Audiences play a huge role in CS: GO’s LAN events. Passion, energy, and enthusiasm fill the stadium with every single shot a pro player makes.. but what if that same audience was used to make the mission of finding opponents easier?
The loud crowd of ESL Pro League Season 5 finals drew some mixed reactions, with suspicions rising around the fact that it may have helped some players identifying the location of their enemies. Today, Mike “shroud” Grzesiek from Cloud9 himself shed some light on the issue, revealing what a lot of us didn’t know about CS: GO events.
In a Twitch stream of his, “shroud” revealed that many CS: GO pros, including himself, have used the crowd to their advantage for mid-round information. He was asked by someone in his chat about the degree to which he can hear the audience at offline events.
“The whole audience on LAN really plays a factor when you’re in a one-versus-one, when one-versus-two, when you’re sneaking through a smoke, or when you aim at a wall,” he said. “That’s when the audience helps you.”
Shroud revealed the hidden method, specifically one that teammate Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert and himself use, that’s based solely on crowd noise.
“Me and [n0thing] do this thing–especially Jordan–when we’re in a one-versus-two or a one-versus-one, where we look at a wall,” shroud continued. “Why? Because when you look at a wall or smoke, the crowd is going to get loud. If the crowd gets loud, then you know he’s there. [It’s] easy. [Players] do it all the time.”
Grzesiek also mentioned that players can “feel the vibration” in soundproof booths in another one of his broadcasts in January. “There’s zero way of fixing it,” he said. “It’s just the way it is.”
We can’t determinate whether or not it’s considered cheating. In one hand, it’s impossible to control a wild audience from reacting to the screen. But on the other hand, it’s also not fair for the other player with his location hinted by the screams. It’s hard to say how event organizers can minimize “the crowd effect” outside of soundproof booths, but when millions of dollars are on the line, there has to be something done to make sure the matches are as fair as possible.