(c) G2 and KennyS
The AWP* immediately attracted me. As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to use this weapon on Counter-Strike.
*Arctic Warfare Police, the famous sniper rifle.
For a question of feeling, of such a special way of playing. Its versatile aspect which did not leave room for error, especially when you often go into contact.
I always liked the role of the sniper, a little ungrateful and under constant pressure.
THE SNIPER: HERE TO ANNOY THE OPPOSING TEAM
The sniper is for me that annoying guy who’s here to piss you off.
With his aggression and passivity, he puts pressure on the opposing players who must have difficulty knowing what he is doing because of his good mobility.
In this role, my primary goal is to put my team at an advantage, numerical or positional. Everyone knows that, which can lead to a lot of paranoia during a game if one of the snipers is on a good day. It’s much more stressful than a rifle that would be hot, because the sniper has a more surprising side, he often manages to take his victims by surprise.
The aura of the good sniper allows him to close some areas of the map and some lines whereas he is not even physically present there, and thus gives a fundamental advantage to his team without even having to make kills. A space is created and it will often be decisive to win a round. When I watch VODs from our games, I also notice the reaction of the opponents. Not to mention panic, it’s a real team movement that is triggered by the sniper.
THE INGRATITUDE OF THE SNIPER ROLE
As I said, the pressure is at its highest.
At the very beginning of my career, it could be complicated to feel that all eyes were on me in LAN. I remember one of my first event on CS: GO, (Esports Heaven Vienna), where we played against Na’Vi and markeloff, who was a sniper legend on CS 1.6. I had far too much respect for him and asked my teamate SmithZz to take over the position that day. It was the first and last time.
The AWP has the defect of its qualities, if you can kill with one bullet, you can hardly catch up if you miss your target. On the other hand, you can see many rifles miss, but get back together directly with a big spray. Moreover, even if the teams’ game is not currently always based on him, we are still waiting for good performances from the player who occupies this role.
That’s the ingratitude of this weapon, you can’t miss.
To compare with my other passion, football, we could compare this position to the goalkeeper one. Any mistake can be fatal.
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This situation and the resulting stress must be well managed. I don’t know if I have 100% control over this parameter, but I’ve always liked having this pressure and I think I’ve been evolving recently on this point. Before I didn’t accept to miss and I could get out of my game when the start was not good.
This is no longer the case today, I know that my time will come, that I must remain calm. This detachment from my individual performance at the key moment allows me to bounce back.
Not long ago, we met forZe in Qualifier for the Sydney IEM. While we were playing the decisive map (overpass), I missed everything during the CT side. With the help of my staff and this new mental discipline, I was able to be patient. And in the T side, everything worked out, both by my skill and by the movement I was able to bring by communicating a lot with my teammates rather than withdrawing from being irritated by my beginning of the game. It was by accepting to miss that the wheel turned.
This recent change comes from a new work system where rigour and requirements are more important. I totally embraced a philosophy that allowed me to evolve and move on to something else, to feel that I was simply moving forward. So I gave my absolute trust to Damien and Jérôme and it allowed me to know something new. I have acquired a different and better adapted routine. The positive results arrived very quickly, and were a source of motivation and personal satisfaction to have taken this path, but the road is not yet finished. I now feel confident in my ability to meet the challenges ahead.
DUELS AND CLUTCHES ARE SOME SPECIAL MOMENTS
One of the moments that generates the most pressure is the duel that can be played between two snipers. To win, you often have to crush your direct opponent on the other side.
While it was more a question of feeling and skill in the past, the preparation of matches and analysis gave us a lot of useful informations to anticipate the movements of our opponents.
This knowledge is important for me today, but the context around the duel is just as important: the individual level I can have at the time, psychological advantage over my opponent, self-confidence, dynamics of the current match, facilities on the map played…
Some teams that have a more defensive playstyle like ENCE can cause me more problems. Their sniper Allu is not in this search for a duel, but rather he is trying to annoy the other players on your team. Other opponents like GuardiaN, who is the most constant sniper in the world, are doing quite well for me without really knowing why. Maybe our differences in style make his weaknesses more exploitable for me. We have a real rivalry and I respect him very much.
Clutches are the most tense situation in our world. Your heart beats very fast, and as soon as you finish the round, you have a feeling of relaxation that creates a real well-being. Experience helps me a lot in these situations because it allows me to better manage this pressure. However, I often try to keep an instinctive style of play. The context of a clutch mixed with my instinct allows me to be more lively, more explosive and spontaneous.
I will always remember the one against GuardiaN in Cologne. I start with an advantage in terms of information about him, but finally when I get to the bombsite, there is a little panic on both sides. I shot all my bullets, he shoots everywhere and then I have no choice but to use my knife. It went by so fast, but I kept some of my calm to do something instinctive.
