Quite a bit has happened since my last update, so I thought it would be a good idea to give more about what I’ve been doing thus far. Also because I’ve just achieved something that I wanted and thought a nice way to celebrate that would be by writing a post.
First off, I’ve recorded a bunch of drum covers that were backlogged during the term time and I’ll be uploading them shortly. Gotta go through all of them to write their descriptions and whatnot, but it’s quite a huge batch so I’ll split the uploads over several accounts to prevent losing all of them at the same time if some copyright thingy hits I guess. I’ll drop links in a future post when they’ve been updated.
Secondly, I’ve also been playing Kritika SEA and got my Dimension Controller to 65. A bit hard to get good equipment now because I don’t have anyone to dungeon with, so maybe I’ll take a break on that for a bit.
Finally, the goal I had been aiming for was in CS:GO (no pun intended). Back when I played competitive CS:GO in May this year, my friends and I (mostly me, though) wanted to see how far we could get at our current level of skills. We ended up peaking at Silver Elite Master (for those that don’t know the ranks, here’s a break down) and after getting a series of about 8 losses, dropped back all the way to Silver 4. This also coincided with a lack of interest in continuing to try ranking up and hitting the coveted Gold Nova (which looks pretty badass, if I do say so myself), and we stopped.
I picked up CS:GO shortly before exams started again though, out of curiosity, and found that my playing had improved slightly. My friend and I both out of Silver 4 after a few wins, into Silver Elite, then Silver Elite Master, before hovering between Silver Elite Master and Gold Nova 1. A string of wins got us into Gold Nova 1, but the hovering also meant that we dropped sometimes and ended up at SEM (which was quite disappointing).
Another friend then joined after exams were over, but since June, Valve (the company behind CS:GO) had implemented a new system of matchmaking to curb hackers and highly skilled players purposely trying to de-rank in order to be matched up with low skilled players. These players are known as smurfs (based on some deviation from the urban meaning of ‘smurfs’) because they intentionally seek to play against lowly skilled players with the express purpose of dominating them. So the new system called “Prime Matchmaking” set up some barriers to make it a bit more difficult for one to easily buy copies of CS:GO in order to de-rank and play against others.
However, I was (and still am) not that confident in my skills to retain my Gold Nova 1 rank, and as Prime Matchmaking had rather high barriers for returning players, one of my friends was unable to utilize it. Which, to me, meant that there was a high chance I would be playing against smurfs and/or hackers and had a very real possibility of me losing said rank. So I chose to buy a second copy of CS:GO during the recent Autumn sale in order to use it as a side account to play with friends, because it too had no access to Prime Matchmaking and my main’s rank wouldn’t be affected by whatever happened on this side account.
The goal I had set for my main’s rank, though, was Gold Nova 3, which seemed quite difficult since I wasn’t particularly competent in sniping or using the guns that pros usually use: Ak47 and the M4A1-S. So it was of some surprise when, on my side account, I recently achieved that today after getting my tenth win:
I wanted to get to Gold Nova 3 because it had the logo of three shiny golden stars, which was also what Inumuta Houka, a character from the anime Kill La Kill, wore. I like his character and so this goal was to cosplay as him by getting those three stars. And the twin PP-Bizons by the side are the one weapon that I became proficient and/or comfortable with in my goal to hit Nova 3: I’m a pretty bad sniper, okay pistoler and half-decent shotgunner. Pretty bad with rifles too, and most SMGs in general.
But the PP-Bizon is a gun that is generally looked down upon by most in the community beyond Round 2 because it’s a low damage gun that can’t penetrate armour and has a lot of bullets but an irritating spray pattern. Also it lacks a scope and powerful shots so it can’t be used to defend an area from far like the AWP or Ak/M4 can. In short, it was poorly regarded by many, if not all that I came across.
Somehow I took a liking to the PP-Bizon though, and felt that it was a very value for money gun. At $1400, it was marginally more expensvie than other SMGs that lacked the same bullet capacity of the PP, and it was a lot cheaper than rifles or more powerful guns. But the specs of the PP went well with the playstyle I preferred (popping out from “traps” and proceeding to mow down whoever I came across with the 64 bullets) and the disdain most players had for this “shitty gun” meant that I never came across a sitaution where someone wanted to pick up this gun in order to save it for their team.
It’s cheap price tag also meant that I could willingly go hunt for remaining survivors boldly when AWPers or those holding expensive guns were a lot more reluctant to do so, and the quick movement speed of it being nearly at the same level as a knife meant that I could have my gun out while moving without sacrificing firepower for speed or vice-versa. Eventually I got the recoil pattern of the PP-Bizon down to being able to use it consistently for medium-range engagements and getting triple kills on a semi-regular basis (whether intercepting A-long rushes on Dust2 or flanking quickly through Inferno) and that helped the team to win more engagements with this numerical advantage.
So, while Gold Nova 3 is by all means nothing very special in the bigger picture of ranks, I’m extremely happy with what I’ve achieved and I plan to not climb any higher in CS:GO. Maybe I’ll bring my main account’s rank up, but I’ve already accomplished my goal of cosplaying with the CS:GO ranks, and so I can safely say that retirement from CS:GO seems to be the best course of action. I’ll probably play for fun with my friends and stuff like that, but I don’t intend to keep learning more about nade spots and such because at some point, you just want to get better and better in order to climb in ranks. And there’s more to life than getting LEM, SMFC or being part of the Global Elite. Career, relationships, family and God, all that.
I’ve already hit the target I was aiming for with a priceless picture to boot, and that makes me plenty pleased. So, almost on par with my retirement from Runescape, I can now end my searching in this game and rest easy knowing that I’ve done, for once, what I had never thought was possible. And so life calls one to continue moving on to other things, but this will be something that I’ll remember fondly.