Top 3 Tips for AWPing as a Counter Terrorist

The star-studded role of AWPer is often only taken by those gifted with a natural mechanical talent. However, players such as NEO have also proved that the modern day AWPer need not only rely on raw mechanical skill, rather can fall back on perfect positioning and astute decision making, especially on the Counter Terrorist side. Whilst guides - such as this one - may provide you with practical advice to implement into your own gameplay, it goes without saying that your first port-of-call for teaching yourself how to wield the AWP is watching demos. Deathmatching will always reach a point of diminishing returns. Instead, use this extra individual practice time to review the demos of professional AWPers. However, avoid watching the demos of players who rely on chaos and their aim to be successful, such as S1mple or JW. With that said, here are my three top tips for AWPing on the Counter Terrorist side:

1. Have a plan for each round

This first tip is possibly the simplest to implement into your game, especially if you put in the hard work watching demos. As soon as you die in a round, rather than blankly watching your teammates play, process what happened that round and those that occurred before it, then formulate a plan for the next round. Decide on a route where you can take a shot at a spot, before falling back to a slightly more defensive position, before taking a shot from this second position and falling back again and so on and so forth. Often you can blindly copy the routes used by professional players – a player commonly studied for this purpose is Dev1ce – however, it often proves to be more prudent to learn why players use different routes. If you can understand what caused Dev1ce to use a certain route or spot, then you yourself can begin to adjust your routes mid-game in order to maximise your effectiveness. Below I have demonstrated a few easy to use routes, which give you a good idea of what you are looking for in demos.

2.      Play with your reaction speed in mind

Often naturally talented players or those lacking in experience hold angles right against the edge of the obstacle which they expect the next opponent to appear from. Although the thought process is correct – especially if the opponent is shoulder peeking or attempting to peek specifically your position – the player has failed to consider their own reaction speed. If the opponent were to swing wide or simply overlook the player’s position and peek an angle wider than their own, the player would be forced to react and flick their crosshair away from the edge of the obstacle. To counter act this, you have to make a decision when holding an angle: Do you hold the angle tight next to the wall or allow a small buffer between your crosshair and the wall? The first option makes sense if you expect the player to shoulder peek a lot and you want to take a pot-shot, or if you expect the player to peek specifically your angle. This is going to be most prevalent when you are holding standard angles such as the ones shown on Inferno below. However, if you expect the opponent to swing wide on you or simply not expect your position, hold your crosshair out like demonstrated below, whilst still focusing your vision on the edge of the obstacle. By the time you react to the enemy peeking, they will be positioned in your crosshair and you can kill them with little effort.

wide vs tight.png

3.      Use teammates to re-aggress

Finally, in an era dominated by KennyS and S1mple, a common misconception held is that aggressive AWP play relies entirely on mechanical skill. Although raw aim opens up far more opportunities for aggressive plays, good teamplay and a few pre-planned flashbangs can go a long way regardless of your mechanical skill. This is especially relevant for plays where an AWPer pushed back by enemy presence and utility gets aggressive mid-to-late round off a teammate’s flashbang and gets a late pick or vital information. A late-round aggressive play such as the one described above can be executed significantly easier by a lower skilled AWPer than the more common, but more difficult, early round aggressive plays seen at the professional level. Simply learning and practicing a play, such as the one demonstrated below, with a teammate playing close to you can greatly increase your effectiveness on the Counter Terrorist side.

In conclusion, AWPing – like all parts of Counter Strike – is best learnt through practice and demo review. However, these tips should also help improve both your own AWPing as a Counter Terrorist, but also how you support AWPers on your Counter Terrorist half.