I MUST BE INSPIRED BY MY OPPONENTS TO CONTINUE MY DEVELOPMENT AS A PLAYER
Even though I started very young, I never really had an inspiring role model. Some mythical videos like SK Believe or those of AAA rocked me, but I finally managed to reach the top level without taking an example of a player.
What is paradoxical is that today, after so many years of career, I look a little more closely at what my opponents are doing in this role. A player like dev1ce inspires me with his different approach and mentality. For some time now, the CS: GO world has reached such a level that it is on this parameter that the differences are made and this is what plays the most important role in Astralis’s success.
When you look at the Danish sniper, it is not spectacular as s1mple, but its effectiveness may be greater. By observing it a little more, I can sharpen my sense of the game.
I have always had a very aggressive and spectacular style of play, and I am very proud of it because it has become my trademark. That’s also why my fanbase is so big and why many pros like s1mple have been able to send me when they were upcoming talents.
I still like to do bunnies, 360 kills or fastscopes, but having slower and more controlled round gives me more and more pleasure. Like taking a kill in one place to move calmly and let another opponent into my line. Killing your opponents by being mobile proves to me that you have skill, but if you do it in a more rational way by simply being well placed, you are just as satisfied.
The important thing for me today is to perfectly manage this other aspect of the sniper.
It is a difficult balance to find after all, because all snipers have an individualistic side. Most of us are looking to quickly create numerical superiority or rebalance forces, which often leads to a lot of movement on our part. The taking of initiatives and risks is therefore greater, even if it is not only on the side of the sniper. Another rifle players can also have these characteristics, I think of JaCkz in our team.
This is one of the last difficulties I have to overcome, knowing when I can continue to move forward after a kill or when I have to move back and act with more restraint. I’ve tended to go back in recent months, maybe also to improve this aspect of my game.
It is essential for snipers to be inspired by other players at the station. Because if we base our training routine solely on our natural qualities to progress, the evolution will be much more limited. The deathmatch and FPL sessions will be able to improve my skills but the most important thing is this work of analysing the demos, by observing the best players and team in order to improve us tactically, but especially in terms of this mentality by developing curiosity.
Competition is intense in this position.
The sniper who says he’s not looking to be the best in his position is a liar. I want to be the strongest and I know I can do it. But there is a lot of respect between us. I have been able to talk with GuardiaN or younger people like smooya to share experiences.
I think I’m a very second-degree person, a bit of a clown and open-minded.
A normal guy.
Of course, I have this sniper madness that I think is necessary, but I don’t think I’m someone else.
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The arrival of an excellent french opponent like Zywoo is a source of motivation. The first time I played it, I was good and it went very well for my team with this WESG qualification. This second match in the Charleroi Esports was more difficult and quickly took a rather frustrating turn. Derbies are always complicated to play, especially when the psychological advantage could have been taken at the previous game. It’s good that we’re being opposed, both for him and for me, it creates a kind of emulation.
I wish him to hold on as much as possible, because this carelessness due to his youth in the circuit will disappear at some point. He’s really strong, but I’m not bad either, we’ll see who will be the best French sniper.
IT IS BY COLLECTIVELY SUCCEEDING THAT I WILL ACHIEVE MY INDIVIDUAL GOALS
2018 was the worst year of my life, both in terms of play and personal. As they say, problems never happen alone. I’ve never had such a awful season before, it’s been a big slap in the face.
I have always been told the following sentence: you are the player that you are the person in life.
I have long been able to rely on my skills and talent, and it has worked to some extent. I was satisfied to be at a top 5/7 level in the HLTV ranking when I was hoping for more, but I didn’t have the means to do so.
I regained awareness of the importance of the game in my life with the arrival of our coach Damien and the work he does together with Jérôme. I immediately embraced their new, more demanding process, because I felt the need to bounce back in my life as well as on the game servers. I’ve always been a player who walked on instinct and trust with a kind of irreverence and casualness, but I can’t afford to base myself on that alone anymore, it’s too much even or double. Having a warm hand will always exist, but I also have to be efficient in other aspects when it is not the case.
We are working together on the mental level, on a better lifestyle, on more diversified work phases and I can already see the benefits. When I look at the statistics on HLTV and find myself in the best flash of a tournament while staying at a good individual rating, it says a lot about my evolution.
While I was rightly criticized by the community last year, people now recognize my progress. It is an additional source of motivation to receive these positive opinions.
This new process leads us all to think more collectively. As dev1ce have said: ‘I don’t want to be the best player in the world, but to build the best team in the world’. It is now both.
This mentality of fighting for something bigger than you is the key.
Our objectives with G2 are high: winning tournaments and becoming part of the top 5 in the world. I remain a competitor who wants to be the best, but I now know that it will happen through my team.
It is by all going in the same direction that we will succeed.
translation by Sans Filtre’s team (be kind with us 😉