How to Excel at AWPing on Ancient with DignitasVIE hallzerk

hallzerk, from the DignitasVIE CS:GO team, talks about how you can improve your AWP game with the newest map added to the game’s competitive map pool, Ancient.

Counter-Strike

Ancient is the most recent map added to CS:GO and was one of the most surprising updates in the last few years. Naturally, it was one that split the community - part of it is ecstatic that we have an entirely new map in the competitive pool, while others just want the pool to remain with the “classic” maps.

Whether you like it or not, Ancient is here to stay and you’re better off learning it rather than just hating it. Who knows, maybe it even becomes your next favorite map! If you’re an AWPer, Ancient might be a good map for you to start learning, as it features some interesting spots.

I’ve teamed up with Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli from the DignitasVIE CSGO squad to know more about how an AWPer can excel on this new map located in the jungle!

When it comes to AWPing, Ancient can indeed be a very good map for the big old green, as it has long lines of sight, especially at crucial points of the map linked with Middle and the bomb site entrances, which could be good for both the Ts and CTs. When asked about how he felt about the gun on the new map, hallzerk said the following:

From what I've seen of other players, you can have a good impact on both sides, CT and T. CT can be really impactful as you can rotate a lot, you can be very hard to read, you can be everywhere on the map at all times. It's easy to rotate and get decent picks and entries, I think it can be a really good map for AWPers in the future. I hope we can play it more as a team and learn it even better.

- hallzerk

He touched on one crucial aspect of this relatively new map - rotating. A CT can help his teammates really quickly on Ancient, and that can make for really interesting setups. If you’re holding A Cross from CT (which in itself is a really strong position), you can rotate to B and reach a good spot to watch the bomb in less than 7-8 seconds.

Also, being able to “be everywhere” on the map at all times is a key characteristic that an AWP needs to have, and it gets easier if the map helps you do that. Think about it - why would you stick to defending or attacking one position with the AWP if you can be mobile and play on a different position every round while having a good chance of catching opponents due to how the map is designed, especially on CT - you have fast rotations to everywhere, but be careful, as your opponents have many of the same opportunities, especially if they get Middle control.

I think a double AWP can be really strong on this map, especially if the A anchor wants to play with it. In our case, Lekr0 likes to play AWP on that bombsite and it generally works really well!

- hallzerk

Long lines of sight on both ends of the map, as well as Middle, is also a good indicator of a map that could work well with a double AWP setup, you just have to know how to apply it. Not only on the CT side, but the Ts can also take advantage of it. Let’s say you want to tackle A - it’s important to have an AWP on A Main to open up space for the team to progress to the bombsite (Smoke Grenades are especially important on this bombsite), while the other can pressure Middle and make a possible opponent on Ring nervous. The second AWP doesn’t necessarily have a need to kill - just existing is enough to get a team to think too much and make a mistake.

Ancient Callouts courtesy of AndreCarneiro1 on Reddit

Regarding the CT side, the current meta has the players being more aggressive in the beginning of the round to compensate for the lack of defending positions, especially on the B bombsite. I’ve asked hallzerk about this and how he thinks it’s better for an AWP to play knowing this.

It depends on the playstyle of the AWPer, but I think that, in the early rounds, the rifle should be aggressive and then the AWPer can pressure along with him so he can get into proper positions. If the AWPer wants to go for the entry kill, he, of course, has to go first and find places where he can get that entry for free, and back off.

- hallzerk

The way I see it, you have two options - either you prefer to play aggressive and go for the peek up front in the beginning of the round and close out that part of the map for your opponents while trying to maintain it through the rest of the round (or just get back after the initial kill) or you stick to playing passively and risk losing control of the bombsite, providing you have a very good retake planned out. They’re both valid options and it’s up to you and your team to figure out which one you prefer.

Make sure to make decisions on the way you defend one site depending on what the team is doing on the other side. For example, if the team is being extra aggressive on B while playing CT, maybe you should play more passive on A to allow for faster rotations if needed. Being extra aggressive on both sides at the same time can generally end up really bad if one side gets suddenly demolished.

Finishing the talk about the CT side, I’ve also asked if hallzerk had a favorite spot to AWP from:

I think Tunnels on the A bombsite has a lot of potential, you can hold Middle and get back fast to A if anything happens, and again, you have a fast rotation through Middle if that's open. Also, in the Ruins on the B bombsite - it's a really close angle, and most of the time you can get at least one free kill and back off. You also have B Long, holding from CT, and you usually get a pick there.

- hallzerk

hallzerk refers Tunnels as a good position for a good reason - it’s a spot that allows the CTs to have a good view to both Middle and A. It’s naturally a spot that gets smoked most of the times when the Ts are pushing the A bombsite, but you can still play defending a possible second contact on Middle while being able to protect yourself rather effectively. If you wait for the Smoke to fade, you’ll then have another spot where your team can start a two or even three point retake.

And what about the T-side? What makes it a good map to play as an AWPer?

“There's a lot of really nice angles to hold even when your teammates are pushing the bombsites, allowing you to get some kills while just covering for your teammates. Of course, you can even go for different entries on different points of the map, depending on your spawn. It depends on what the team wants, but personally I like when the AWPer is with the team and supporting the team when they are entering bombsites. I know that some teams like to have the AWP on the other side for several different reasons, it's all down to personal and team's preferences.”

- hallzerk

hallzerk likes to apply pressure with the AWP while playing with his teammates, which makes sense. The AWP can be both a good entry and a good support weapon, especially on maps like Ancient where the long lines of sight can be nullified with some well-placed Smokes. It’s a good weapon to cover your teammate while planting due to how the bombsites are structured and there’s not a single spot that your opponents can start a retake without crossing at least one long line of sight, making the AWP super strong on it.

All in all, being a relatively good map, you can get away with knowing some cool tricks on the map by watching demos of different players and teams. People are still looking for the best way to play the map, experimenting with new things and ideas. One of the best teams you can look out for right now would be either NAVI or Gambit - both are amazing on Ancient, especially the dedicated AWPers, s1mple and Sh1ro, respectively.


Hopefully this article helped you on the road to master the newest CS:GO competitive map. Get out there and remember, the more you play, the better you’ll get!

You can follow hallzerk on social media, make sure to do so:

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Thank you for reading this article. You can get in touch with me for feedback or suggestions via Twitter.


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