It seems that despite various statistics being out there, despite a competitive game being sold as a “Team” game. Apparently there are some that think that the individual players have more of an impact, so much so they are guided by their ego’s rather than by common sense.
There are many reasons why team games exist, be those online games or real life games such as football (soccer), Rugby, Cricket etc, is because it provides a platform for people of different strengths and weaknesses to band together and use their collective skill and knowledge to its full extent to better an opposing team.
Let us consider the Cologne 2016 current ESL competition. FNATIC are a world recognised, extraordinarily talented team of Counter Strike Global Offensive players. Inside that team you have players that perform different functions within the confines of the team, those functions are their primary focus. That isn’t to say that one cannot do another role if push came to shove, but their primary role is the one they are experts at. Like in Football, any player can be a goal keeper, they all know the rules, but who plays that position best? Or conversely, the goal keeper can kick a ball, but wouldn’t necessarily make the best centre forward.
FNATIC’s form has been questionable as a team, individually they are still some of the best players in the world, were competitions all about free styling your opponents, there would be few teams that could compete, if any.
There lies the point, despite the fact that individually they are epic players, they just lost a team game to Team Liquid in catastrophic fashion. The main reason? They were outplayed as a team. The strategies, the line coverage and positioning were just held more consistently by Team Liquid.
When Team Liquid finished the first half of Cache 11 to 4 up, it was evident the work that FNATIC had to do was immense, it wasn’t impossible for them, their players mentality doesn’t lend itself to going down without a fight. However, at that point for them to control all 15 rounds of the second half, they had to ensure they controlled the entire economy of Team Liquid. That meant a minimum of 4 kills per round and never letting them plant the bomb. Why? Well in simple terms, to stop Team Liquid from being able to get a decent buy round in. As Terrorists in the game your economy is generally easier to regenerate, even by just skipping a round you do OK. So FNATIC had to ensure that the players they had to kill, didn’t kill them with guns they couldn’t afford to buy. That makes sense right? I made the prediction at the end of the first half, if they managed to control the bomb plants, they had a great chance of winning. 10 rounds into the second half they were going exactly that. Then they missed one, then they never recovered because the economy was now in favour of Team Liquid. Yes it was amazing to watch FNATIC win 10 rounds, one after another. But they failed the overall objective of controlling the plants and Team Liquids economy, so at this point, Team Liquid all had weapons that were superior to those owned by FNATIC.
Ok, so if this was a Sunday League, FNATIC could run around with knives out and still win, but this isn’t the Sunday League this is the 2016 Cologne Major Semi-Final, the opponents are not prone to making silly mistakes, the opponents are of equal standing, in fact it could be argued that because in the previous Major FNATIC went out in the quarters, Team Liquid were better as they made the Semi-Finals. So the net result, FNATIC lost. They were outplayed on the day across two maps, one of their pick and one of their opponents. They lost.
So you have some history, then comes the conversation with some random in the steam CS:GO community, met purely by chance during a random competitive game. It was a surreal conversation where apparently the individual player makes more of a difference to the outcome of a game than the ability of a team to function as a team. Where they constantly referred to the result as an “upset” rather than for what it actually was. I was quite taken aback, they didn’t seem to have any mental ability to process the facts of previous team performances, they couldn’t see how I predicted the outcome from the simple fact of economy control, they insisted that their IQ of 132 shouldn’t be discarded and should be regarded as a source of legitimacy for some reason. I said they would lose at half time if a set of conditions weren’t met, low and behold those conditions weren’t met and they lost. You would have thought the factual results were proof enough? No, alas, this poor soul then went on a name calling rant and proceeded to remove everyone that may or may not have anything to do with me on steam. That is the reaction of a 132 IQ, stolid and measured talented individual that thinks they are something to be listened to. Someone to be admired and considered, someone to …. well who knows what they think, because I am not entirely sure they do at all. It is safe to say, Mr. IQ 132 is not well equipped to play a team game.
The point of this post? Well its simple really, it is to reiterate that the game CounterStrike Global Offensive is a TEAM game, everyone in that team MUST communicate and work together to win, from the calling to the playing. yes individual talent matters, and it can be safely assumed that for these teams to have made the semi-finals, they have some pretty epic players among them on all sides. So check your ego at the door, put your skills where you mouth is and get to it and remember, there will always be someone better than you, either in front or behind. Only you can keep yourself on top. Practise, practise, practise, the three P’s to competitive gaming. You need to think like your teammates, and they need to be able to think like you. Failure on any level of that process means you fail period.
I for one am a huge FNATIC fan and was well gutted for them, but they made the Semi’s, a good result, they are still in the top 4 teams of the world and I learnt so much about the maps they played watching them play and was in awe of Krimz aim switching. They’re not going anywhere, Olof is back and it will take time for that to come back.