Astralis is often not aiming at head height – an update with examples

Two days ago I posted a thread talking about something that I noticed about Astralis’ aim.

Many people said that they would like to see evidence, which I will provide in this thread.

The examples that you will see of Astralis are taken from HLTV’s match pages. I took “highlights” (as classified on the HLTV page) from the players of Astralis and compared them to other pro players. The recordings of the compared pro players are taken from demos in the last few months. All examples shown are from 2019.

I tried to find examples in the demos that are as close as possible to the scenario in the highlights. I considered the position that they are playing, weapon that is used and the buy of the enemy (i.e. ecos / force / buy rounds). As you can imagine it is unfortunately very hard to find the exact same scenario. Mostly you won’t find it in a single demo, so I used the one that comes closest to it. It should suffice as a first impression and should give incentive to further look into it by other people (I summon u/3kliksphilip) that probably know more tools to use for more accurate data. Furthermore I hope to show that it was not an unreasonable claim as commented by a lot of people.

So let’s get down to some examples.

Xyp9x holding popdog from T Main. As can already be seen by the Xray of Ethan Xyp9x is not holding his crosshair on his head. He is more focused on hitting his chest. When ethan peeks, xyp9x is not trying to flick to his head, showing us that it was intentional to aim lower (you will see jks flick to the head in another example).Comparing this to tarik holding Popdog with a deagle you will see that it lines up perfectly with the head of gla1ve. Yes, he is playing a deagle. But he is also aiming this high with an AK.

Another example is of Xyp9x holding Ramp on Nuke. Again, as can be seen with the Xray of the enemies (even if they are further away they are still on the same level) he is aiming at chest height. This one can be explained by him knowing that he is up against glocks. Even when most pros would still aim for the head, this one is not anything out of the ordinary.Holding on head height is higher as can be seen with AZR, jkaem, jks or Liazz (YTB).In this example you can see jks aiming a bit lower than head height but correcting as soon as NEO peeks him which suggests that he was maybe unfocused and didn’t mean to aim that low.

This is Magisk holding B Site against a force buy. His aim is lower than head height which grants him two easy frags against people walking through a smoke.Here you can see NBK holding tunnels from the same position (even with a scoped rifle and a smoke in tunnels) and he is aiming at head height.And we know that Magisk knows exactly where the head is, so it was a conscious decision to aim lower.

This is also true in this case where Magisk is holding A Site on Mirage against a force buy. His preaim against palace is really low and even when he peeks ramp you can see it’s on the same level as the chest of the enemies. These frags are insanely easy for him because he doesn’t really miss a bullet. If he had aimed for the head he might have used more time per kill (because he misses the first few bullets on the head and just then started to spray the body) which would have allowed his teammates to react to him faster.Other pros are preaiming palace like this: Liazz, Liazz on Retake, ropz.And rain for example preaims ramp like this.

I want to show you that there are times when my first intuition was that Xyp9x is aiming too low, like here when he gets a 3k against NiP in a crucial round. He is aiming too low but that’s the right play in this situation because he can’t see the head of the enemies as they get visually obstructed by the smoke. EliGE for example aims like that too when that smoke is down.I felt important to mention this because some people said that I was reading too far into it. I might be, I just want to say that I wasn’t taking every situation that I have ever seen them do this and made a claim. I was aware of such things and built my theory based on scenarios where there was no obvious explanation.

This was brought up in the last thread more often: “Oh but they are playing against an eco, you can’t use that!”Even then most pros are used to aiming at head height. But I agree with you that’s not something unusual. We can see that they are aiming lower in many buy rounds as well (e.g. Xyp9x holding popdog).But let me show you another, clearer example:Magisk holding Dust 2 B Site. It should not be necessary to show you that normally your crosshair is higher, but I still want to show you that:NBK, Frozen, olofmeister AUG, olofmeister M4, ropz.

