This is a guide to help you become a top UK counter strike player, we’ll talk about who to talk to for advice, where to play, where to find a team, what offline events to attend and what the best way of improving is.
TL;DR: Stop playing matchmaking, play mixes, deathmatch and team games from IRC. Find people to make a team with on /r/globaloffensive or /r/RecruitCS, or at offline events. Then play online leagues such as ESL, Gameface and ESEA. Then go to offline events such as InsomniaLAN and EpicLAN. The best way to improve is to keep playing against people better than you with the same four other guys.
What to Play
This seems like an open and shut case, CS:GO of course. But no, I’m talking about what type of game you should play. Yes, you’re still going to play a max rounds 15 5v5 game, but you shouldn’t stick to matchmaking. Matchmaking allows you to easily play on your own or with two people that doesn’t really improve your communication or ability to play in a team.
Before you are able to find a solid team of five people who will consistently play together you should be playing mixes. Mixes are made up of five people who are in different teams, teamless or just want to play CS. You will then meet up on Teamspeak, mumble, ventrilo and get a 5on5 game on IRC.
IRC is a simple chat room which you can easily access through programs such as mIRC or http://webchat.quakenet.org then go to the channel #5on5.csgo and search for a game. You need to specify what skill level you are, start off at low, then mid then high. Next in your message you should say if you have a game server or not, so off or on. Finally mention what maps you want to play, d2 inf nuke. So our message on the #5on5.csgo channel on the quakenet IRC server will look like this: “mid on d2 inf mirage.” In this we’re looking for a mid skilled mix or team to play against on our server on either de_dust2, de_inferno or de_mirage. To finally get your game, you should reply to people who fit your specifications, or people will reply to you. You can either sort out what map you want to play in IRC or on the server. Most people will say something along the lines of ‘play?’ or ‘ippw?’. Then you send them your server IP or they will send you theirs. Join up, and then play the game.
IRC is good because you generally see better players and teams than matchmaking or faceit. This will help your improvement immensely. The best way of getting good is by playing against good people.
Where to Find a Team
There are a couple of places to find a team, or find another four people to play with. You can ask on the /r/globaloffensive or /r/RecruitCS subreddit, post in the closed UK scene facebook group, post on the online league forums, ask your ingame friends if they know anyone or meet people at offline events and start a team with them.
Where to Play Online
Again, IRC is a great place to play when you want a casual mix game or a team practice game when you haven’t got in touch with another team for a pracc.
In terms of competitive team CSGO you should check out ESEA, ESL and GameFace. These websites offer stable leagues where you can work your way up to the top as well as regular cups where you can play for a nice cash prize.
These leagues and cups are great to gauge your improvement and how good you are compared to the scene. That being said, just because in the first couple of weeks you aren’t top three doesn’t mean that you should start folding the team or replacing someone. Stick it out and improve together at your own pace.
What Offline Events to Attend
There are two major offline events in the UK you must attend. These are Insomnia LAN and EpicLAN.
Insomnia LAN is a large corporate event that is packed with people who want to see exhibitions and YouTubers as well as having LAN halls full of bring your own computer players who will either compete in the tournaments or just hangout with their online friends.
EpicLAN is a community event that focuses on the tournament, close knit game communities and a family feel. Most people here will come to play in the tournaments and network with other players and organisations.
What’s the Best Way to Improve
Play with like minded people at your skill level against people better than you are and don’t quit when you lose.
This is the biggest and best piece of advice you should listen to when starting out an eSports career in CS:GO. The biggest criticism of UK teams is that they don’t stick together so can’t get financial backing or become a stable scene.
Keep playing, if you’re not mixing with fellow UK players, play deathmatch, if you’re not playing a team game, sit on a server by yourself and practice prefiring spots or thinking of new strats for your team.
Play the online leagues, attend the offline LANs, don’t expect to be the best overnight, stay with the same five and improve together.
Learn to communicate efficiently, in mixes. Learn to aim well, in deathmatch. Improve your gamesense, in team games.
Who To Talk To
Big names in the UK scene who are willing to help you, your team or your organisation to reach the top are rare, but there are a few. We’re always happy to answer questions in the comments, give advice etc.
Here’s a list of people who are the backbone of UK CSGO:
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