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How to build and train a CS:GO team

When you really like an online tactical game, there may come a time when you become fed up with having random people in a team. At that point, you could decide to join an organized group, but why not go the extra mile and form your own, tailor-made squad? Even if none of your friends like CS:GO, finding the right people in 2020 to form an organized team should not be too difficult. Here are some suggestions on how to set up and develop your own team.

Communication channels

This is a key aspect that should be settled even before you gather your teammates. Consider the ways in which you want team members to communicate both inside and outside of the game. Exchange your Steam contact info, consider setting up a Discord channel or a TeamSpeak server, maybe form a Facebook group or even link everyone through WhatsApp or Skype. Don’t use all of the methods of communication, just 2 or 3. Select a primary method and a backup if the other one is down. After all, you want everyone to use the same app. Regardless of the software, make sure that the groups are private/invite-only. You don’t want random people joining the channels in the middle of a match. At this point you should also have a name for your team as well as its abbreviation.

Roster basics

If there are no potential teammates in your immediate surroundings – don’t worry. You can search for players on reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/RecruitCS/ or at websites such as www.csgoteamfinder.com. It is wise to establish a clear “filter” for who can become a part of your team. Think about the number of team members, do you prefer a stable 5-player team with one or two stand-ins, or would you rather have a bigger squad? In the first case, the team has a higher chance of becoming effective more quickly as everyone plays with the same people constantly (with the small exception of stand-ins). This approach also has the added advantage of nobody left bored or missing out on matches. The downside is that every time a player misses a meeting, this is a significant blow for the entire squad. You need really reliable people to make this work. With a bigger team, player unavailability becomes less of a problem as team members rotate anyway. It is generally harder to achieve unity in bigger teams, more practice is needed, and meetings may have to be repeated to keep all players up to speed if someone missed a training session. Once you decide on the initial number of team members, it’s time to think what people you actually want.

Criteria for team members

These are some of the things you should consider when looking for team members. Think if there are any other criteria that may be important for your specific team.

  • language: clearly state which language is used during meetings and matches;

  • a headset with a microphone: obviously, there is no team play without communication, so a headset with a good quality microphone is a must (separate mics may not be the best choice as they usually collect a lot of background noise);

  • time zone and ping: different time zones may require meetings at very late/early hours, the latency might also be too high to play together effectively;

  • player age: this might seem a minor thing, but if most team members are adults and a new player is under 18, some jokes or banter are bound to be inappropriate at some point. If you are over 18, your team should probably be too;

  • role preferences: ask about role preferences in the game, if players have any. If everyone wants to be a sniper, this will obviously be an issue;

  • experience: it is probably best to have people at similar skill levels, otherwise the veterans might get irritated easily, while less experienced players can become discouraged and leave the team. Maybe play a few practice matches together and see how it goes. Otherwise, you can always consider player ranks. More experienced players are often more dedicated and willing to comply with the team’s schedule and rules;

  • availability and reliability: no need to have people that want to play but don’t have time for it. You should have an idea when you would like practice meetings to take place (every Friday evening? Every Monday at 8 p.m.? A few days a week?). If someone is unavailable at that time, then look for a different team member. You can later adjust the schedules with your teammates, but if you start looking for people without an idea when to meet, you may end up with everyone being available at different days and times. Later on, you can have a shared document when people list their availability for the upcoming weeks. Also, if it turns out that a player constantly misses meetings without a good reason, a replacement will be necessary. The team should not be at a disadvantage because of one person and there are many reliable people out there;

  • willingness to improve: ask people if they want to learn and if they accept constructive feedback and criticism. Evaluating player performance and pointing out the good and bad things are key to improving. If someone is very sensitive to criticism, he or she may not be the right choice for your team;

  • motivation: being a part of a team means devoting some of your real-life time to gaming, make sure potential candidates understand this. Make sure they want to improve and can and are willing to devote some of their time every week to practice with their team;

  • be respectful: having a good atmosphere will make you want to practice even more, and you may end up building strong, valuable friendships that will go beyond the computer screen. Be polite when providing feedback.


Practice makes perfect

There are many activities you and your team can perform both inside and outside the game to improve as a team, here are some ideas:

  • initially, simply play a few matches together to get a hold of how’s everyone performing;

  • analyze your demos together as a team, listen to everyone’s observations and ideas;

  • learn the individual maps, consider the best places to guard, ambush, etc.;

  • watch pro team demos, suggest good materials for learning (YouTube videos, websites, reddit);

  • watch tournaments and championships together, share valuable recordings and observations;

  • establish your strategies, copy effective tactics from pro teams, practice those tactics in-game;

  • learn the callouts, establish your keywords/signals;

  • motivate each other;

  • ask other teams to practice and exchange feedback post-match;

  • engage in your first tournaments;


Becoming a member of a team can really make you spread your wings. Establishing your own squad and watching it grow and progress across months or years is an incredibly rewarding experience.

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