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    • How to become a gamer in counter strike


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    • 6 months, 2 weeks ago
    • The ESL One Counter-Strike GO tournament took place last weekend in Frankfurt, with Swedish team Fnatic beating Team EnVyUs of France in the final to take home the lion's share of the $250,000 purse.
      Counter-Strike GO is one of the largest FPS eSports in the world, with hundreds of thousands of dollars won by the best players around the world every year, but not everyone can just wade in and start making a fortune playing games. To find out just how much work it takes to make these dreams a reality, we talked to professional players Andreas Højsleth and Asger Larsen and asked for their tips on how to make it big.
      Dedicate your life to the game
      Becoming a professional Counter-Strike player inevitably means dedicating your whole life to competing, missing out on other luxuries in life as a result. SK Gaming professional Asger Larsen explains: “There are a lot of things you will miss out on if you want to become pro like parties, being with friends and even the possibility of having a girlfriend. Not only is time a requirement, but you also have to be skilled and be able to work in a team environment."
      Andreas Højsleth believes talent is a more important factor than time. "It's all about how talented you are for the game," he says. "Some people will need a lot of time to make it big, while some can manage it in just a few years. The best way to practice to become a professional player is to play in a competitive enviroment against people on the same level or a level above you, so you learn something."
      Set up a daily practice schedule
      The daily schedule for a Counter Strike professional player is similar to that of a full time job, according to Andreas, who plays between 5-7 hours a day. "For us it's five days a week of practice, which mostly takes place from 5-11pm. We spend this time looking into other opponents and playing practice games against other teams."
      Asger adds that his daily schedule changes if there are big events coming up. "Last year when we practiced for Dreamhack Winter 2014 we would start around 5pm and continue until around 2am every day. For a normal practice session we'd start at around 6pm or 7pm and continue until midnight.”
      Prove yourself as a top player
      To make it as a Counter-Strike pro, you also need to prove yourself and show off your skills and talent. "Go to local LAN events, be competitive and attend small tournaments online," Andreas says. "Just by being serious about it you'll have a better chance: often it's not the organisations that recognise you but the other players."
      Asger agrees, adding it is also important to show dedication. "The best way for new players to prove themselves is indeed by playing a lot and attending local LAN events. If you show you are able to improve and work within a team there is a good chance that a better team will pick you up sooner or later." 
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
      Learn a wide range of skills
      Being a solid player is one thing but being able to pull off advanced tricks can mean the difference between winning and losing. Andreas says: “There are a lot of different Counter-Strike skills, and there are very few professional players that have them all. Good communication, game-sense and quick, precise aiming are among the most vital."
      "You need to be able to work within a team," adds Asger. "If you can't work with other players, any other skill you have doesn’t matter. But if you are able to work with your teammates then communication, pure skill and being innovative are good ways to start out. I don’t think it is about learning the best strategies. You have to play your own game. A lot of top teams don’t even play with strategies. They play as a unit with a lot of good communication and teamwork."
      Build good team chemistry
      Counter Strike is a team game, so it's extremely important to have a team that can work together efficiently. Asger Larsen has competed in some of the biggest teams in Europe in the past year, including Copenhagen Wolves and SK Gaming. He believes team chemistry is vital.
      "It's a really important factor," he says. "You are together almost 24/7 so you have to get along otherwise the motivation will decrease and you will not improve at all. Then you need to have a good in-game leader, an 'awper' and three 'riflers'. And I would actually also say that you need a co-leader because sometimes it can be really hard for the in-game leader to be the only one making decisions and coming up with innovative strategies if nothing is working."
      Compete with the best
      Once you have fine-tuned your skills, strategies and team chemistry it is time to take on the elite. "The best way to compete is always local LAN events, but these days I think the number of local LAN events has decreased a lot", Asger says. "There are also smaller LAN events which are non-invite like CPH Games and Assembly Summer/Winter."
      Andreas adds: "There are a lot of local lans which have bring-your-own-computer events, but for the most part, you'll probably want to get inolved with an online amateur league (like ESL, FACEIT or ESEA)."
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
      Get competitive equipment
      PC gaming is not always a level playing field: having the right gaming equipment can largely benefit both your comfort and reaction times. First and foremost, a powerful computer and monitor are vital. "The most important thing is to have a computer that can handle Count-Strike GO with a decent frame rate," Asger advises. "The next thing you need is a 120+ hz monitor because it just makes the game feel so much smoother."
      Final advice
      So there you have it: you've learned from the pros what it takes to make it to the top as a professional Counter-Strike player. We asked Asger and Andreas to offer a final word of advice. "My number one tip I would give to anyone asking how to become a pro is to keep improving," Asger says. "Always learn by your mistakes. Keep fighting to become pro. One day you will get your shot to show yourself and you have to grab that chance.”
      Finally, Andreas adds: "Be dedicated and don't give up."

