Some Thoughts on the Challenge of Improving in CS:GO
If you've browsed this subreddit for a few years, you've probably come across many posts about someone having x number of hours in the game but only being y rank. They're basically saying they've poured a disproportionately high number of hours for where they perceive they should be skill-wise, and they're asking for help. This post is particularly for these guys, and I hope it helps others reading this too in whatever small way it can. This is a post not so much on what to do, but things to think about.
As you play CS:GO, how do you perceive that you've improved ? This is perhaps the most important thing to actually improving. Because the thing is, when you boil down CS:GO into its constituents, there's various things that make up the game and how you play it. There's aim, there's utility, there's movement, there's map timings and general map knowledge, there's communication, there's team play; there's tactics; then, there's micro play where you're aware of your own individual actions and what you want to do; there's macro play where you're aware of the big picture of how the round is developing; there's how you position yourself and how you take duels; there's so many things even down to your attitude to the game--not talking so much about toxicity and such, but how calm are you under different situations; how consistently do you perform the actions that you said to yourself you were going to try to work on before the game started, that you practiced probably for a half hour, hour, a few hours even, before the comp game you just started. If you don't consciously focus on acting out in game what you wish to practice on, in the manner you wish to do it, you won't even begin to improve that area. You have to accept that you might not be getting kills, you might lose a few rounds, and games, and might even derank one level, two levels even... Who cares ? When you see a pro streaming and you see their level 10 rank in Faceit, and see them absolutely shitting on other random level 10s what does that tell you about rank ? Or on a more relatable level, anyone who's played through high silver and gold nova knows that the breadth of skill in players you come across is mind boggling. There's simply no way to describe your skill set by a rank. Think of your own road to improvement like this -- I'm not trying to achieve a certain rank, I'm try to achieve a certain skill set. I want to improve my head shot ratio, I want to be better at utility usage, round calling, movement, whatever it is, work on that; not on your rank. Play the game purposefully, and with deliberate intention, and you will improve.
Back to question I posed before on how you perceive yourself improving. Remember its not necessarily tied to winning games or being at the top of the scoreboard. There's many ways you might have done that; perhaps your teammates made space for you to get your kills; maybe they gave you just the right kind of info; or maybe you just kept pushing idiotically and your opponents didn't know how to properly deal with you -- something that would and will get punished by higher skilled opponents. In short, you've been carried or supported in a way that otherwise would have made you very handicapped player had you not had those teammates or opponents. The only thing you can control in your quest to improving is yourself. Practice with intention and implement what you are trying to practice into your competitive gameplay. Reflect on what is working and what is not, and feed it back to your practice regimen. I read an AMA that Zeus gave back in January I think it was. I really like his attitude on practicing, where he basically said that if you don't get the desired result in game from what you had practiced before, you need to re-evaluate and practice it again until you achieve that desired result.
GL and HF9 Read the full article on Reddit