NAF-FLY Talks CS2: Peeker’s Advantage, Tick Rate, Smokes, AUG Meta, and More
Counter-Strike fans have spent the last 10 years dreaming and hoping for a new game.
Counter-Strike fans have spent the last 10 years dreaming and hoping for a new game. Now that it’s here it isn’t quite what some were expecting. CS2 officially launched towards the end of September and has received plenty of criticism from fans, players, and talent alike with even the consensus best player in the world, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, chiming in on the game’s issues.
Some are more hopeful of what CS2 could become, and like Liquid’s own Keith “NAF” Markovic, remember what CS:GO was like when it first arrived on the scene. Just like CS2 it had its issues (like, for example, unextinguishable and overpowered Molotovs) but later evolved into what many consider the greatest FPS of all time. In an interview with Monster Energy Gaming NAF gave his first impressions of CS2, how it can be improved, and if it will ever live up to the enormous reputation of CS:GO.
The Canadian rifler also gave his very candid thoughts about how CS2 will impact the esports side of the community and he had an interesting theory about which unpopular gun might make a return to the meta.
This interview has been edited and rearranged in places for clarity. The original interview was conducted on October 27th.
To get started, what was your very first impression of CS2 when you first got access to the game?
When I first started there was obviously a lot of excitement [...] honestly just having something new and something different. For us CS fans we were always wanting to see a new Counter-Strike be released into the world, so I think there was probably more excitement than concerns at the start.
What would you say your impression is now?
There are a lot of things that are obviously somewhat bad about the game currently, but I think that it's expected as CS:GO was pretty rough when I first started out. So CS2 starting up a little bit slow isn't too much of a surprise and with the past experience I'm sure the community will be a lot more open to improvements and be patient. [...]
There are definitely a lot of issues that still need to be worked on, but they have been doing weekly updates to the game. So [it’s clear that] they are working hard to fix a lot of the concerns that the community has.
When the game first came out was there anything you were hoping was added that wasn't? If so, what was that?
Honestly I'm not totally sure. I always felt that CS:GO was a near perfection of a game. [...] I feel like there were a lot of things that could have been easily fixed in CS2 and I truly believed that it would have been the best game in the world. [...] There were issues with the smoke bugs and all that in CS:GO, so if there's one thing that I'm happy [about with CS2, it’s that] they were able to fix those issues where you'd see your opponents silhouette through the smoke. [...]
I didn't really think they needed to add anything really crazy to the game. Obviously they are trying to find their own ways to be innovative as Counter-Strike has been a game that has never really changed drastically. With the smokes and being able to grenade and blow the smokes open, they are definitely trying new things. [But] I always thought CS was almost a near perfect game, so I never really went into CS2 hoping that they would change anything too much.
Can CS2 ever live up to the reputation that CS:GO has built for itself?
That's a tall feat in my opinion. [...] CS:GO to me literally felt like a near perfect game. [It] just needed to have updates and changes in the future for it just to create different metas. [...] CS2 is Counter-Strike at the end of the day, so I want to believe it can get there. There was something about CS:GO that was just so insane, when you’re watching it, it feels so clean.
I definitely believe CS2 can be even more than what CS:GO was, it's just all about how the devs update the game. So I just hope they continue to support the game a lot, make changes, and give people reasons to learn new things. I'm pretty confident it can be better than CS:GO.
What kind of metas do you think we can expect to come from the addition of CS2?
I think right now it's too early to tell what kind of crazy things that you'll witness with CS2 out. Obviously we just recently had an IEM Sydney event being played on CS2 and I feel like there weren't really too many crazy things happening, I think people had their own ways of breaking smokes, as you could see. Some teams were playing Nuke, and a lot of the teams would commonly throw the wall of smokes to get across lower so teams would just end up nading smokes so the T can't cross without being interrupted or getting into a fight.
[But] I don't truly believe there's going to be any crazy metas or there's going to be a team that is so different where other people can't really adapt to figure out what they are doing. I can't imagine anything too crazy right now, but teams will always figure something out to have that edge. We'll just have to wait and see.
You haven't had too much time to play CS2 in the grand scheme of things, but would you say that CS2 has changed your personal playstyle at all?
