in your brain. Every player action—footsteps, reloads—produces information, and every information piece paints a clearer picture of what the enemy team is up to that you're meant to adapt your tactics and positioning to.

You play within a possibility space shaped by bottlenecks and fixed spawn positions, and this distinguishes CS from other FPSes, which begs the question: are you playing CS like it's a different game?

It s obvious that Battlefield 4, for example, is spatially larger than CS:GO. But think about the way that BF4 s scale, along with the design of its respawn systems, make information decay quickly. Players can spawn on one another, on any owned capture point, or parachute from the sky—the three medics you saw on capture point D a moment ago can multiply into a dozen by the time the tank you've called in arrives. It's a game of fluctuating hotspots mostly played on open, flankable terrain. It's a game about putting out fires and starting your own.

CS, by contrast, is a checkerboard slowly revealed as you move through it. There are only so many positions an enemy can occupy, and unless you leave a hole in your collective vision, they can't magically appear behind you through teleportation. Where enemies are (and, secondarily, what resources they have (HP, armor, weapons)) is reliable information with a measurable lifespan. Without having some of that information, you're simply hoping for the best, relying on your aim to get you out of every situation.

Embrace scouting as a necessary aspect of Counter-Strike, and you may improve your win rate on the way to appreciating the tiny maneuvers that drive CS' strategic depth.

Jump-Scouting

It was during the ESL One Cologne that I finally realized I could win rounds of Counter-Strike with my eyes. There's a position on de_mirage beside the van on bombsite B, and I watched teams jump like kangaroos here, elevating their eyes for a moment each time to peek down apartments. Even if the Terrorists are rushing B flat-out, this move buys the defenders a few more seconds to get their asses to the bomsite, which can absolutely make a difference. (If you're daring, you can also land jumping Scout or AWP shots.)

This was a huge epiphany for me; up until then, I'd been hurling smoke into the Mirage apartments at the start of every round on the assumption that someone was there. Smoke has the ability to stop pushes and burn precious time off the clock, but deploying it there was also denying me the opportunity to gather visual information. I was putting myself in a position to be surprised every round and hoping that my aim could get me out of it.

Few maps offer the jump maneuver I mentioned on de_mirage as a quick, usually-safe scouting option. More often, the technique you want is a shoulder peek: making the smallest possible movement around a corner with no intention of engaging. The whole idea of the shoulder peek is to not stick your neck out long enough to even observe enemies, but 'process' what you've seen behind cover. You're snapping a quick photo, jerking back, then essentially looking at it in your own brain while you're safe. Do this with a knife out to be as fast as possible.

We ll dig into shoulder peeking more another week. The takeaway here is that in CS' five-on-five format there's an unusually high value to knowing where enemies are: it determines your aim, positioning, and grenade tosses—three essential elements of CS. Part of playing well, then, means learning how to gain information with as little risk to your resources (HP and the weapons you're carrying) as possible. Recognizing the map locations and round situations where information is available at a low cost (i.e. risk to your team s lives, position, or weapons) is a valuable step to playing a more deliberate game.

PC Gamer

Every Monday in Triggernometry*, Evan writes about FPSes.

Aiming is one of Counter-Strike s central skills. Good aim can get you out of a bad situation, like a mistimed rush or a weapon disadvantage. Even if you ve been playing CS for a decade, I m willing to bet that, like me, you ve got some bad aiming habits.

I ll go first: I m awful with the AK at long range, and I struggle to get kills with the P250 on eco rounds. I ll probably get better with those guns as I keep putting hours into CS:GO s competitive matchmaking, but bad habits are easy to lose sight of in the middle of a match, when you re caught up in the emotion of the situation. CS:GO also hides a ton of its nuances—especially the bullet spray patterns of its weapons.

Aim maps have a way of immediately illuminating what you ve been doing wrong. Through repetition and drilling, they can teach you a lot about your own bad (and good) aiming behaviors. These are my three favorites.

