Everyone goes through several stages when playing CS:GO - in some days you’re determined to grind and reach the next level, whether that is by climbing up Matchmaking ranks or FACEIT levels, and then there are days where you just feel like giving up and playing VALO… sorry, another game.
There are days where your motivation is going through the roof (after all, that 5 match win streak has to count for something) and those are the days where you feel like you’re playing the best. Those are actually related, and I’m going to talk about them in this article.
Together with Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson, professional CS:GO player for Dignitas, I’ve compiled this article on why being motivated is super important to thrive in CS:GO and how you can keep it up at all times.
Being motivated and playing CS:GO well are very close together, as it’s a game that relies a lot on your level of confidence. Sometimes you’re hitting all the shots and that makes you go for more confident peeks, giving you some extra kills that eventually win you the round and the matches. On the other hand, on those days where stuff seems to not hit at all the way you want, you try to be extra careful, which ends up making you commit mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise have made. That’s why the “snowball effect” is something very real in Valve’s competitive shooter
CS:GO is based a lot on feelings and mood, so I think the snowball effect is something that really exists. For example, if you win a tournament, you'll get so much confident than you were before when struggling as a team before. Once you get that win, you'll get really confident in everything you do, you'll trust your teammates even more, which is the best thing. All these feelings just snowball, making it a really good time to be playing. That's why so many teams have this period where they're really strong and then suddenly fall off, but I think that some teams just need to get that good feeling and start realizing that they can actually be really insane!
As you can see, Lekr0 says exactly that - the snowball effect exists and the more you win and the more confident you get, the better you will play overall. Although he’s referring to winning tournaments, the same can be applied on a lower scale like I was saying about Matchmaking and PUG services like FACEIT. Having said that, it’s really important for a player to keep the motivation up at all times during a match, no matter if you’re winning or losing.
I think it's very important to be able to focus on yourself all the time. If you're focused, you're going to be motivated and you'll know exactly what your job is during a match without any hesitations. You'll never lose communications and other important stuff like that.
When the motivation is going down, as I said before, mistakes may start to happen. Also, you’re not going to be as communicative as you were before, making you give less information (or at least less detailed) and could probably even make you miss out on information given by your teammates. Trust me, this really happens, and you’re probably aware of it. Of course, it might happen to some people more than others, we’re all different and we all react to stuff differently.
The communications are going to fall off, you're not going to come up with new ideas to add to the things you have. Sure, you may do the things but if there's no X-factor or the ability to add stuff to what you're doing, it's going to be really hard to win games.
With all that in mind, you now realize how important it can be to stay motivated at all times while grinding CS:GO, even when you’re on those losing streaks. Just take a break and come back later. You’re losing 4 matches in a row? Don’t play a 5th and take the night off from the game. Tomorrow will be a new day and you won’t have that negative cloud over your head. Even Lekr0 takes the day/night off if an official match doesn’t go the team’s way. He says that looking at the match later with a clearer head and judgment makes it easier to understand what went wrong and correct it with the team.
I usually just lay in bed and try to take my mind off the game for a few hours and then watch the game later. I usually don't talk about it instantly, since I need to watch the game or even just reset the mood to get a clear view of what happened. If needed, I always take the rest of the day or the night off.
Also, it’s very important that you keep a good and calm environment in your team during a bad match. It’s easy to get annoyed and yell at your teammates when the match is going your way, but that will only make it worse and the motivation is going to come down abruptly. Lekro was a way to deal with this that could work on your everyday matches:
If it's not a common problem that you have in the team, I don't think you should bring it up during the match unless it's something that the team could really use to improve at that point. If it's just a small thing I usually don't bring it up at all. After the match, especially if it was a bad one, I usually talk about it later, once the team is in a good mood again. That's what works for me, at least.
But, in the end, what can serve as a good motivator?
Winning and grinding for a goal can be very good motivators. Maybe you want to get Level 10 FACEIT, that’s a motivator as good as any other. Maybe you’re already at that level and just want to win a tournament, big or small - that’s also something you go for. When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, trust me, it’s easier to stay focused on the end goal. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can bet they had a lot of problems during those times and they still made it happen. The same applies to everything else in life - if it’s easy, it probably isn’t worth the trouble.
You’ll have bad matches, bad moments, and bad plays, but since your goal is way ahead of those, you’ll probably be able to keep motivated. Also, playing with friends or with people that share similar goals with you will probably make everything easier, as you’re going to be motivating yourselves together.
If you always focus on how, you can improve yourself and try to figure out what are the next steps you should be doing towards that goal, I don't think you have time to lose motivation. If you love the game and competing, always striving to improve will generally be enough to keep the motivation up.
Lekr0 also had something to say about keeping the motivation up and how easy it can actually be. He makes a very good point - “I don't think you have time to lose motivation.” If you’re focused on the goal, every roadblock you face will just be temporary and it will be out of your way in no time. It’s all psychological, and it is up to you to be able to overcome every situation.
Don’t forget to follow Lekr0 on social media to keep up to date with everything Dignitas!
Thank you for reading this article! You can reach out to me for feedback or suggestions via Twitter.