Good game sense can lead to easy kills that win rounds
The term “game sense” is a phrase that is often thrown around in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and yet oftentimes it is either not defined or used in the wrong context and when it is used it isn’t explained or elaborated upon, much to the detriment to newer players. What exactly is game sense? How do I get one? Does it come in white? Well, I’m glad you asked since I’m here to answer those questions and more.
Game sense, simply put, is the ability to predict your opponent’s actions before they happen. This can range from the expected(predicting that an enemy will push into a site if they throw the appropriate smokes and flashes) to the outright VAC worthy(peeking at just the moment the whole enemy team has a smoke grenade equipped.) It typically involves aspects like good timing of peeks and pushes(moving into the site when the enemy is just about to rotate for example), good positioning and map knowledge(switching up your position every round as a CT, not peeking predictably as a T, pre-shooting spots near the beginning of a round where you know a certain player plays), and various “higher” concepts. So, how do you improve this invaluable skill? Simple.
The best, most efficient, effective and fun way to learn game sense is to play the game. Sounds easy right? Just keep doing what you’re doing now huh? Well not just that. You need to be conscientious of your enemy even more so than normal in order to develop a game sense. Think to yourself, if the other team seem to always know where you are, where you’re standing, peeking or pushing, then consider how they know. Imagine it like this: In any given round your movement around the map is a jigsaw. The enemy team never knows where all the pieces go, but they see certain snippets of the whole picture here and there; you crossing this point, jumping down from over there, a gunshot sound from that spot over there. The game sense is the ability to infer where all the pieces go, even if you aren’t told where they all go, and then when you see the whole picture, to use the information contained in it to win.
So, next time you lose a round because the other team somehow “sees” your team preparing for a push, “knows” you’re faking a bomb site even though you sold it really well, peeks you just when you had no weapon equipped, think. How would he have known? In the heat of the moment, try and note where the CTs stand, where the Ts peek and when, how the team interacts, when they kill you think. Was it simply an aim issue, or did I give information on where I was without realizing? Of course this is difficult to do when you’re winning constantly, but then again if you are then you’ll rank up quickly until you run into a challenge. Now, deducing this sort of information from your enemy can be a little tricky, as a lot of newer or inexperienced players tend to resort to the classic “how did he know I was there?” outcry since they actually can’t tell how the pesky enemy knew. Well, for those of you a little more inexperienced, and actually the wider player community, there’s another, more relaxed way to learn some game sense.
Watch pro matches. Typically there are 7-8 matches taking place throughout the day so no matter your timezone you can tune in on Twitch or Hitbox and watch some play at the highest level. Again, take note of all the details; where the player is standing, where his crosshair is placed, how he plays in relation to his teammates, and what sort of smokes, grenades and flashes he throws. When he dies, ask yourself why he did. If he gets a kill, again, look at what the enemy did wrong. The casters are a huge asset in your quest to learn game sense in this way. They will explain what is going on if you’re a little overwhelmed and elaborate on the finer nuances like many of the aspects above, like positioning, timing and the player’s “read” of the game. Combine these two methods of watching and playing CSGO and in no time you’ll develop a natural intuition of what to do and when, and soon you’ll be playing the mind game better than The Joker.
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