Important about this clip is knowing the history of the round. FaZe took long control at the beginning where Astralis killed AdreN. They threw an HE which could have hit their AWPer (NiKo in this case) who they heard shoot just a couple of seconds before. After that rain killed dupreeh in mid but he was full blind when he got killed so he has no good idea of rain’s HP.So what Astralis knows about the HP of the opponents at this moment is that their AWPer could be tagged and rain maybe half HP. So Astralis’ best guess is that FaZe still has a lot of HP. On an B Execute you don’t expect the AWPer to entry anyway so there would be no reason to aim lower. As you can see in that example only rain is tagged (he got hit by dupreeh three times which they couldn’t have known) and the other two people who are pushing are full HP.Even then Magisk just makes it look easy against a full buy.You can see him headshotting GuardiaN as well even though he didn’t even mean to headshot him. That was a frequently asked question in the last thread as well (“how is their HS%?”). Another example would be this 3k from dupreeh on vertigo where he is hitting a headshot before he is fully strafed and not aiming at the head. This is not the explanation for dupreeh’s HS% (as he is one of the world’s best aimers for sure) but how you can still get a high HS% when aiming at body height.A lot of people commented on me saying that you can get 50 damage before the enemy even shoots you. Here is the POV of rain, olofmeister and GuardiaN.This is ridiculously fast. Rain dies, fair enough. But even then you can see that olofmeister is aware of Magisk’s position and preaims him and still only gets one shot off before he dies. So in order to survive olofmeister needed to hit the headshot with his first bullet and even then he would have survived with half HP. And that’s in the best case scenario: He has full HP, an AK and knows exactly where Magisk is. And he still is only allowed 1 bullet and gets tagged for 50 before he can shoot.GuardiaN has the AWP and is not even allowed to shoot.So in this 3k Magisk only got shot back once.

Here we can see Gla1ve deliberately shooting at twistzz body. He was aware of the buy of Liquid. As you can see they already got 3 kills (they are even from gla1ve) and know that the enemies have armor. He is still going for the bodyshots.

In the same game gla1ve gets this 3k on Long Inferno. First it looks like he is aiming at head height but he is preaiming the edge of the smoke where there is an elevation which puts his crosshair on their chest.

Here is an example that on first glance doesn’t differ from the other ones. He is obviously again going for bodyshots. But notice how mid fight he is throwing a nade. And notice how he is prioritizing his HE over his flashbang. Most people would decide to throw the flashbang but he decides to throw the HE. That one hits coldzera for 20 and Gla1ve would hit needed to hit him 3 times only now. In this case he gets the headshot. It’s hard for me to tell if it was before he was fully strafed and he got a bit lucky or not because he is scoping in in that instance.

This situation is kinda weird and I’m not sure what to make of it. Gla1ve throws a molotov and preaims on stomach height. When he stands up from crouching he is aiming at head height but misses all but his last shot. I am not sure if his preaim in the beginning was intentional because he doesn’t correct his aim down when he stands up.What we can see though is that all of his shots are above his body but to the side of his head (because he is tracking his head). This means that if he had aimed at his body the enemy would have died and he would have gotten out of there with half hp.

Another example of aiming at the body being better than aiming at the head: Maka (3dmax player) playing against Astralis.In this 1v3 situation we can see that his first target is Xyp9x and on paper that should be a safe frag. He has full HP and peeks Xyp9x when he is not looking at him. He misses 4 bullets before he connects his fifth one. If he had flicked to his body he would have killed him and only gotten hit once, which would have put him in a 1v2 with a good chance to win.That’s what I referred to as “safe frags” in my last post. It feels like these are frags that everyone should get. And we have seen all kinds of pros miss these frags. He could have killed him with a bodyspray or with a headshot. Both would result in the same (especially because most people dont 1 tap, so they use 4 – 5 bullets anyway). But he risk of missing is higher than when spraying.

This example of NaVi basically doing the same thing (unintenionally I would guess) shows how important the HE’s are for Astralis. Electronic goes for bodyshots and hits Magisk for 96 before he even gets hit back. In this case Magisk hits an absurd shot (which like mentioned is needed against bodysprays in these situations most of the time).Edward tags Xyp9x who survives on 9 HP. An HE somewhere sometime in the round that’s doesn’t even seem to do much damage would have saved this round for NaVi. Both edward and electronic would have survived with full HP and it would have been a 4v2 for NaVi instead of for Astralis. Like I said in my previous post, an HE that does 20 damage already goes a long way because then you only need to hit the enemy 3 times (-81 in 3 hits).

Now, these are some examples I have gathered yesterday and I wrote about it today. I’m sure someone with more time could find out a lot more than I did.I hope this gives you a better idea of my post two days ago. Maybe I didn’t do a good job of explaining this time or maybe some critics from two days ago have changed their mind.

Tell me what you think, I’m curious!

PS: Here is the full album

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