Matchmaking in CS:GO is starting to look like a mixed bag, like it’s supposed to be.

I’ve been playing CS:GO for a fair bit of time now. I enjoy warming up to either deathmatch mode with the M4A1-S or the AK-47. After a warmup, I step up into competitive matchmaking when I feel well enough to play. The high energy moments of Silver/Gold fixtures is exciting and almost always unique experiences. For the most part, I feel like I’ve learned something out of each failure and missed opportunity… until recently.

After the ranking system demoted me thanks to dropping several games on Rush, my luck seemed to have taken a turn for the worst. My performance was near the bottom of the scoreboard. Unfortunately, no one else I would end up with was taking charge or making calls. I would end up making decision that the rest of the team would follow that would result in losses game after game.

Yesterday, CS:GO demoted me again for a reason that I can’t explain.

I was positive that before I launched into a certain match on Inferno that I was a Gold Nova II ranked player. The little blue strip in my player card would show two golden stars with small golden brackets on either side.

I launch into the game to check the scoreboard to watch people connect. Still two stars listed beside my name. Someone on my team mentions they’re Gold Nova I. Another calls out Silver Master Elite. For a moment, I consider that I could be the highest ranked player on our team.

The game begins. Before I could go to the buy menu for the opening round I hear the narrator announce: “Counter-Terrorists win.” The five players on the opposite team had executed a ‘kill’ command before the round started.

This continued without answers until halftime.

A troll offers a “good half” to us. I ask him if they’re looking to de-rank their accounts. He confirms.

Seconds later, the sixteenth round ends just like the others and we’re given a victory. The rank notification at the bottom of the scoreboard shows the bad news. One gold star.

I’m not sure what reason the system came up with to demote me. I finally realized what I should have realized from the start: specific ranks aren’t important.

There’s a reason that the Global Elite category is a level all its own. Players who smurf into lower-ranked games that claim their “main account is a Global” play the game on another level.

It makes me wonder if they have super god-like machines that allow them to play better than anyone else. Of course, of that’s the case, I could never compete on the higher levels of matchmaking with my laptop. As capable as the i7 MacBook Air has been, it can’t compete against a system packed with over three grand’s wroth of components.

And I don’t care about that anymore. Even though I’ve reached Gold Nova II again, I just want to have fun with a semi-serious game like CS:GO.

VentureBeat confirms nothing particularly new about Google/Twitch deal.

Details reported in the first wave of reports lead by Variety1 have been confirmed by dude what writes about video game industry business for VentureBeat sub-blog GamesBeat.2

These details are just the typical details that everyone knows about any sort of acquisition news: the price amount is something like a billion dollars, and everyone involved in the deal are going to be thrilled about it. Yada yada yada. Blah blah blah.

The only new detail—and it’s a detail one could probably assume—that Dean Takahashi gives out is the following:

We don’t know everything about this deal, such as when it will be announced and the exact purchase price. We do know that Twitch investors who participated in past rounds are pleased that they will be getting significant returns that are multiple times the amount they originally invested.

Not much of a detail, isn’t it? Yep, it’s not much of a detail at all.

However, there is a curious line in the next paragraph that is worth looking out for:

Google and Twitch declined comment. Both companies happen to be speaking at our GamesBeat 2014 event in September.

So I wonder if we’re not just being strung out and made to wait until the middle of September, when the tech news scene will more than likely be fawning over a certain phone model announcement.3 Hopefully we’ll get some more information soon, because comments like this one posted over at Ars Technica’s write-up of the situation seem to be the biggest fear among Twitch’s vocal user base.4

“You must create a Google+ account to view this stream.”

Fucking shitbags.

Lost my rank for the first time because Rush is bad and I am bad.

I was demoted to Gold Nova II because I was trying to believe in @csgo_dev. I’m trying to believe that the CS:GO dev team knew what they were doing adding in missions for horrible community maps, like this one: 1


This map is called Rush. It’s made by some guy named invalid nick. It’s a beautiful looking map—a fair assessment to make when solely considering the aesthetics of the environment. It runs well enough on my machine, too. No major slow downs or graphical errors that I could see during my time that I spent on the map.

However, this map is where some of the worst games that I’ve ever played in CS:GO have happened. This is thanks to a Operation Breakout mission that I felt compelled to complete. I got that mission at random, sure, but I thought that the fact that this mission was possible meant that Valve had every confidence in the matchmaking system to put me up against players that would actually know the map and how to play on it.

It took me five matches on the map to finally find a team that could actually compete reasonably well and go on to win.

The first attempt, my team was completely stomped on by self-admitted smurf-accounts from players who were “double AK” and higher ranked. The second attempt saw a griefer on our team attempt to make our ears bleed with random sound effects being pumped through.

The other games were games that I felt we could have won if a few more things had gone right for us and/or were different.

  • There are eight buildings were the hostages could spawn in at… and they only spawn into three, as far as I can tell. The front hostage either spawns into front hut or generator hut, but count any time the hostage spawns into the generator hut as a random act of God because it’s only happened once or twice. The back hostage always spawns into the left-most house. And it doesn’t matter if try to camp the CTs out because…
  • If you don’t have snipers watching from the opposite river bank, winning is just about impossible. You need at least three snipers to cover all of the angles of attack properly. One sniping straight down river, one looking back and forth between CT’s river house and the middle hill and the third sniping from the left-side of the river bank towards the truck in the junkyard. The other two players can do whatever, as long as they’re semi-competent.2
  • Rushing for ambush towards anywhere but the middle wall isn’t viable because CT’s have vision on all of the decent ambush spots before Ts have a chance to occupy them. Therefore, as long as you lock down the middle, everything else should be fine, as long s your snipers don’t mess up their shots.
  • The AWPers on T will love this map because of the long sight lines that can be achieved to cover wide swaths of routes. From the opposite river bank, so many CT routes can be fired upon. From the right position, a sniper from the opposite river bank hut porch can easily fire into the defilade hellhole that is the alley shortcut to middle.

Basically, if you don’t have a good eco strategy and a couple of good snipers, you’re fucked if you even try to play this map. And, if I’ve heard things correctly, I’ve heard rumors that Valve is mandating some of these new maps (like Rush) are to be played in tournaments? HAHAHA, THAT’S A GOOD ONE, VALVO. TELL ME ANOTHER JOKE, PLEASE.

  1. A tweet I sent earlier the evening that shall not be mentioned again. 
  2. This is the scenario in which the team I randomly was matched with won a match on Rush. 

Promoted to Gold Nova III in five victories.

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 5.57.47 PM

How this matchmaking system thinks I’m somehow good enough to get anywhere close to AK level of skill is beyond me. The fact that it’s promoting me within so few victories is also mind-boggling. I’m not supposed to be decent at this game. I play on a Macbook Air using the built-in keyboard and a laptop-sized optical mouse. I haven’t turned off, much less tinkered with, any of OS X’s mouse acceleration properties—I haven’t even changed simple things like mouse sensitivity or the model position.

Or is Gold Nova just the middling rank that I think it really is, and the real skilled players start showing up at the Guardian levels? I wish I had some sort of reference as far as player skill and past performance to matchmaking rank. Maybe even a little bit more information about why I was promoted in so few matches. Something like “The last four games you played showed a remarkable improvement over the four before that” or “Winning games against opponents of higher ranks has caused this promotion.” Anything kind of explanation would do.

Rising through the ranks at this speed doesn’t reassure me that the system is working like it should. I don’t feel particularly confident about this rank up.

Oh well. I could always go back to Otela and throw frigates away in duels on EVE Online.