    • My Journey to Going Pro in DOTA 2


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    • 8
    • 6 months, 2 weeks ago
    • In my last post (5 months ago), I spoke about how I was on the up and up again after a bit of a slump. I Found myself a team I believed in and was doing well overall, even after being royally screwed by my previous organization. What I didn't really mention is that it was also like a threshold, a reality check of some sort. I had a goal a year ago, become self-sufficient or go to a legit LAN. With the org bailing, I did not achieve these goals. I love Dota, I love competing. But at some stage, you need to look ahead. Is this what makes me happy, do I want to commit even more of my life to this? I was still a bit on the fence because I really do love playing Dota at a high level.

      So about this team, we were doing well in scrims, and we all had decent enough individual skill (all between top 300 and top 50) to actually make something happen if we committed long term. I had the feeling everyone was in for that, and I was ready to dive in once again. This joy did not last long though, we won against a legit t2 team in a scrim, and then the next day our position 4 left because he wanted to find a team that spoke his native language, even though I personally felt like communication was no problem at all in this team. Then because of that, our offlaner left as well, and within a day, we went from beating good teams, to beating ourselves and disbanding.

      That kind of broke my spirit. I have never enjoyed pubs, and the thought of jumping back in, grinding for a high rank, just to find another team that disbands for no reason within weeks did not appeal to me. So I took a 1,5-month break from Dota. I started looking at universities, studies, and job prospects in esports. I had to ask myself what I really enjoyed in life, and in the current situation, Dota was not doing it for me. There are 2 primary reasons for that, that have been discussed quite a bit recently, but I feel like are important to be aware of for any player looking to get into pro-Dota. I cannot speak for everyone, but I do want to share my reasons for not chasing this dream further fulltime for now.

        1. Toxicity - I mentioned earlier how I never really enjoyed pubs, in all my years of trying to go pro. Most people I am friends with share this opinion, but people call it a necessary evil. I have a pretty thick skin, and I am quite competitive, but after taking my break I jumped back into a pub and was instantly reminded about how I do not enjoy this way of playing. I could not find a single game without having to mute people. It has become accepted in the online community, to be a major piece of shit to everyone that makes a mistake. Everyone (except for intentional ruiners, but they are a different subject entirely) wants to win, and we all have different ways of trying to achieve them. I used to be quite vocal when I started, trying to motivate my team, and leading them to victory, but over the years I kind of gave up on this. A lot of people don't listen, don't want to listen, don't want to play as a team, and would rather lose than admit they are wrong.

      • Anonymity and competitiveness are a difficult combination, and this leads to emotions, I am human, I get angry. But there is a difference between getting frustrated and consistently verbally abusing your teammates and enemies. This is way too common in any bracket. Even pro's are not exempt from this, and that is a very harmful thing in my opinion. Is this truly the best we can do as a community? We are putting the crutch on Valve, but it is our own responsibility to give a good example.

      • Now after this rant, let's get back to my original point. For most pros and wannabe pros like me, 75% of your day is playing and watching pubs. And this baffles me. It's convenient sure. The stakes are low sure. But if someone told me that the best way to get better at something is to be thrown in a pit with 9 others of varying skill level, speaking different languages, and having different goals, I would probably scoff at them. We have such a large community of friendly, tryharding, high-skill players, and still, pubs are where you are supposed to get in your mechanical skill practice? I love close games, I love the feeling of getting better at something, I love teamwork, I love everything that Dota is supposed to be. But 75% of your day (100% of teamless days), is not like that at all. It might be a hyperbole, but I feel like half of the games I played were decided not by skill and teamwork, but by whichever team got lucky and didn't have someone that gave up. Combine that with an arbitrary number that you get judged by, I would often go to bed with a mood decided by whether or not I won my team-dice rolls. I am not saying you have no influence, you can certainly lead your team to victory, or play well enough to solocarry games sometimes. I just feel like pubs are not a healthy and productive training ground.

