Getting better through videos
Getting better through videos
With the MCC around the corner, I thought I'd start a thread where I post about one video / week of high level gameplay. This is a great way to improve, and it makes the game more fun when you're getting more kills and dying less often. They'll mainly be full games, since those are more instructive than montages. I'll have a mix of pro players and some of the top regular matchmaking (non-MLG) players. I'll try to keep the pro gameplays as mainstream as possible (i.e. MLG gametypes that are fairly close to default settings, so more Pit Team Slayer and less Onslaught or Amplified).
I'll start with the most common maps, but if there's a particular map you'd like to see, let me know and I'll see what I can find.
This is a level 50 Lone Wolves game on Guardian by a guy named Shadowzkiller, with commentary by Shadowzkiller himself.
Some of the terms he uses:
Gold = the gold colored room with the lift
Blue = the blue colored room
Contesting spawn points = your presence is blocking enemies from spawning there, because the game spawns you away from enemies.
Green = the green stump area, opposite the map from the blue room
A few notes:
Why does he win every battle? Notice that almost none of his encounters rely on him having better aim. It's 99% awareness of what's happening, superior positioning, good use of grenades, and controlling the power weapons (shotgun).
Notice how he uses grenades. For suppression, and using radar to pre-nade people before the fight starts. He never throws one in the middle of a fight. [b]This is one of the most common beginner mistakes.[/b] If you grenade in the middle of a fight in the open, the enemy will simply dodge it while continuing to shoot you. Then you're down several shots in the battle and will probably die. At 5:25, "deathbdog7" made exactly that mistake, throwing a grenade while Shadowzkiller was shooting him. Shadowzkiller simply side stepped the grenade and killed the guy before he could shoot back. Easy kill; he took almost no damage.
Always melee after a shotgun blast in case the shotgun doesn't finish the job.
Halo 4: Adrift free-for-all with commentary by Unyshek
Unyshek narrates his thought process for each play.
A few other notes:
1:30 He snipes the guy in the body and then finishes with a melee. There are lots of guns that can kill almost instantly with a shot + melee combo. The sniper rifle, charged plasma pistol, brute shot (Halo 3), mauler/shotgun/scattershot (obviously), to name a few. It's sometimes handy to know you can use a charged plasma pistol+melee like a shotgun in a pinch.
2:12 Great use of suppression nades to create a barrier between him and the overshield guy. It buys him a few seconds for his shields to recharge. The opponent either has to back down or run through multiple grenades to get to him.
2:20 Wooseali, the guy in last place, makes the classic beginner mistake I mentioned in the first video by throwing a grenade when he should be shooting. Unyshek easily dodges the grenade and kills him without taking a shred of damage.
5:40 He hits a bunch of sniper shots, but why is he hitting them? It's not simply hand-eye coordination. His anticipation is the key. He knows where to look for people (either by radar or by checking the high traffic areas) and puts his reticle in the right place before they come into view, so the aiming almost takes care of itself. He also keeps the reticle at head level at all times, even when he's not lining up a shot. Lots of people (myself included) have a bad habit of keeping the reticle down, and then when they see someone they have to suddenly jerk the reticle up to the right place. This way he only has to move it horizontally to get on target.
Here's another Halo 3 game on Guardian, but this is pretty different from the other game because it shows how to control a different area of the map (sniper tower instead of the blue and gold rooms). It's also a Team Doubles game instead of Lone Wolves. Tsquared is a natural teacher and does a good job of clearly articulating why he makes each decision.
General observation: As before, always melee after the shotgun blast just in case the shotgun doesn't finish the job.
0:40 T2 waits to pick up overshield. You're invincible for a few seconds while the OS charges up, so it's best to wait until you're about to fight someone before picking it up. In this case, his OS was still charging when he killed the hammer guy, so T2 could start the next battle with a full overshield.
2:39 T2 sees the guy running from green toward elbow, so he puts his sniper reticle ahead of the guy at head level and simply waits for him to walk into it. Techniques like this make aiming a lot easier.
