July 21, 2016, 13:00pm
by Seif Tarek
While there are many factors that shape a player’s qualities in-game, Map awareness is one of the most important qualities that shape a top player. Map awareness is how well you know the typical angles and positions that players will often use to defend or abuse while taking an aim duel. In this topic we will discuss how to develop your map awareness effectively throughout your hours of playing PUGs, PRACCs or Deathmatch.
PUGs are the quickest forms of matches. A match making system will put you up with random teammates queuing up against another group of people. PUGs encourage people to perform individually well in order to win the match, thus it is a good, non-stressful environment to improve your map awareness. As a player, your map awareness will develop the more you play, as you’ll encounter enemies with different thinking patterns and habits. At the beginning of the match, you should start to get a read on how your enemies like to play. Each player will tend to hold certain angles because they work for him/her, your read on him should give you an advantage when taking an aim duel, as you learn the player’s favorite positions, you begin to compare those positions to that of his teammates and finding the link between them. Finding the link between the positions is the key to developing the map awareness as normally these spots will be common among the majority of players depending on how effective they are. The structured thought process described above should help you develop good map awareness in a fair amount of time. However it is not the fastest method to improving.
PRACCs are the slowest form of matches. You gather your teammates and search for another team to test and improve your performance as a team. PRACCs encourage a lot more in a player than just to perform individually. However, this type of practice is useful to improve your map awareness. On one hand, PRACCs are not a good environment to improve your general map awareness as a player is confined to a spot on the map. On the other hand, PRACCs teach you the thinking patterns of players playing with more structure and less recklessness. Team matches test your abilities to read your enemies, help you learn how to position yourself accordingly and improve your awareness to where they might be. During PRACCs, often players will not be holding common angles, thus it is a good way to improve your read on enemies. Awareness is not entirely based on memorizing where the enemies might be but also being cautious about the possibilities of aggressiveness or, passiveness they might turn to. The increase of caution will improve your general map awareness even if you are confined to playing a certain spot on the map. Being more cautious as a player and playing under team pressure will effectively improve your map awareness over time. PRACCs are considerably one of the fastest ways to improving your map awareness. However, we should not overlook the benefits of Deathmatch.
Deathmatch is a game mode, where players spawn randomly on a map and your objective as a player is try to kill them as quickly as possible. You might think, “How will this improve your map awareness?” In deathmatch the objective of killing people as quickly as possible is clear, what is not clear is that in the process of killing people, you should try to focus on learning “what works when?” which is mainly learning when you should hold this specific angle and when should you take a peak. Map awareness is more than just knowing where the enemies might be, but also how will you deal with them? While you are in a deathmatch session, you will notice that there are 2 types of players. The first type is the person who runs around aggressively trying to take every aim fight he can. The second type is the person who tries to hold a specific part on the map and take fights from there. As someone trying to build awareness, you should focus on doing both, as you will build up experience as being the aggressor and as being the passive player. This experience should allow you to make use of your awareness of the positions of your enemies, because what good is being alert of the enemy’s position if you cannot kill them? In conclusion, deathmatch is just as important as playing PRACCs and PUGs in order to improve your map awareness and become a better player.
To sum things up, all three types of practice (PUGs, PRACCs and deathmatch) are equally important in the process of improving your map awareness. The three methods mentioned above will effectively help you improve as an individual throughout your hours of playing. A good strategy to improve to is go through all the types of practices possible in order to reach your full potential.