      So that is my first reason, I love scrims, tournaments, and inhouses, but I -for the most part- do not love the 75% of my day that is spent playing solo matchmaking.

      • 2. Tier two-point-five life - So what if I could endure pubs a bit better? What if I could grind myself back up to top 100 (Which I have been on at least 3 different occasions, so I think it's reasonable to believe I could do it again)? Then you arrive in what I like to call: "Stack hell". I could write essays about this, but it basically comes down to this: There is no incentive to stay together as a team, consistency is not being rewarded in the tier 2 scene so people constantly hop around teams trying to find "the one" that hits their stride and makes it to one of the tournaments that have 90% of the money in the scene. There are so many great players with a ton of potential that gave up on this dream, because the top few players make thousands of times more than them, if they even make anything in the first place.

      • I know this market is competitive, greatness should be rewarded, and I do not believe in handouts. But I do believe that if you consistently make it to closed qualifiers, and give tier 1, and 1.5 teams a run for their money (pun intended), I believe you should get something. I'm not sure how many of you realize this, but a tier 2 player, and even some tier 3 players spend just as much time playing and practicing as the top tier players. And with some luck, and some dedication, a lot of players could make it big. Think about Topson or Nisha, these players have been around in the t2 scene for quite a while! and I believe there are more hidden gems scattered across the tier 2 scene. And a lot of them will never achieve their potential because there is no way to reliably climb up to tier one. You pretty much have to get lucky and have a veteran notice you and take you under his wing. This is a very complex issue, and I do not claim to have all the answers, but it's important that we keep talking about this issue because it is essential for the health of the pro scene in my opinion.

      I spoke about this with Killerpigeon recently, and he said something I found interesting. Tournaments like Midas mode are super good for the scene! Because they are interesting premises, people will watch just because of the creativity of the format, but if these kinds of tournaments included tier 2 teams sometimes, people would eventually get to know them, leading to more exposure, and more opportunities for sponsorships ^etc.

      So that is my second reason, I have no clear path up ahead of me. I could work really hard and get noticed, or I could work really hard, blind to my surroundings, and never achieve anything. Does that mean I will never play Dota on a decent level ever again? On the contrary, I have a team right now that I believe in, with some good and pleasant folks, and once the TI-no-tournament-dry-spill is over, I will be tryharding with them! It just means that I am looking to venture out into other stuff as well, and probably won't be playing 15 solos per day.

      It's not all doom and gloom though! I have some additional updates and things that are a lot happier. For instance, I signed up for a study that I am really excited about (which in combination with my casting helped me to get my own place)! And not playing 10 pubs a day gave me a lot of time that I could spend on my hobbies, health, and relationships, so I am in a really good spot both mentally and physically. But more importantly for you guys:

      Not spending as much time playing also gave me a lot of time to pursue my other Dota passion, which is casting and paneling. I really love the pro scene, the passion, the competition. And as a caster, you have a first-row seat of the action! I have done quite some casting for tier 2 tournaments in the past few months and I also casted Liquid-OG in the epicenter group stages for instance, which was awesome! So if you enjoy my casting or my analysis on panels, you will see more of that in the time ahead!

      And finally, to promote all the hidden stars scattered around in pubs, my epicenter shoutcaster Hasbaz and me will be casting high mmr pubs for the next few days over at https://www.twitch.tv/wingbladedota. So come check us out if you want to watch some high-level Dota, or argue whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. (PS: any donations I get during this time will be split between me and Haz, he's doing as much work as me)

      That is all for now, I would like to once again thank everyone for the overwhelming amount of support I've received over the years, you guys are awesome!

      TLDR: Recent events made me think about whether I am really enjoying this rocky road I am on. Answer was "not enough". Then I whined for like 6 paragraphs about people being mean, and the T2 scene being shite. Then I bragged about finally having the time to ride my Lambo through the Hollywood hills. I then announced I would be casting and paneling more in the future, and promised you chicken nuggets if you came to my stream to watch me cast EU pubs, (like grandgrant but with actual Dota knowledge )and used your twitch prime on me

      As always, check out my TwitchFacebook, and Twitter!