3:34 The enemy runs at T2 in a straight line, which makes him an easy target. In general it's better to strafe back and forth (like T2 did) rather than run straight at someone. For most guns, that extra 3 feet of distance won't make a difference and it just makes you extremely easy to shoot. But even if you need to run toward someone to close the distance (e.g. to go for a melee), you're more likely to survive long enough to get there if you zig zag a little as you run forward. This also goes for running away from someone; a few zig zags while retreating makes you harder to shoot in the back and could make the difference in you reaching cover or not.
4:15 T2 knew he was near cover when he threw the grenade. This way he can duck behind cover while the grenade throw animation finishes, and then pop back out to shoot the enemy once the throwing animation finishes. If he'd stood in the open and thrown the grenade, he probably would have died (at least if he didn't have the overshield).
4:37 T2 is still weak from fighting the guy at snipe 2 (whom his teammate just finished off), so he jumps past the doorway instead of just walking past it. If there had been another guy coming from elbow, T2 could have died. By jumping, his body and head are more covered by the door frame. Little things like this add up to make a big difference.
If any of you care about Halo 4 (I don't), here's a decent game + commentary from Unyshek on Team Slayer Abandon. He makes some smart plays.
Here's a level 50 Team Doubles game on The Pit (Halo 3) with Riot.
A few observations:
2:25 By banking the grenade off the back wall, he gets it to explode behind the barricade. Plus, this way the player doesn't see it coming since it's bouncing from behind him.
4:52 He pulls out the BR to finish the kill after getting a sniper body shot. This is much easier and more reliable than trying to line up a second sniper shot while you're getting knocked in and out of scope.
7:10 He throws two grenades in the cubby hole where camo spawns. This is always a good idea if you have a second grenade, since it takes two to kill someone who may be sitting there.
[b]The importance of map control[/b]
Starting around 5:35 or so, the score went from 18-2 to 23-7. Suddenly the team that was getting destroyed 18-2 is now going toe to toe. Why? I think it was map control. For the first part of the game, Riot and Duels got both snipers and were set up on the other team's sniper tower and in the sword building / training (training is the flat platform area between the green hallway and the sword building, shown below).
The sniper tower is a powerful position. You have good lines of sight to the other side of the enemy's base, which is where they'll usually spawn when you're controlling the sword side of their base. Having the other teammate on training or in sword makes it easy to help each other out, as you can see by their teamwork.
This shows how map control is so important, probably more important than aiming ability alone. These are the exact same players throughout the whole game, yet from one position, they're winning 18-2, and once they get pushed back into their own base, the teams are on an equal footing. In other words, good positioning and weapon control allows you to demolish players of roughly equal skill level.
Here's another level 50 Team Doubles game on Pit that shows basically the same strategy. His teammate, Bored.com, is [url=http://www.twitch.tv/dominator/]Dominator[/url], who is probably the best doubles player in the game.
0:30 I'm surprised he didn't grab the drainer to counter the overshield instead of going for long range rockets.
2:10 He misses the guy coming from sword, and then puts his sniper reticle where he thinks the guy might go next. But look at where he's standing while he waits for the guy to poke out. He moves slightly to the right so that the little L-shaped barricade wall blocks his exposure to the hallway where the opponent just was. This way he doesn't have to worry about getting shot from that side while he's zoomed in watching the bridge area. Click the thumbnail below for a diagram.
3:30 He pulses the Assault Rifle instead of holding down the trigger. This makes it a lot more accurate for mid-range.
3:42 He uses the plasma grenade for suppression. If the surviving enemy were to rush him, he'd have to come through the grenade. Notice that Tommy put the grenade on the ledge instead of on the lower area. This way it's more likely the enemy wouldn't see it until he'd already jumped up and was right on top of it.
Even though this is SWAT, the basic idea of using deductive reasoning to anticipate the enemies' location is extremely important for regular Team Slayer as well. This kind of awareness is what accounts for most of the difference between weaker players and stronger players, not so much aiming and reflexes.
The game tries to spawn you in a safe place by spawning you away from enemies and away from recent deaths. So based on these two facts, you have a pretty good guess as to where to look for opponents, even if your teammates have no mics.
The more you watch good players, if you watch carefully, you'll notice that even something like aiming ability is more about awareness, anticipation, and positioning than it is reflexes or hand-eye coordination. By knowing where to anticipate people, Unyshek has a much better chance of getting the headshot than if he's just running around looking for people and having to react when he happens to see someone.
