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CS:GO Fundamentals I - Flashbangs

While it may not appear this way to a beginner or even to the mid-level competitive player, Counter-Strike is really a game of fundamentals. If you get the fundamentals down, you'll start to build consistency, and from there you can focus on other elements of the game, and the sky will be the limit. Some of the fundamentals a CS player needs to develop are:

  • Flashbangs, flashing, and counter-flashing
  • Utilization of smoke grenades
  • Intelligent bomb planting and defending
  • Proper in-game positioning
  • Landing consistent shots

Over a series of posts, I'll lay out some of these fundamentals with details of how each can improve your play and help you get to the next level. This first post is going to focus on flashing (the use of flashbangs offensively) and counter-flashing (the use of flashbangs defensively). 


Proper flashing and counter-flashing is one of the most important strategies of the game competitively. A well placed flash can blind an entire bombsite, and followed with the right timing of a push into the site, you'll be in a position to get some easy frags and plant the bomb well before a rotate can make it over to you. It's important to time and communicate your flashes well so you don't flash the wrong spot, or your teammates, and defeat the purpose of the flash to begin with. 

Start by running through a map, and finding all of the "common" spots a CT would play to cover a site. Then work on throwing flashes over the top of the site, off of walls, cars, and other miscellaneous objects, and have a teammate stand on the other side to tell you how effective the flash was. To level the flash up, try to find places to throw it from as a "pop flash". 

A "pop flash" generally refers to a flashbang that's thrown from a bit of a distance, and without being bounced or angled off a wall or corner. When thrown correctly, they immediately "pop" or flash at the desired location without any warning or noise, leaving the enemy player with no chance to look away . These flashes require timing and teamwork, and the usual scenario is as follows: Player A pushes up close to where he will be rushing. Player B sits back and waits for Player A to get into position, and then throws the "pop flash" just around the corner from Player A. Player A waits for the flash to pop, and pushes immediately afterwards. This type of flash strategy can lead to open, easy frags.

On the other hand, a single well placed counter-flash can stop a rush or push into a site in its tracks, allowing time for teammates to get into better position, and allowing you time to take a few shots. Learning the counter-flashes to throw, the angles to throw them, and how to time them so that you don't get caught with one in your hand as the enemy team turns the corner are all fundamentals that will make a huge impact on the scoreboard (and your in-game rage). 

The best counter-flashes are the ones that can be thrown without being visible or having to peek from your position. If you know which sites you normally play, get into your normal position and look around for things to bounce your flashes off of, and keep in mind that some maps have a very low "ceiling" that you use to throw your flashes up into. Then try it out in pugs to help learn the timing to know when to throw based on the sound level of the approaching footsteps, gunfire, etc. 

Knowing when, where, and how to flash will make a noticeable impact on your play, your stats, and your "happiness" levels. It'll also help demoralize and steal momentum from the other team, as we all know how rageful it is getting fragged helplessly with a completely white screen.