How to play custom CS:GO maps locally:


  • Subscribe to maps on Steam Workshop

  • Launch CS:GO

  • Click Play > Offline with bots

  • Click Workshop, search for the map you subscribed to

  • Select the map, select No bots

training aim csgo 2

download

This is CS:GO s best drill map, and it has a ton of customizability. You can tweak it to test almost anything you need to work on, from long-range AWPing to short-range spraying against targets that take multiple hits to break. I particularly like the sliding test, which lets you set up static or pop-up targets along different axes, letting you practice the rhythm of strafing, stopping, and shooting outside of a live environment. I also get a lot out of the Burst Training, which tracks how many of your shots connect on a full spray.

Training: Bot Aim V4b

download

You can work on any weapon on this map, but I ve found it to be best for building pistol skills. It loads a number of bots into a narrow corridor and has a few toggleable obstacles—crates and a pair of doors—that you can bring into the setting to make it feel more practical. Bots can be set to return fire or not. The god mode setting is really helpful if you want to focus on training one weapon for a sustained period.

aim botz

download

This rifles-and-pistols map is the best one I ve found for working on killing enemies who are moving laterally. The bot movements are a little unnatural (you can also set them to move faster than players can in-game, as in the GIF above), but you can set them to mirror different ADAD patterns (alternating left and right strafing), which can be a particularly tough maneuver to counter. There s a good amount of setting customization, too, including boxes and uneven ground. You can also toggle on impact visualization, which will produce a wireframe of the bot hit that lingers in the environment.

*[Hats off to Reiniat, who suggested that we call this column "Triggernometry" instead of its original, inferior label "Shooterology." If you're listening, get in touch with me in the comments below to collect a prize that I have not yet determined. —Evan]

PC Gamer

Here's a strange addition to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: you can now customise the game's music. Rather than a simple option to stream your own music from, say, Steam Music, the functionality is a virtual reskin of the music. That means new, specifically composed music for the Main Menu, win and fail screens, death camera and so on.

Dubbed music kits, the functionality is designed to help "establish your identity" in the game. "You can share your music kit with anyone you are playing with," the blogpost reads, "and they include a special broadcasted MVP anthem that players whenever you are MVP."

Nine music kits are available at launch from artists including Austin Wintory, Sean Murray, Skog and Sasha.

PC Gamer

The Dreamhack Winter 2014 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship tournament being held in November will be the latest to put a $250,000 prize pool up for grabs. And for the first time ever, all the teams taking part are being invited to train at an advance "boot camp" in Stockholm, Sweden, with accommodations provided by Valve and Dreamhack.

Following the 2013 DreamHack SteelSeries Championship, the EMS One Championship at Katowice, Poland, and the ESL One Cologne even in August, the Dreamhack Winter 2014 tournament will be the fourth beneficiary of Valve's community-funded prize pool, with prize money raised through last year's CS: GO Arms Deal update. The tourney will feature the top eight teams from ESL One Cologne—NiP-Gaming, Fnatic, Titan, Team Dignitas, Virtus.Pro, Cloud 9, Epsilon and Na'Vi—and eight others that will earn spots in online qualifiers held through October.

Announced in August 2013, the CS:GO Arms Deal update was intended to help boost the prize purses at CS:GO competitive events, and thus their visibility amongst gamers and the e-sports audience. It appears to have worked: The number of Global Offensive players has grown by more than 250 percent over the past year, while three million unique viewers tuned in to the ESL One Cologne event.

The Dreamhack Winter 2014 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship will run from November 27-29 in J nk ping, Sweden. Dates and locations for the Stockholm boot camp have not yet been announced.

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to This insane round reminded me why Counter-Strike is wonderful">csgo-awp-dreamhack-invitational



Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.

The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video , it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.

CS:GO isn t without flaws aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.

You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.
PC Gamer





Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.

The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video™, it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.

CS:GO isn t without flaws—aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.

You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.

PC Gamer





Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.

The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video™, it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.

CS:GO isn t without flaws—aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.

You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to How to win eco rounds in CS:GO">csgo-pistol



Every Monday in Shooterology, Evan writes about FPSes.

You re dead, and you re broke. How are you going to win the next round when the enemy team has body armor and rifles and you don t?