Terminology: A "split spawn" is when you spawn away from your teammates. In this case, the opponents got a split spawn at the end of the video because they spawned on different sides of the map and rushed Unyshek from both sides. This happened because Unyshek's teammates were bunched up in the middle, leaving several spawn areas open.
Here's another Pit slayer game, this time from Team Snipers with vI Red Iv, who was the #1 player in that playlist back in the day. Like the previous two Pit slayer games in this thread, this shows how hugely important positioning and map control is. Red is obviously great with the sniper rifle, great aim, etc. But to show the importance of positioning, I've broken his Kill-Death spread down by places on the map.
His side of the map: 8 kills, 11 deaths.
Their side of the map: 16 kills, 6 deaths.
[b]If you subtract the two times (2:45 and 3:30) when he got lucky by spawning courtyard with an enemy right in his sights, he almost went double negative on his side of the map and almost triple positive on their side.[/b]
Why? 1) When you've got one or two guys flanking on their side of the map, the enemy is getting pinched from both sides. It's not as bad on Pit, which is more compartmentalized than some other maps, but it's really hard to fight people in front of you when you're having to turn around and look for the guy who's behind you. 2) It makes you nervous when someone is being aggresive on your side of the map. You don't have time to think, you're always worried where he might be, you rush your shots. The aggressive flanker is dictating the pace of the game.
Since it's hard to flank, and since a lot of the teamwork advantage is in pinching the enemies from both sides, it's much better to play it a little safer and stay alive as long as you can on the enemies' side. The longer they have to think about you and worry about where you might pop out next, the more your teammates can push up and pinch them from both sides.
This is a level 50 Team Doubles game on Cold Storage with Champ. His teammate lags out in the beginning, making it 2 vs 1.
This game is a great example of how staying near escape routes can help you stay alive and maintain power weapon control. He always stays right by an escape route: Near a corner where he can get away, near a teleport, near a ledge, etc. When you have power weapons, you’re like a more valuable chess piece. Dying with rockets to a player with a BR is like losing your queen to a pawn.
Lots of smart plays to learn from in this game!
I think the other team comes from shotgun room off the start. They have to come up the ramp for rockets, so Champ throws the drainer to block their way. He lets his teammate with camo get rockets. Rockets benefit from the camo more than the sniper rifle does on this map since rockets are so much more effective if you can get close to the opponents.
1:40. Dreclin is an idiot and charges after getting power drained. Champ sees on radar that the other guy was trying to flank from the hallway from camo room, so he drops down and is ready with the sniper reticle already in place. But he’s right by the doorway for an escape if he misses, which he does.
1:55 Champ retreats to the shotgun room and prepares his sniper reticle on the portal exit just in case. Again, he stays inches from an escape route in case he misses. He sees the guy chasing on his radar, so he sticks him with a grenade.
2:23 Hears a guy pick up the shotgun. The guy runs up the spiral, and goes to rocket room. Champ prepares his sniper for the hallway from rocket room just in case. The guy takes the portal back to the top of the spiral (where the two needlers spawn).
2:40 Champ knows where the guy is coming from and prepares his sniper reticle for an easy headshot. Once again, anticipation facilitates aiming.
2:50 Champ prepares his sniper reticle at the camo room doorway and it pays off. He then uses the bubble shield to close the distance for a shotgun kill on the other enemy. Notice how the grenade stick is a lot easier when the enemy jumps almost straight up in the air. Jumping too much is another common mistake (I’m guilty of it too). It makes your movement more predictable so you’re easier to snipe or stick.
3:16 Champ uses the OS as bait. He waits till the enemy is right there before picking it up and attacking with the shotgun. The guy tries to ninja Champ, which is a smart move against a guy with a fresh OS that may be still charging up (and therefore invincible to everything except a back smack). Champ dodges to the side and finishes him with the shotgun. I’m not sure if the beat down didn’t register or if Champ’s OS was still charging up.
When fighting the other enemy, Champ knows he has an overshield, so he has time to line up a few no scopes. But yet again, he positions himself right by the portal just in case.
