Every good player in CS:GO knows and loves the iconic AWP. It’s the deadliest weapon in Counter Strike, and also the most expensive.
This powerful weapon can be the biggest asset in a competitive match, but not everyone can use it. It’s a “I didn’t choose the weapon, it chose me” kind of situation. Some are naturally talented with the AWP and can no-scope the sh*t out of enemy players. Others couldn’t hit a target even if it was standing still in the middle of the scope.
That said, let’s improve those AWP skills and avoid future momma jokes and toxic comments in competitive matches!
AWP 101: The Basics
The AWP is not only powerful, but also heavy and quite expensive. It’s also the only weapon that can kill someone with one body shot. However, hitting your target on the legs, arms and even lower groin will result in 85 damage and not in an actual kill.
Hitting a target through a wall will also result in 85 damage. It’s important to know this or you might end up getting yourself killed by that same target.
One downside of the AWP is that it reduces player mobility. While running with a USP-S will get you to move 240 units per second, running with an AWP will get you to move at only 200. This means you will be moving at a very S-L-O-W pace.
Along with the AWP’s low mobility comes a low fire rate. It’s extremely important to hit your mark right on your first shot. If you like the AWP, but can’t handle the slow movement and fire rate, then consider going for the Scout. Its fire rate is quite similar to the AWP, but gives you a crazy amount of mobility – even when you’re scoped-in.
All of these facts make the AWP completely inadequate for CS:GO newbies. In fact, a newbie with an AWP is about as good an idea as walking into a burning building. Don’t do it. Not only will it be a completely inefficient weapon for you, but also get you bankrupt, as it costs $4,750.
The AWPer role in CS:GO matches
In casual matches you’ll often find 3 or 4 AWP users – or AWPers – on the same team. This is an absolute no-no in competitive matches.
As a matter of fact, if you’re used to watching CS:GO tournaments, you’ll often find that each team will have only one AWPer. At the very maximum you’ll see two AWPers, if the enemy team proves to be too hard to crack with a conventional outfit.
The AWPer role is a respectable one, but it also puts the player at high risk. Why? Well, usually AWPers only get one kill before getting themselves killed. This happens because once they shoot their shot, they uncover their position to the enemy, making them vulnerable.
Choosing to play as the team’s AWPer is a hardcore decision. The player with the AWP has to have amazing quick reactions. What do I mean by quick reactions? I mean that whenever an enemy crosses into your field of view, you kill them, before the situation turns into a crossfire.
When to buy the AWP?
Buying an AWP in a competitive match is nothing like doing so in a casual match. If your team loses every round, then you’ll only have enough money for an AWP in the 4th round. Before buying it, you need to take into consideration other items you might need. Kevlar & helmet (1,000$), flashbangs ($200) and smoke grenades ($300) are all essential items to an AWPer. Plus, you also need to take into consideration your team’s economy.
Not buying armor to get yourself an AWP is a very high-risk move in a competitive match. Often it will result in getting killed much more easily, and losing your $4,750 investment in no time.
Aim & Positioning
An AWPer’s best friends are duck and cover. The AWP is very sensitive to movement, and requires near-perfect stillness in order to pull off an accurate shot. This means you’ll definitely want to find a decent hiding spot. Being out in the open for too long is obviously a death sentence. You should also keep in mind the weapon’s weight, so whenever you need to switch positions, switch to your knife first.
Something else you might want to remember, is that you don’t need to aim for the head to get a one-shot kill. Unlike other weapons, aiming for the body with your AWP will net you a kill. In most situations, the body offers a larger target than the head.
If you plan on becoming a full-fledged sniper, then you need to study the maps and identify the best sniping spots. The best are usually the ‘Long’ and sometimes the ‘Mid’ sections of the map. But… for those who have a talent with quick-scoping and no-scope shots, you can go full-Rambo anywhere.
Smokes and flashes
The AWPer will often be left alone in a certain position. And it’ll be your task to stand ground and not let anyone get past you. When you’re sniping on your own, you need to use everything that might give you an advantage over the enemy. That means mastering the use of flashbangs and smoke grenades, and even molotovs at times.
Learn how to use one-way smokes. You will not only be protecting yourself, but also preventing the enemy from rushing the site. If they decide to rush in blind, you’ll be able to get the shot as soon as they step out of that smoke.
The same applies to flashbangs. If the enemy knows your location and you know theirs, flash them. Once they are blinded, use that small window of time to get a shot before they recover. And, of course, practice effective communication when throwing stuff in CS:GO. Flashing your own team won’t just make them miss your sick snipes, it will likely get you all killed.
Master all of the above points by using aim maps. Once you feel confident enough with the AWP, start rocking those competitive matches with your newfound god powers.