This is the daunting proposition of an eco round in CS:GO, when your team collectively decides to fight on a budget so it can afford a full complement of gear in the next round. As one of the regular hurdles of competitive play, mastering the eco round is an important part of winning. Here s how I try to make the best of an economic disadvantage.


Decide to win
I ve solo-queued with so many people who see eco rounds are an invitation to play lackadaisically. You ve got pistols, they ve got rifles let s just get this over with, right? In high-level competitive play, though, eco rounds regularly go the way of the underdog. Part of that is because pro players are so comfortable with pistols, but the other half of that is their mindset: they see eco rounds as an opportunity to gut their opponent s economy rather than a round that they re pre-destined to lose.

If you ve already made your mind up that you re going to lose, congrats! You probably will.


Buy the pistol (or shotgun) you re most comfortable with
If pistols had a popularity contest, the P250 would win. It s beloved for a reason: it s a $300 weapon that can kill with a single headshot at close range. It s more versatile and more accurate than the Deagle in most situations. But if the Deagle or Five-Seven somehow speak to how you play Counter-Strike (and you don t mind buying one fewer grenade next round to offset the cost), go for it. There s plenty of math you can hold up as evidence, but I m a big believer in the idea that you re going to perform best with the weapon you feel the most confident with.

Don t rule out shotguns completely, either: mid- and late-game eco rounds are one of the situations where shotguns have a lot of utility. A Nova at $1200 or a MAG-7 at $1800 are several times the cost of a pistol, and tend to favor defensive use, where you can dictate the range that you encounter enemies and pick spots that force enemies to look two ways as they cross a narrow area (like the ramp on Nuke, or banana on Inferno). Holding a weapon that deals a lot of damage all at once is a way of compensating for your fragility and the accuracy-destroying power of aimpunch.
Make the enemy encounter multiple pistols at once
Unless you brain an enemy, you re going to have to shoot them more than they shoot you. Offset that disadvantage by positioning yourself with a teammate to see and shoot an enemy at exactly the same time. If you re covering an entry door, your teammate shouldn t be able to see an enemy before you do, and vice versa. Because there's less room for error, your timing and angles count a lot on an eco.


Do something ridiculous
On the surface this seems like it runs contrary to Decide to win, but think about it this way: one of your biggest advantages on an eco round is that you ve got less to lose. Try a strategy that your opponent would never expect, like rushing everyone through palace on Mirage, or making a hard balcony push on the T side of Inferno. On defense, consider stacking a single bombsite with your whole team in the hopes that the Terrorists will split their attack.


If you can t beat em, rob em
CS:GO is a pay-to-win game: buying power equals firepower. When you steal a weapon from a dead enemy, you re fighting on their tab. Given the choice between fighting on the wrong side of a three-on-one with no armor and cowering in a corner with a nicked AWP, save the AWP. You re probably going to lose more eco rounds than you win, so be willing to take a small gain out of a bad situation.

If the enemy knows you ve taken an AWP or another valuable weapon, it may even go out of its way to hunt you down in the final moments of the round. In this situation, a secondary, riskier way to do economic damage to an opponent on an eco is to go for exit kills, or positioning yourself to lose the round, but kill one or two players as they re exiting a known position (usually one at a time, to look for you in the waning seconds of the round).
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Someone has recreated Gone Home as a Counter-Strike map">gonehomecounterstrike


Not being able to shoot things really annoys some people. There are few better demonstrations of this enduring truth than Fullbright s first-person exploration game Gone Home. Not only has it spawned an hilarious parody featuring lots of things being killed, but now you too will be able to kill things in the titular home, thanks to this Counter-Strike: GO map.
"Your family is mysteriously missing again," so says the Steam Workshop description. "But you can figure that out later. Right now you have more pressing issues to attend to, like the fact that your house is full of terrorists and some dude has been taken hostage. Rescue him by taking him to the garage where you can make a swift getaway on that old bike thats been sitting there for twenty years."
The hostage map is recommended for less than 32 players, and can be downloaded here. Of course, you could go ahead and play Gone Home again, which comes highly recommended.
Thanks Joystiq.
...

Search news
Archive
2014
Oct   Sep   Aug   Jul   Jun   May  
Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002