4:01 He puts the sniper reticle at head level before peeking out. Easy headshot. He only has to move his reticle horizontally to get on target.
4:50 Champ sees the guy going toward the portal on his radar, so he’s ready with the sniper when the guy comes out the other side.
6:27 The guy gets the OS, so Champ plays ring around the rosy with him while the OS charges, because you’re invincible while it charges up. Then once enough time has passed, he goes around the corner so the guy can’t see he has a shotgun until it’s too late. Shotgun + melee and the OS guy is dead.
6:50 He snipes the rocket guy in the body. The rocket guy drops down. The most likely play is for the rocket guy to shoot the wall to kill with splash damage, so Champ jumps away from the wall and gets directly above the guy on the ledge, where it’s a tough angle for the rockets.
7:05 He’s watching his radar from the previous fight and prepares the sniper reticle, hits him in the body, and then jumps so it’s a harder angle for the rockets to shoot.
7:11 He hesitates slightly before picking up the rockets. The enemy shoots him twice. Champ fires the rocket behind the guy, which is smart because the enemy’s body will shield you from some of the splash damage. Unfortunately the guy survived and they traded melees.
7:55 He teleports and then throws a barrier grenade on the ledge to block them from charging him. Then he anticipates them porting up, so he throws a good grenade, but can’t finish him in time. Champ should have thrown his regen here, but hindsight is 20/20.
This is a game of level 50 Team BRs on Standoff with Riot65O. I thought it would be good to include a map with vehicles.
[b]Basic Standoff Strategy[/b]
Whore the warthog, which means you have to control the biggest counter to the warthog, the laser. Non-warthog teammates should control the laser or aggressively push up to the enemy rock line and fight from the enemy’s rocket rock and/or their BR rock.
As you’ll see in the video, controlling the laser, and therefore the warthog, [b]turns a score of 7-6 into a score of 35-8[/b] (and 50-16 by the end).
So keeping the warthog alive is the key to the entire strategy for this map. What are the main threats to the warthog?
- The laser
- Invisible enemies
- The power drainer (it stuns vehicles)
- Plasma grenades
- Team BR fire
- The other warthog
One of the most common mistakes is to treat the warthog like it's a fortress on wheels, like, "Oh, we're in a vehicle. Let's drive into a crowd of people and take them all out while we're getting shot from all sides." Instead, you want to play it safe and stay alive as long as possible. Get your gunner an Invincible medal. The hog is great at medium-long range and has great mobility, but is easily taken down by drainers, plasma grenades, or group gunfire up close, so keep moving and keep your distance. This is especially important when you're playing smart players; you may feel like you're not getting as many kills as you should from a distance, but staying alive is the priority. Peppering the enemies and distracting them, etc. can be very unnerving, and keeping their shields low limits their movement. The hog is like a queen chess piece. It's not worth getting too close and getting stuck by a plasma grenade just so you can kill one extra guy on foot.
It's best to do unpredictable turns to the sides of each base. Drive to the other side via the middle of the map (or in front of your own base), not behind the enemy base, lest someone jump out of the back tunnel with a power drainer or plasma grenade. You should be aware of spawn patterns, drive to the side where they're spawning and mow them down from a safe distance. The left side of the map is also a great angle to lay down fire from behind the enemy's rock line. This ties into what we talked about with flanking in that Pit Team Snipers game above.
The driver should always pick up a bubble shield. This way, if you happen to flip, you can throw the bubble and not be a sitting duck for grenades while you get going again.
If you're the gunner, a common mistake is to hold the trigger down willy-nilly just because you have infinite ammo. All that does is announce your presence to the enemy from a mile away and let your driver know that you don't know what you're doing. The gunner needs to be aware of spawn patterns and where to look for opponents. He should also be doing the bulk of the communication for the team since he has the best view of the action.
0:07 The standard opening move is to grenade the enemy hog off the start. If everyone does it, you'll probably damage or flip their hog, weaken some players, and maybe get a kill or two. I've gotten a splatter medal this way, ha ha. Don't jump when you throw the grenades, otherwise teammates behind you will bounce their grenades off your back so they explode at your feet.
Riot uses the camo + rockets to get the laser. This is a smart play, although when playing a good team, you want to beware of the enemies having an invisible rocket guy of their own.
