A clear characterisation in CS:GO can go along way to making a professional player stand-out in the communities eye. From ScreaM and his flashy taps, to s1mple and his volatile, confident AWPing, to Xyp9x with an omniscient sense of the map and clutch scenarios, these dot-points are instantly latched onto by fans. It also helps when their out-of-game personalities match their in-game tendencies. S1mple plays brash and aggressively, and older interviews leave no illusions as to how this manifested in his past roster’s communication. Xyp9x moves calmly, patiently and carefully in 1vX scenarios, and remains a cold, unassuming and reserved character on-stage.
When there’s an accurate frame to around a players game, there’s an easy window for fans to step through. If you hear a certain player plays ‘this’ unique way, and then observe a pattern of them playing ‘that’ way, you suddenly feel as though you’ve got ‘the’ insight. CS:GO is not an easy game at a micro, player-to-player level to conceptualise in-game patterns clearly, so finding them, especially if you’re newer to the game, is a big deal. It’s one of the reasons, in my opinion, a side like SK in 2017 is so easy to support.
Fer and felps are aggressive and entry. FalleN is the veteran leader and AWPer. TACO is the support. Coldzera is the superstar and clutcher. Is this way of characterising SK at the time incredibly regressive? Yes. Is it totally incorrect? No. If you watch their games with this very basic framework in-mind, you can get familiar with each players role, and become a fan based on their unique position in the team.
Whether it’s by virtue of region (and no English), relatively poor placings internationally, or lack of attention more generally, it’s very surprising to me that of all players Tyloo rifler somebody, in this sense, doesn’t attract fans*.
Somebody is, out of all the professional players I’ve observed in CS, one of the most unique. It’s ironic his name is ‘somebody’ given he doesn’t play like anybody else.
If Tyloo were to, outside of their tri-language comms, have a uniquely Eastern feel to their game, it would stem from Somebody’s approach. On-paper, he is the entry-fragger alongside Mo on T-side, and a rotator/forward dueller on CT-side. We see him often lead the charge for CT aggression around top mid on Mirage, water on Overpass, banana on Inferno or mid on Cache, while playing close set-ups outer on Train. He looks for fast-flanks often on CT-side from these positions or to brute force positions with his great first-bullet aim and incredibly confident strafing.
But these on-paper characteristics don’t really get at what comes to the heart of Somebody’s game.
Somebody is one of the most unreasonable players in CS:GO. His decision making is reckless, but in a way that catches off most elite players enough that it’s justified. He’ll push smokes and mollies without second thought. His internal clock ticks at a different rhythm to every other European rifler. Somebody has an uncanny ability to sense the space in a duel or an execute, and whether or not he is able to exploit that with a tight headshot is secondary for to his ability to find it in the first place. He doesn’t adhere to the standard protocols of movement or positioning around maps. He plays his own game, hits his own timings and finds duels as Tyloo’s entry and CT pressure player like no one else.
It’s like the beginner beating the veteran by surprise. The veteran has a built-up model of what he expects will happen based on what he thinks is ‘right’, and the beginner, not knowing what to expect will do something ‘wrong’ and will catch the veteran out.
Except somebody isn’t a beginner. He’s been around long enough to be self-aware of his effect on teams more established than his. Somebody is consistently like this, and has been for years, albeit now it’s with more confidence and at an amplified level with the space he buys actually being utilised by Xccurate and BnTeT in late-rounds. It’s tilting because if your his opponent you know what he’s going to do, but because his power exists in the pressures of timing, he can always punish internalised processes.
When it comes to taking duels in CS, it’s a game of milliseconds, muscle memory and emotion, not highly articulated flow-charts of decision making. Somebody isn’t consistently boosting in one spot, or always pushing the same smoke, he’s finding these strange advantages on the periphery of consciousness in duels. This is a very hard thing to shift given how fundamental a textbook approach to duelling is for most top pros.
But only so much can be written about how a player manipulates timings and models of playing. Somebody is one of those players where you just have to take some time, sit down, and watch some demos. He’s a talented aimer, a key piece of Tyloo’s T-side and late-round CT-side, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you wanted to do some investigation of your own, the IEM Sydney 2018 semi final against FaZe is a good place to start - map two is an excellent Somebody showcase. The mirage game against SK from Sydney is good as well his Overpass game against NRG at IEM Shanghai. But most Tyloo games where somebody is near the top of the leaderboard and they win will yield at least a handful of exciting moments for sure.
As mentioned at the start, the route to becoming a fan of a player is generally via becoming familiar with their game and then realising a micro pattern on your own terms. Somebody’s in-game pattern is defined by its randomness and how much it stands out from the rest of the pro’s in the scene. Over a big enough sample size of Tyloo games, there should be no trouble in seeing this pattern for yourself. So go down the strange route that’s entrapped more analysts than myself of trying to break down Tyloo and its parts. Get lost in the incoherence, but success of their system and the strange somebody who gives its unique foreign feel.
*Existing somebody fans, know there are others like you out there. We are a minority. But we are strong.