A Guide On Establishing a New Team



Sat 6th Jan 2018 - 5:18pm

As a CSGO player, you've been watching matches and playing for some time now. Maybe you've hopped into some CEVO, ESEA, or FACEIT pickup games along with the usual matchmaking and DM/Surfing/KZ servers. You've been feeling the itch to jump into competitive CSGO for real. Now comes the question: How do I start a team, manage it, and bring it to fruition? This article will hope to give you a general idea of how to do all these things. We will first cover just joining a team at first for the people that just want to join a team and not do the entire managing of a team.

Joining a Team:

There are a lot of things that you actually have to consider before joining a team. You have to consider your time, location, responsibilities, and your dedication. Your availability in terms of time is extremely important. Do you have the time to dedicate to practice, matches, and demo watching along with any other things that your team decides to do? Take into account where you are in life and how much of your life you are willing to dedicate to CSGO.

Location is important too. Are you in an area where you are able to play with people close to you (not in Europe playing with Americans with 200 ping)? Does your area have CSGO players around your skill level or are there just a bunch of casuals? Do you have a good wifi connection where you are located? Your responsibilities are extremely important. Are you in college, high school, or working a job? Do you have maybe family? Plenty of people have dropped out of their jobs/education to work towards becoming a pro CSGO player only to regret it later.

Take all of your surroundings and ask yourself this one question: Do I have the dedication to work through all of these things and bring my best to a team? If your answer is yes, you can try to look for a team. You can put a recruiting ad out on ESEA or work your way through the Faceit FPL/ESEA ladders. A lot of joining a team actually comes down to networking. Always be supportive. If you are outskilled, do the appropriate things to help facilitate your teammates. People will always remember if you were very helpful and willing to do the dirty work. These people you meet while playing will sometimes be your future teammates.

Once you make it onto a team, you can naturally progress. With a little talent and luck, someday, you could be the next great CSGO player to come from your region!

Example CSGO ESEA Open Teams 2017

Starting a Team:

In order to start a team, you first need to find four people that share the same goals as you and can work together effectively. You can always try making a team with friends, but recognize that you might not be friends after you start playing together in a serious environment and that your friends might not be on the same page on what you want for your team. Your team has to realize the seriousness of the undertaking you are going through.

Even if you want to be a "pug" team, you will be practicing and doing a lot of time consuming things together. If one teammate is solely trying to have fun while the four of you are trying to earnestly win, you might have to change out that team member. Just remember: you need to find people with similar mindsets and values in order to establish a functional team. In order to do this, you will need to hold tryouts (Assuming you have found five people in roughly similar locations (to lessen ping difference), goals, and mindsets).

Holding Tryouts: 

Tryouts are essentially a few games with each player you are trying out in a match environment. This could be FACEIT, Matchmaking, and ESEA for lower level teams, but if you are higher level, do actual scrims with actual teams. Record the demo and the voice comms and try out different maps. Keep in mind the various roles they play and the general environment of a tryout which might affect the way they play.

When you go back and watch the demos and talk with them, do not focus on the stats and skill (unless it is blindingly obvious that they are unprepared for the skill level your tryouts are at); rather, focus on their approach to the game and why they do they things they execute in game. If they can't toss utility or execute certain strats, that is probably fine as long as they know what they are doing (strats, throwing utility, and other such things can always be taught). A small dip in skill from one player to another might be offset by the other player's game sense and knowledge. It is also easier to help fix skill issues in terms of crosshair placement and movement than it is to teach general game sense. (However, skill is still very important)

You also have to take into account their role that they play. Certain people play the games certain ways and if you have multiple people who are comfortable playing only a few roles, your team might not work as well as if you had taken a player that was less skilled but more versatile as a support player. However, at all levels, always take into account the personality of a team member. Toxic people, no matter what, are not welcome on a team. All the way up to the highest level, poor attitudes can ruin a team. It is absolutely fine, however, to be a little too quiet or a little too loud. (It is often quite easy to overlook people who are quite skilled who might not speak out as much, so take into account these players) Again, you want to prioritize the people who possess the same goals as even if they find you annoying, they can be professional enough to put aside differences and work towards the same goals. 


Establish your schedules. Always try to practice and watch demos as a full team (all 5 players, I cannot tell you how frustrating it is not to have a person at a meeting and having to repeat something again and again to that player). Make sure that there is a time set aside for the practices and watching demos. Understand that the people have busy schedules and that sometimes things might come up. If that's the case, then just discuss a few things with your players and just run as a 4 or 3 queue. Keep things relatively simple if you are just a new team. Run basic strats and teach people how to do the basic nades on each map. Clarify roles and make sure people know the callouts on each map as well as their locations on each map. As you get higher up in terms of your team, your schedules will be more set and the practices will be more rigorous. For now, just know the basics and try to get everybody to practice with each other a couple of times a week (2-3 is fine).

Changing Team Members:

Sometimes you have to realize that one of your players might not be fitting into your team attitude, skill, or goal wise. This has happened multiple times in teams. Everybody will have multiple teams and multiple teammates during their CSGO career. It is okay to sit down and talk with a player in order to change them out, especially if they have been clashing with various members of the team for quite some time now. Roster changes are quite frequent in the professional teams as they are all seeking to get better. If your mindset is to get better, you might have to replace teammates in order to improve your teamwork and skill ceiling as well as fix various issues. Just remember that if you are going through teammates in a while, you could be harming your team's long term potential, not giving them time to gel with each other. (You might even be the problem!) Every team requires some time in order to clarify if there is an issue with the teammates. However, even the longest running of teams eventually encounter problems and have to replace team members. Just enjoy the experience while it lasts. 

Ending Your Team:

It's okay to realize if you want to end your team or if you don't want to play anymore. Maybe you don't have the same motivation that you once did or something in your schedule has happened. Maybe one of your teammates has experienced something similar to the situations mentioned above and he can no longer play for the team. Try not to end a team in the middle of the season if at all possible. Finding substitutes, rescheduling practices, talking things out; all these are preferable to actually ending a team midseason (It will also look very weird if you joined and quit teams very rapidly and people might be less willing to pick you up as you have a past of being inconsistent). At the end of the season, it is reasonable to look back at the season and decide to leave the team. You can either pass on your leadership position to a teammate of yours or just dissolve the team in order to pursue new opportunities. The main point here is that just because you established the team doesn't mean you have to stick with the team forever or try to keep it together. It's alright to move on; plenty of teams come and go in the CSGO landscape. 

Team Dignitas' Lineup at Dreamhack Leipzig (aizy, tenzki, rubino, MSL, konfig)


Starting a team is hard and requires a ton of motivation. Sometimes, it doesn't even end up working out as you wanted it too. The process is always very hard, but you will meet some of your best friends online through this experience. Just reach towards your goals and try to make the best of it. My last and best advice is to just enjoy the time that you end up spending as a team and the time you end up playing competitive CSGO. Not many people have experienced or will experience this unique opportunity. Take it and run with it!

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