0:30 He prioritizes the laser guy. Killing or weakening the laser is the key to map control, even though Riot dies to the guy in the dish.
2:15 The score is almost tied at 7-6. The enemies are all by the right dish, so Riot flanks left with shotgun. His priority is to kill laser guy so his team can get their hog going. The next priority is to use the laser to take out enemy hog. This allows his team to get their own hog rolling.
3:15 This is an instructive encounter. The enemy jumps to the side, so Riot puts the reticle on the guy and strafes with him so the reticle stays on him. He doesn't even have to move his reticle. The guy jumped too soon, which made it easy for Riot to track with him. It would have been a lot harder to aim if the guy had stayed on the ground dodging back and forth, and then jumped at the last second, so Riot would have to suddenly move his reticle just before firing the laser.
3:30 Riot gets camo. His priority is to keep his team's hog alive, and right now the main threat to the hog is the other team’s camo guy, so his task is to stalk that guy and take him out with the shotgun. The hog was over in the right dish, so the camo guy probably went there to try to take out the hog. The camo guy shows up on radar around 3:45, and Riot takes him out.
4:25 Riot takes out the enemy hog before they can get it up and running. A plasma grenade is the best way, but he was serendipitously able to blow it up while lasering an enemy.
4:50 Here’s another example of the enemy jumping to the side too early in the fight. All Riot has to do is put his reticle in the right place and then strafe with him to stay on target.
5:20 Riot continues to put shots into enemies at their rockets. This is important, even though he doesn’t get any kills. It keeps pressure off the hog, keeps the enemies weak, forces them to be less aggressive, and makes them antsy so they rush their shots and make bad decisions.
5:40 Riot uses a plasma grenade to blow up their hog.
6:10 The enemy hides behind the box. Riot flushes him out with a grenade. This gives the guy a dilemma: either stay behind the crate and die to grenades, or jump out and commit to a disadvantageous BR fight.
6:43 [b]The score is 35-8. The score had been almost tied 7-6. That’s a run of 28-2 since they started running the hog. This is the power of map control.[/b]The hog died because it got too close to the tunnel door and got stuck by a grenade. They probably could have won 50-10 if they'd been more careful.
7:15 Riot uses the camo to get a fresh hog. He picks up a bubble shield in case they flip.
8:10 He flipped the hog and threw the bubble. The gunner got in the wrong seat by accident. If the gunner had seen the enemy on radar, they could have driven away to change seats somewhere safe.
8:55 This is exactly what you don’t want to do in the hog. The game was basically over, though, so no big deal.
Rat’s Nest TS, Big Team Battle
Here's another game on a map with vehicles, once again with Riot65O.
2:10 The enemy hog gives away its position by firing nonstop, which makes it an easy kill.
2:25 You see how quickly the gunner goes down when you drive through a group of people.
3:10 Riot crouches as soon as his teammate dies. This way the enemy might assume he’s dead if he sees an explosion and both red dots disappear off his radar. Sure enough, Maple Gunman isn’t even looking when Riot comes around the corner and rockets him.
4:00 Riot jumps as the grenades come in to minimize the splash damage he takes. Then, because he’s no shields, he throws a few grenades to create a barrier so the enemies can’t chase after him around the corner. The enemies have to either back down or run through multiple grenades and die, which one of them does. Riot sees another guy on radar behind him, so he turns around and jumps up against the protruding wall to make himself a hard target while he shotguns the enemy. Little details like this make a big difference. You can imagine how disorienting it would be if someone did that to you.
5:20 Notice how hard this angle is when trying to stick a hog. You have to perfectly lead your grenade or it’ll barely miss, like it did here. It’s much easier to stick or rocket a hog from a more head on angle, as you’ll see at 7:30
5:30 See how much the team’s BR shots cause the hog to roll. You definitely don’t want to get airborne in the hog when you’re being shot or you’ll flip.
6:23 Riot probably could have survived if he’d switched to his shotgun. 20/20 hindsight. Failing that, it’s still better to blow yourself and the opponent up than risk dying and giving him the rockets.
7:30 This is the kind of angle you want to have for sticking a warthog. It’s coming more head on, so you don’t have to lead as much, and you have cover so you don’t get splattered.
