How to become a professional Counter-Strike GO player
Want to become a Counter-Strike pro but don’t know where to start? Find out with these tips.
CS:GO is one of the top FPS esports in the world, with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake for top players around the world every year, but not everyone can jump in and start earning a fortune playing. To find out just how much work it takes to make these dreams come true, we spoke to pro gamers Andreas Højsleth and Asger Larsen and asked them for their tips on how to get to the top.
Dedicate your life to the game
Becoming a professional Counter-Strike player inevitably means dedicating your whole life to the competition, thus missing out on other luxuries in life. SK Gaming pro Asger Larsen explains: “There are many things you miss out on if you want to go pro, such as parties, being with friends and even the possibility of having a partner. Not only is time a requirement, but you also have to be skilled and know how to work in a team.”
Andreas Højsleth believes that talent is a more important factor than time. “It all depends on how talented you are at the game,” he says. “Some people will need a long time to succeed, while others can make it in a few years. The best way to practice to become a professional player is to play in a competitive environment against people at your own level or higher, so you learn something.”
Establish a daily training schedule
The daily schedule for a professional Counter Strike player is similar to a full-time job, according to Andreas, who plays between 5 and 7 hours a day. “For us it’s five days a week of practice, which mostly takes place from 5pm to 11pm. We spend this time researching other opponents and playing practice games against other teams.”
Asger adds that his daily schedule changes if there are big events ahead. “If we are on the doorstep of a big event, we would start around 17:00 and continue until 2:00 am every day. For a normal practice session we would start around 6 or 7 p.m. and continue until midnight.”
Prove you’re a top player
To become a Counter-Strike pro, you also have to prove yourself and show your skills and talent. “Go to local LAN events, be competitive and attend small online tournaments,” says Andreas. “Just being serious will give you a better chance: often it’s not the organizations that recognize you, but the other players.”
Asger agrees and adds that 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 that you are able to improve and work as a team, there is a good chance that a better team will catch you sooner or later.”
Learning a wide range of skills
Being a solid player is one thing, but being able to perform advanced tricks can mean the difference between winning and losing. Andreas says, “There are many different skills in Counter-Strike, and there are very few professional players who have them all. Good communication, game sense and fast, accurate aiming are some of the most vital.”
“You have to know how to work in a team,” Asger adds. “If you can’t work with other players, any other skills you have don’t matter. But if you are able to work with your teammates, communication, pure skill and being innovative are good ways to start. I don’t think it’s about learning the best strategies. You have to play your own game. Many of the best teams don’t even play with strategies. They play as a unit with lots and lots of good communication and teamwork.”
Building 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 on some of the top teams in Europe in the past year, such as Copenhagen Wolves and SK Gaming. He believes team chemistry is vital.
“It’s a very important factor,” he says. “You are together almost 24 hours a day, so you have to get along well, otherwise the motivation will decrease and you won’t improve at all. Also, you have to have a good leader in the game. And, in fact, I would also say you need a co-leader, because sometimes it can be very hard for the game leader to be the only one making decisions and coming up with innovative strategies if nothing works.”