The Way Of The Gun


Article by Mihai “MeTTaxa” Mihaiescu

The following is a community-submitted editorial and does not necessarily represent the opinions of GotFrag or its advertisers

Who are you? What are you playing for? Are you for real? What is the difference between you and Heaton? Why can’t you be the next Johnny R.?

Feeling frustrated? Well it’s just the beginning. You’re not fast enough, you don’t know how to react when your teammate goes down in front of you, and you shoot like a little girl. You’ll never get to the top, you’re just another pub player.

Am I right? If the answer is yes, then please go back to your favorite pub server, forget about reading the rest of the article, just type retry in the console. You and your online buddies are going to have the best time ever.

But what if you don’t want to do that? What if you want more? What if you believe you can make it? That’s not enough either, as there is no room for doubt; either you know it, or you don’t. Mentality is the difference between a top-player and you. If you have your mind set in the right place, there is nothing powerful enough to stop you. In this article, I will answer the question that you’re all asking yourself when you see a top player in action: “What does he have that I don’t?”

Well boys and girls, the answer is simple, he knows “The Way of the Gun”.

The mind is your most powerful weapon, and I guess I’m not the first to say it. If your focus is at it’s highest, you’re probably gonna win, but this doesn’t depend on you, it depends on your team also. “The strength of an army is determined by its weakest soldier” (Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”). So it doesn’t matter if you’re in the best shape, if your teammates are thinking about the purpose meaning while playing. First of all, this is a team game; your player skills come second, but that’s another article. For now let’s talk about your personal skill, and the way you should act and react during a match.

Position is the key

70% of your personal skill is position. If you have this covered, your individual skill will skyrocket. Counter-Strike is all about advantage, if you are on higher ground, if you make him hesitate, you’re the best bet. The biggest position advantage is standing on higher ground, when you two meet, you’re aiming for the chest and head, while he’s aiming at your feet. However, position is not about waiting, it’s about knowing how to move around. The best way to understand that, is to watch some top rated demos. There is no easier way to learn than watching a player who already has what it takes. When watching a demo, you should watch the way the team reacts to a certain attack, and focus on the guy who holds the position you must defend. Watch the way he moves, and ask yourself why. When watching, how a player shoots is unimportant for now, just watch the map. After a few demos, you should begin seeing the way you should hold a certain bombsite, but what is more important in positioning is the way you retake the other bombsite. Who died where? How many T’s remain? Where are they positioned? Watch and learn, it’s the best way. You could read about it your whole life, but what it comes down to is experience, and watching demos is the quickest way to gain that.

When attacking you and your team should scout a lot in the 4th round at least, knowing how your enemy is positioned is a big advantage. If you know how they are holding a certain bombsite, you know how they’ll rotate when attacking the other one, and more important is how fast they are gonna do that. Is it worth faking an attack to bombsite A? How fast will they catch on? Can I catch someone off-guard while rotating ? You know how to find out… watch demos.

Let’s talk about mentality.

The big difference between wannabe players and movie-godlike-omg-players is the way you think about the game. Wannabe players are always searching for the enemy, trying to find out where they are located, constantly thinking, what if he’s gonna kill me from behind? I wonder how many people are watching me on HLTV. It may not be instant, but the inevitable will occur: you are dead, and the only thing on your mind is wondering how he got there. The top player never has any doubts, he never wonders where the opponent is. He knows he’s there, and he doesn’t care about the people on HLTV; his whole focus is on reflex.

By now your positioning skills should be ok, so stop wondering and just play. As I told you before, there is no room for doubt, focus on the game. Don’t try to block out the adrenaline, that’s the worst thing you can do, you can never block it out completely. On LANs especially, adrenaline is your advantage, just let it flow and use it. Perhaps you’ve heard that the best teams are the ones who win in LAN Cups. That is so true, because of two things: same ping, and the ability to focus in stress conditions. That’s why SK was considered last year the best team in the world, from CPL Summer until CPL Winter they never lost a match. Of course they lost some online matches, but on LAN they were untouchable. So just focus on the game, in the end it all comes down to one thing: it’s either you or them. So what’s it gonna be?