8:35 This is another great spot/angle from which to take out a hog. Head on angle plus good cover. Riot poked out and died because he probably figured the opponent would be busy with his teammate, A11. Normally this is a good play. Maybe the enemy stayed focused on Riot because he had rockets.
Rat’s Nest multi-flag in level 50 Squad Battle (6v6). Gameplay and commentary by Shadowzkiller.
As you’ll see in the video commentary, controlling the lobbies is the key to getting a flag cap. Almost every decision Shadowzkiller makes is about controlling the lobbies. The map isn’t well-designed for flag because it’s very difficult to push through the choke points to retake control of your lobby when the other team is set up and grenading the doorways.
0:25 The other team gets the rockets, so Shadowzkiller rushes the rocket guy to make him waste 1-2 rockets. This is a good play because, even though Shadowzkiller is probably going to die, he knows that controlling the lobbies is the key to winning, and it’s much better to sacrifice your life and make the guy waste half the rockets off to the side of the map where it doesn’t matter. Otherwise the guy would have had 4 rockets to clear out ShadowzKiller’s lobby.
1:00 This is a great play. He uses the warthog to flank behind the other team. This way they have to turn around and focus on killing him, which opens up an opportunity for SK’s team to push up to regain control of the middle lobbies. This play is a great example of how kill-death spread doesn’t tell the whole story. In both of these plays, he sacrificed a life in order to create opportunities for his team.
2:00 Great use of the shotgun and bubble shield to clear out their lobby with a triple kill.
Rat’s Nest, Neutral Assault. Squad Battle level 50 with Riot 65O. Like multi-flag in the last video, you also want to control the other team’s lobby in order to win this gametype.
4:00 He talks about how taking out both players’ shields was a big help to his team even though he only actually finished one of them off. Taking out their shields means they’re basically out of play for several seconds. This is an important concept.
Both times he gets rockets, he goes to their lobby, since that’s the key area to control. The first time would have been a good play if, like he said, he’d let a teammate go in first to draw out the shotgun camper.
Guardian Team Slayer, level 50, with commentary by Shadowzkiller.
1:05 He sees their sniper at S2. He also knew there were at least two other guys there, since he’d just seen one coming from the bottom and another that lifted over. If he’d started shooting the sniper, he would have gotten triple teamed before he finished the kill. He would have died without getting a kill. Instead, he throws what I call a pre-nade. He skips it off the ramp so it blows up right on the enemy sniper and shoots him in the head as it explodes for an instant kill. Now Shadowzkiller still has full shields to fight the next two guys, and the first guy died so quickly that the next two enemies don’t have much time to react. Since there’s two enemies bunched up in a doorway, Shadowzkiller throws a grenade. SK doesn’t have much cover on elbow here, so it’s unlikely he could have out-BRed both players, so a grenade is the best play. It takes out both players’ shields and he cleans them up with his BR for the triple kill. Because he used his grenades the right way, he got three kills without dying, instead of zero kills and a death.
He spends some time talking about how your location on the map influences where your teammates respawn, and why you should pay attention to where you go so that you get your team spawning in the best position possible. This is another very important concept that less experienced players sometimes don’t consider.
7:30 He’s no shields with nowhere to go, but he still tries to stay alive as long as possible so the team has to focus on killing him for a few extra seconds, which creates an opportunity for his own team while the enemies are distracted.
This short tutorial by Tsquared gives an overview of one of the Guardian setups Shadowzkiller was talking about. Skip the first 30 seconds to get to the actual content.
Guardian Oddball, MLG level 50. Snipedown, Shockwave, Cpt. Anarchy, and Ghostayame win 250-0. Snipedown goes 21-0. This is a great game to see the setup mentioned above in action. Snipedown spends most of his time locking down the green tree area, although he occasionally switches to cover elbow. He also has a Mauler for close range combat when he lifts over to grab the camo when it spawns every 2 minutes.
The main thing to notice here is the team shooting. Look how fast the enemies are dying because of the crossfiring angles of this setup, and because every teammate is putting shots into every enemy, even if they can't finish them.
Standoff Capture the Flag, level 50 Squad Battle, with commentary by Shadowzkiller.