I do believe that in CS2 that there are some things that you need to do differently. [...] It will come down to different things with smokes and the way people play around the smokes. It's just small things to adapt to, but I don't believe it will be too crazy, but there is something different that means people need to come into CS2 with a different approach.
Do you think there's a certain style of team that will thrive on CS2?
I don't really believe that anybody specific will thrive or will be better than what they were before, I just believe with a new game there are a lot of things to take advantage of. So it must just give younger players and young teams, teams that didn't have too much of a shot, or some people that have been struggling, a new opportunity.[ …] At the end of the day it is still a Counter-Strike game, but there are changes to it to the point where you can treat it as something new and give yourself fresh motivation.
GamerLegion's Acor said he believed that the AUG meta was going to make a return in CS2, is that something you have an opinion on?
Yeah, that's something I actually brought up to my team. [...] [In] CS2 there is something with the weapons and the shooting where it's kind of hard to identify how the spray pattern works. It definitely feels a bit more random. [...]
With the AUG, even scoped in, there isn't too much of a recoil so I believe the AUG is a pretty important weapon. [...] You can just stand in a position and play scoped with it and you most likely know where your bullets are going whereas sometimes when you are shooting an AK or an M4 they can be a little strange. [...] I think with CS2 coming in it's an even stronger piece to have. [...] It will be all about your economy as the weapon is a little bit pricey [but] there is definitely something about it which feels a bit more viable than the M4 or A4.
[Overall,] I think people felt more comfortable shooting in CS:GO because everything had a pattern to it. With CS2 I feel like that's something that needs to be improved upon, that each gun has its own way of shooting and you have your own way to master it with the amount of time that you put in. In CS2 they need to find a way to make things a little more concrete in-between their weapons individually.
Do you think there's going to be a big difference between playing CS2 on LAN compared to online? Do you think some of the tick rate issues and the other issues that have arisen from that will be fixed?
Yeah potentially with the tick rate. From what I read and heard about Sydney they were talking about how the game feels pretty good on LAN and obviously being a professional player, LAN has always felt a million times better than online. It always feels like a lot of the problems are just never there when you are playing on LAN, it feels like your bullets are being shot straight, if you shoot first you are usually getting the kill, you know? It's just night and day when it comes to LAN and CS.
It always is. If you had the opportunity to tell Valve about anything to do with CS2 and give them any feedback, what would be the one thing you would say?
I'm kind of torn between two. I would say the peekers advantage for the online casual players (of course it affects professional players as well). [...] There should never be a time in the game where you don't even see your opponent before you die. That's something that is completely broken, that is completely unfair. That is just something they need to prioritize and keep their minds on to fix.
I think the second thing would be just the shooting [and spraying]. When you burst and when you tap in Counter-Strike  it is really clean and it is pretty clear how you are shooting and you kind of see where your bullets are going. But I believe sometimes when you are spraying it's hard to notice, I think it's even a little bit worse when you are on the CT-side and you are spraying an M4. Especially without the tracers and the recoil and the way the gun shoots, it's kind of hard to see where the bullets are going. It feels a little bit random and you are just hoping for the best sometimes.
Whereas in CS:GO you were able to identify your recoil so you knew when to tap and when to burst and when you were spraying you knew where your bullets were going. You could control them. I hope they can identify and make the shooting in CS2 more clear.
One final follow up, do you believe there is anything that CS2 has that CS:GO didn't have? Something that CS2 does that deserves credit?
I believe there are plenty of things that CS2 does that it deserves credit for. Obviously, building a new game and a new engine it's very impressive to do. But the one thing that you have to give credit for that's pretty impressive is the detail that they have brought into the game. I think it's just a lot more vivid, when you look around and see things and remember things that there's just so much more detail in the game. The game looks very beautiful, but personally I always like playing video games when they look like video games, so I'd still ultimately be more of a CS:GO fan.
I feel like when it comes to some games they try to make the graphics look so, so real to the point where I'm like "damn am I still playing a video game?" It's crazy what they can do with the technology, with the details in CS2 I just think they are very impressive. The people that worked on the game and put a lot of time and effort into creating the details in CS2 I think they did a very good job.