Still interested?

Let’s talk about advantage.

As I told you before, top players only focus on reflex. Well I guess you’re all wondering how did they get to do that…

It’s actually quite simple; they are very good at improvising. We now find another difference in mentality. Counter-Strike is a game about advantage. If you hold the upper hand, you’re the best bet in the fight. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one left, if you always hold the advantage, you’re going to win. I guess you’re confused, so I’ll explain myself by listing some of the biggest advantages:

The biggest advantage ever known is the simplest one, and the most effective one also. You’re gonna think it’s silly, or stupid but unless you have this advantage, you’re always gonna be the underdog in a bet. You have to get him in your crosshair before he gets you. Why is that the most important thing ? While he’s trying to get you in his crosshair, you’re already shooting, and if your shooting is good enough he’s dead before he can touch you. When you have this advantage, all you need is reflex, while he’s still wasting precious milliseconds aiming for you. All other advantages relate to this one; this is the first commandment.

As I told you, every other advantage you can create relates to the first commandment, this next one is no exception. You should use your equipment wisely, with every grenade, every flashbang, every single smoke you throw, you’re making him reposition. Now he is no longer aiming at you; he lost his advantage, and it’s anyone’s game now.

Your positioning also plays a big role in creating the advantage. If he doesn’t see you coming, you’re halfway there, just make sure you aim first. Another thing you must be careful while positioning is making sure there is only one way the enemy can come. If there are multiple targets in different positions, you must find a way to fight each target as it comes, and still have the upper hand.

Being at an upper level is a big advantage also, as I told you in the beginning, when I discussed positioning, but it’s useless unless you follow the first commandment. Everything in gaming relates, and this is no exception. The only exception you can find is reflex. You can hold the best advantage, but if he has incredible reflex, he kills you. How did he do that ? Focus. I told you, everything relates.

There are a lot of other ways to create an advantage. I just told you the biggest ones, so you get the idea. So now, when you are watching a demo, observe the way a player creates an advantage. If a player kills another one, that player had the advantage, whether it’s pure reflex, or just well thought out positioning, it all comes down to basics. Having the ability to see the big picture in any situation is the way top players are born.

You’d like to optimize your training also wouldn’t you?

Well training is the hardest part. A contest lasts days, training lasts months or even years. I told you what to train, but I didn’t tell you how to train. Well there are lots of different ways to individually practice your game, but there are limits. Some players train for 8 hours a day, others 1 hour a week. The time it takes depends on every man. The limits are as follows: your brain cannot fully focus for more than 3 to 4 hours, and that’s after constant training. You should start progressively and try to train only one part of your game every time, reflex, skill, aim, and so on. Your body also has limits, you get tired, you lack reflex, you cannot think accurately. The most important muscles used are the ones in your hand; these muscles are the most solicited part of your body, except the brain of course. If you have a small mouse sensitivity (i.e 1, 1.5, 2, etc.), which is highly recommended, your hand is under a lot of stress. You should train your muscles playing stupid online games, that take your hand to the limit :). I’ll have a list of links at the end of this article.

Well now you know “The Way of the Gun”, and I hope I’ve convinced you not to continue with this childish game. If you don’t want to quit, then go right ahead and become a top player, win money playing your favorite game, get your name on thousands of sites like this, and have tens of thousands of fans all over the world. You just might make it.


Reflex Tester:
Very good for practicing your first commandment =)
Play this game in a regular basis, it’s very simple, and it increases the focus capability

Reflex and Muscle Training:
Play these games for muscle endurance and reflex testing.

Stupid Online Games for people with a lot of free time:
I personally recommend this one:

That’s all, MeTTaxa (that’s me) bids you a farewell, and I’ll see you again real soon.

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