Topics include flag routes, laser control, counter-caps (i.e. sneaking in and taking the enemy's flag while they're busy trying to move your flag), and what the warthog should be doing.
Naded gets a perfection on Shrine in H2A.
I haven't seen many good gameplays of H2A yet. Hopefully more will come as the game gets fixed. In this game, you can see how he uses the sniper rifle. Sniping is mostly about good positioning and anticipation, not so much lightning fast reaction time. You can see those things in a lot of his shots in this game.
Pro scrimmage of The Agency (Hysteria, Fear Itself, Ninja, Victory X) vs. CLG (Ogre 2, Snakebite, Heinz, Royal 2), Neutral Bomb on Shrine. Ninja isn't the most disciplined player (compared to other pros), but he had some nice plays this game, including a special surprise a little over halfway through the game.
FYI, "Bonfire" or "bon" is the spot on the map that's between the front ramp of the base and the bottom center structure ("Ring 1").
Lockdown King of the Hill. Cloud's view (pro player). All the other players are pros or former pros, except Washed Up Randa. Not sure who that is.
Here's a great game of Shrine capture the flag with Snipedown and his new team (Roy, Lunchbox, Pistola) vs. another pro team (Cloud, Mikwen, Chig, Reliable). He talks a lot about their strategy, teamwork, blocking spawns, controlling the map, escorting the flag carrier, that kind of thing.
(Ninja gameplay starts at 1:00)
Here are two Free-for-all Perfections on Lockdown, by Kampy and Ninja. Watching both back to back, you can see the common denominators: Power weapon control and positioning. They both get the sword and sniper and then set up at the sniper tower, where they have good angles on most of the high-traffic areas with the sniper, and the sword to kill anyone who gets close. I would guess that they chose to hold the sniper tower instead of the BR tower because people won't spawn as close to you. I'm not sure if standing at Snipe 2 will block people from spawning Snipe 1 or not. But at the BR tower, people can spawn in the Library or BR 1 or BR 2 and come up behind you pretty easily.
One thing I like about the Ninja game is the fact that his snipe is a little off, yet he still goes 25-0 because of his decision-making. Lots of people think being good is all about having the best aim, and that pros should never miss. But smart decisions, positioning, and awareness is what separates the top players.
Snakebite goes +71 while winning a King of the Hill game on Stonetown. Fun watch.
Ninja on Lockdown (random matchmaking). I didn't know about the drop from top lift down to elbow.
For Stone Town (Zanzibar), I find it's best to control the top part of the map near the big fan and around the camo tower. You have the camo that spawns every 1:15 (and lasts for 48 seconds), a shotgun that spawns 10 feet away for close range dominance, decent access to the sea wall sniper rifle, decent access to the sword, easy access to the rockets, height advantage and advantageous shooting angles on most of the map, good cover, and multiple escape routes. It's also great because when the other team gets the sea wall sniper, you can grab the camo and shotgun and go obliterate that guy and take his sniper. There's plenty of weapons to go around so multiple teammates can lock down this area.
The video above shows this Stone Town position in action. You can see how easy it is to control the power weapons from this area. And notice how the only time he died was when he deviated from the good position and chased a kill down below. That shows what a difference the position was making. The same guy who was otherwise 20-0 was now on a level playing field (literally) once he gave up the positioning. You almost always want to maintain the advantageous positioning and let the enemy come to you at a disadvantage, rather than run around chasing after people.
(I know this was obviously a game against noobs, but there's not much good content to choose from due to the crappy launch and low population.)
The first 30 seconds of this video shows a couple nice jumps to quickly get up to the top of the map from the other side (from Camp Froman side). Jumps like this make a big difference. Why? If positioning is a huge deciding factor in battles, then obviously the guy who can get to that position first has a huge advantage. And it's not just that you're there for a slightly longer amount of time. If you get there first, then you'll kill the other guy who's trying to get there because you're already fighting from the better spot. And then it just snowballs from there, since every time they try to take that position from you for the rest of the game, they'll be fighting from a disadvantage. So that initial quicker route isn't just a nifty trick jump – it can make a huge difference for the rest of the match, sort of like compounding interest.