CSGO: My ambition - Caspian
At a young age I always felt I had a passion for gaming. From when I first got my hands on a play station 1 to receiving the original Xbox and playing halo 2 for countless hours every night after school, I always felt there was something greater than just playing the game.
Halo 2 was the first competitive game that I started playing, my brothers are much older than me and where alot better at the game then me, but through many hours playing and watching team's like Final Boss and Carbon battling it out on the MLG scene I grew a passion for the game. Even though I was very young I was able to go out to LAN events with my brothers and their friends much older than me and show them what I was capable of at a young age. This was when I learnt that gaming really was more than just a past time and it was time to start learning how to play the games like a professional would.
Halo 2 and 3
My halo 2 dream however was short lived, I started playing the game too late on as I was only young and eventually halo 3 came out for Xbox 360 in 2007. This however didn't make me quit, leading up to the release day I learnt everything about the game and once released I quickly started playing. At first I couldn't choose between team doubles, team MLG or team slayer. All game modes diversely different but each so unique and alot of team work required at the highest levels. After a year or two I hadn't really managed to get far with halo as consoles for me where alot difficult and being so young at the time it was very hard to find players who wanted to play with me...
I decided to play team doubles as it only required another player to play with and this would eventually develop me into learning the "calling" role which I now use for Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
For the next few years I continued to play Halo 3, attending a few LAN events under my Xbox name "Toxic Shots" but never made anything of it and my dreams where crushed beyond me to carry on.
Halo wars was a fresh start into the competitive age for me. As it had been a few years since trying to play a game professionally I knew this was where I could start fresh. Halo wars was simple, a very easy real time strategy, lots of effective gameplay and many hours of different techniques, player styles and maps that could be altered and changed with every new game. Eventually I came to playing with professional players like "halo wars ftw" "Alex69n0one" who taught me the bigger picture into competitive gaming and why they did it themselves. This really pushed me forward to want to become the best at a game, any game really...
A lost dream
From about 2010 until 2014 I'd forgotten about the dream I once had to ever becoming the best at a game that I once loved and whenever casually playing PC games like Guild Wars or Call of Duty on Xbox 360 I never really remembered what it was once like to play a game in the way I used to as a young player with ambitions and nothing really ever came back to me until about half way through 2014. I'd been up late one night on twitch and saw that the finals where on for Counter Strike: Global Offensive at Cologne, Germany. To sit there for hours watching a game of 10 men fighting for a cash pool of "$250,000 was amazing. The effort and commitment it looked like they had put into this one event just to win a cash prize was amazing. And when I saw Fnatic get beaten by NiP they all seemed disheartened. This brought back the what it once felt like to really commit to something and want to win at something so bad you where devastated if you couldn't have it. My lost dream finally came back.
I had been working for about a year and managed to afford a PC good enough to run CS:GO. I started by putting in about 8 hours of game time a night while at school and once I finished my Year 11 I had a 3 month period where I played around 14 hours a day. In this time my goal was Global Elite and within 200 wins of solo queuing I very quickly achieved this. I knew that if I reached Global elite at such a fast stage that teams would want me in the team as this was such a high achieving rank, however... This was not the case, the game is something different than just getting to global elite or beating teams as a solo player. CS is about the team, 5 men/women working together to capture an objective or defend the objectives not just any other FPS shooter killing to win. At this moment I realised that I needed just more than a rank to show that I was able to join any other amateur team and start working my way up to the top.
I started with listening, I spent about 300 hours watching POV demos of Fnatic, NiP, Cloud9, iBuyPower and Team LDLC. I listened for hours on hours at what exactly they look for and move towards, how they communicate and questioned everything that they did from where the caller wanted to players to go to why he told the team to buy things and where he wanted utility to be used etc... Eventually I started applying this back to a basic PUG team I had started with my community and after a couple of hundred hours it finally started coming to me about the whole "In game leading". I noticed that In game leaders where completely different to "Strat Callers" and I really struggled to lead the team so much that I usually wanted to refer so much back to strats and keep the communication simple. Listening to teams like modern day EnvyUs and TSM its not about keeping the comms simple all the time, they put alot of effort into strat calling and team practice for strategies but the callers will refer to advanced calling everything that they want to be done during the round, when to move, when to stay etc... I knew then that I needed experience as both a leader, captain and a caller.
I started my own team "Vybor" back in January in which I gathered 4 Norwegian players and for about 300 hours developed my calling ability further, however this again wasn't working. I felt I was the only player putting as much effort into becoming a professional. I disbanded the team around August and reformed it with new players in which we played switching players for the next month eventually deciding a line-up that may be able to take us pro. Once again my dream was short lived, I didn't have enough experience as a caller to understand the game mechanics enough and read the enemy.
At this time I met a player called "Rambi", he was an ex in game leader for x6tence and through weeks of practice and drilling into me I finally felt I was ready for the semi-pro scene. Again I disbanded my team as things where not working out and trailed for many teams in the UK over the next month leading up to November, not giving up on my dream I finally came across my current line-up of Invoke.UK.
4 Players I could see with the potential to listen, communicate well together, and progress as a team over the upcoming year. I was happy... This is the first time I've been able to see something in the distance. And now that AeroX-Esports have taken us in as the new CSGO team I hope that I can change our team status from Amateur to Semi-professional within 5 months and then to professional within the year.
Aerox have great management and a very friendly community base and this is where I aim to become number 1 in.