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Former member of RiZe-Gaming Counter-Strike team.

Afternoon Paul, thanks for taking the time to chat to Pro-HL for our readers can you given them a little info about you.
Hello mate, yes no problem. My name is Paul Stangroom, 21 years old, currently playing for team Rize. I've been playing Counter-Strike since about 1999, online since 2000, so a long time.

Been playing for rize for long?
II joined Rize in December 2004 when they had a team reshuffle.

Would you say you're a 'hardcore' Counter-Strike player?
INot so much now, I mainly just play private clan wars with Rize official wars and the odd mix with close friends, when I first started I was playing in publics constantly and would of considered my self as hardcore.

What do you think makes a elite Counter-Strike player?
You're got to have the skill to start with, but experience helps a lot and loads of practice too. Being able to read the game well also helps a lot.

What is the one single hardest skill area to master in Counter-Strike that sets players between being very good & elite?
Reaction & Aim You can know the game inside out, be in the right place at the right time every round and still lose because of those 2 things.

Most of my team moan a lot about tactics and we all know in Counter-Strike tactics are very important but I always think you still need players with top aim & reaction skills what's you're view can team out smart & win against all odd with good tactics or do you still require the aim?
As soon as you start moaning at each other the only way you'll beat the other team is if your better, good communication is vital to win any game, if your tactics are better than the other team aim doesn't mean as much but depends on the other team. If their aim & reaction out plays your team then even if you have better tactics you will still come out bottom.

Do most if not all top CS teams us TeamSpeak for all matches?
All online games yeah, LANs are different depends on the rules of play but online yes you'll be at a disadvantage if you're not on some sort of comms system.

For those new clans starting up out there who might be reading this, a question on tactical rushing... When you rush a bomb site how do you normally do it? Full, fast rush or do you split rush or hang back pick one or two off then rush?
Hmm well depends on the spawn you get A good spawn means you can get right in the bomb site before or at the same time as the other team giving you a better chance if not timed splip rushing is the best option.

Not to give your own team tactics out but have you even used the tactic of who's nearest at spawn takes that position or do you allocate position for all team members before the match?
Depends on the map there's not many maps that require that tactic the one that springs to my mind is de_prodigy. It's a must to use spawn to dictate your CT position other than de_prodigy there's a few spawns that give you an advantage for a quick shot can be taken sometimes.

Another question on tactical play, in the teams you've played for to they have strict rules on weapon buying and what are your views on this subject of tactical weapon buying?
Heehee yeah there's nothing worse than 4 AWPers. Again this goes back to good communication again, most teams have AWPers assigned, and if they don't AWP someone else might want to. You can't be to strict when it comes to weapon buying because every player is different but as long as you don't go over the top with AWPs your generally ok.

What's the score with 'ECO-ING' rounds, no money is it better have the team save or buy what they can in your view?
If you lose a pistol round there are two choices, deagle rush or eco the round. I personally prefer eco-ing, it's the safest bet. Smoke rushing and getting the bomb down is a good idea lets you buy the following round even if u lose.

In your time of playing Counter-Strike where would you say the most action is at? When I mean action what I really mean is where do the top teams play at?
Well, CS has changed a lot in a short space of time, top clans don't really play in normal leagues they tent to play at LANs only the best league in the UK is CSGN, clan bases UKIE is good too with some quality teams entering, its a shame really that the likes of 4K (4Kings) don't enter online comps anymore really but its the way "pro" CS has gone.

What are your views on systems like #cs.gather on mIRC etc, do you fine the level of skill to be high or is this again another place for those lower end players to hang around at?
Hmm haven't played on any of them for a while now, were a great idea but from what I remember the skill level wasn't the highest. Great place to start out though get some proper game experience, much more useful than a normal public server play.

Looking at Counter-Strike based leagues & cups you attacked ED (Enemydown) for being very "newbie" like and I quote "Any half arsed team could top the premier" what makes you say this and how could the ED crew improve their image with the elite teams?
LoL its a good starting point for a clan but for a team like Rize we want play better quality teams more often to help us improve leagues like that are full of whiners and hackers, the best thing they could do is develop an anti-cheat system as good as CSGN to wipe out cheating also its such a hassle when teams don't accept results because they expect you of cheating isn't worth the hassle.

Talking of hackers, In Counter-Strike Source the biggest issue at the moment seems to be that of cheaters, thanks to Valve VAC2 is now out and will help put an end too some of those cheater. What is your view on cheaters & do you think cheating is on the up or down in Counter-Strike?
I hate cheating in every form it comes, 'config kiddies' are just as bad as the wall hackers as far as cheating getting worse I'm not really sure, I think its as bad as it has always been VAC2 will help if they update it all the time but even so the only way you know players aren't cheating is to play them at a LAN or join CSGN with there lovely anti-cheat.

What is the number one biggest problem in Counter-Strike to date?
Cheating & Configing

For me it would have to be the way the community is so spaces apart... In HLDM it was a very close community every one knew every one else. The team you currently play for rZ' from you're current team sponsorship status & results seem to be doing very well you mentions they won Division 3 of CSGN CS1.6 league what other results has the team had in other leagues like ClanBase?
Well we won the first 3 qualifying games in the UKIE cup we got a tough group but didn't do to bad although I don't think we'll be progressing further we still have one game to play in that. As for CSGN we should be going to the finals and that's LAN based.

In order of status what would you say are the top 5 Counter-Strike leagues/cups to be in, eg: clanbase cup, nations cup, esl, cpl, cal, csgn, ed, twf, jolt etc?
Well CPL is at the top, then ESL, not so sure about CAL but if you're in the USA it's the one to be in, ClanBase cups are always good to get into, I like the Nations Cup then the likes of ED Jolt etc, follow near the bottom.

You mentioned back there about the pro's all but gone from online gaming what do you make of the decision made by the former SK players to leave & reform NiP?

Well I'm not total sure what went on, from what I heard basically they didn't like SK and their manager taking the cut of there winnings. So decided to reform there old clan to keep more, which is good for them bad for SK I think I'd do the same.

A classic case of going too commercial I'd say. Why is it that none of the big teams have moved over to Counter-Strike Source?
basically its a totally different game if it played identical to CS I'm sure they'd move across I know I would.

Talking between some Counter-Strike Source teams 'CS' maps are seen to be 'newbie' like and all so called elite teams only play 'DE' maps, is this true? Do teams really think like this?
Yeah 1.6 is very much like that.

Strange why is that?
'CS' maps are a bit of a waste of time, the hostages are so random and don't follow you well enough that's one main reason. Also the idea of getting in and out again is a lot tougher than getting in and holding.
I see so teams like a goal like planting the bomb rather than just killing all the other team?

Which players have had the biggest impact on you with the Counter-Strike world and why?
I'm kind of "do it myself" and learn that way type of player, not sure any one player has taught me a lot I've learn lots of things from watching pro demos and playing along side people but haven't really had a mentor or anything.

I'm going call out 3 choices and would like to know which you would chose… Ready? AK47 M4a1?


M3 Scout?

Finally scout or AWP?
Scout. You'd understand if u saw some of my running scout headshots

In all your time in Counter-Strike has there been any teams you'd love to play for?
I'd love to of been good enough to play in any of the top clans in the big comps such as 4K (4Kings).

Thanks m8y for your time any last words to the readers and to your fellow team mates?
Thats ok, thanks for reading hope I'm not to boring. Good luck everyone

All best in CS hope to see you in CSS soon. I know some of the other MOD guys who knew you from the old-skool days would love to see you again.


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