Esports coaching company Leetify has a simple but important goal, and that is building an infrastructure for esports athletes where they can understand their weaknesses and find ways towards self-improvement aided by advanced and tailored technological solutions.
Leetify has managed to reach out to and provide value to both amateur and professional players who are constantly looking to bring their A-game in CS:GO matches, whether there is a title on the line or bragging rights are at stake.
Far more importantly, though, Leetify has created a nurturing environment that helps brings the entire esports community forward. The days when players were left to figure out their weaknesses on their own are now long gone, and Leetify steps in to help guide your crosshairs to victory.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about Leetify. How was the idea behind the platform born and where did the name come from?
The idea comes from a mesh of experiences I’ve had in my own life. I’ve been heavily involved in both traditional sports and esports my entire life, and it’s clear that if you compare the two, there’s all kinds of infrastructure such as local clubs, leagues and coaches that support upcoming young athletes, give them good practice methodology and help them unlock their full potential.
In Esports, you have nothing like this so most aspiring Esports athletes are left to their own devices. This usually means that most gamers are wasting insane amounts of time just mindlessly playing matches, without focusing on their weaknesses or with clear goals in mind. With Leetify, we’re looking to close this gap and rebuild much of the infrastructure from traditional sports, in Esports.
I’m also the founder of DatHost, one of the largest CS:GO server hosting providers, which gave me a unique insight into the data available in CS:GO’s replay files (since they are generated by the gameserver) and the extent to which gamers care about improving their skills. This lead to the current angle we have on Leetify, leveraging the replay files to analyze gamer’s weaknesses and giving them insight into how to improve from that data.
The name was honestly just a working name early on that ended up sticking with us. The “ify” endings often indicate “to become”, so the idea was that the meaning of the name was “To become leet (elite)”.
Q: What is your target audience? Do you see interest from players who are new to the game but looking to improve or more advanced players, or perhaps both?
One of the big surprises after starting Leetify was the sheer variety of players interested in our service. We see anything from completely new players to professional players use our product today.
However, I’d say our core focus today is on amateurs that spend a lot of time with the game and care about improving. Practicing requires a bit of discipline and therefore this is something we look for in our target audience.
Over time however, we expect to expand our product both towards professional players & teams as well as more casual players.
Q: How do you believe big data can help players become better at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Is there a cut-off point where even statistical insights cannot help?
The number one key to improving at literally anything is to understand what your weaknesses are, and then actively work on them. With the data we’re generating, we can help gamers understand what their weaknesses are, as well as help them prioritize them due to our extensive data set (we have data on more than 12 million CS:GO players today) and knowledge on what makes the great players great.
Further, we can use the data to help players practice more efficiently and optimize their practice routines, on an ambition level that suits each player.
I think there’s bound to be some areas that a human can simply better identify if e.g. a decision was correct or not, but as we get more and more advanced with our product we’re continuously surprised by the extent to which we can measure things in the game. We’re still only scraping the surface of what we can do. Even in the cases where human review is needed, we can cut down the time needed for that by ten or even hundredfold.
Q: The work you have done to make CS: GO data readily available is amazing, from your breakdowns of professional players per capita to explaining how you extract your insights. Do you see yourself expanding into other games as well?
Thanks! Everyone on our team is a CS:GO enthusiast, so we’re really excited about the community’s reception. We do definitely see ourselves expanding into other games over time however, but we’d rather build a product people really love in one game, rather than building an OK product in multiple games. Therefore, we don’t have an exact timeline for when we might expand to other games or which exact game that’d be at this time.
Q: What do you think has kept CS:GO alive and prospering for so many years, even when many other competitors have shown up emulating the gameplay more or less?
Simple mechanics that are easy to balance, but with infinite depth skill-wise. This along with the incredible replayability makes CS:GO hard to beat, I’ve played CS for 2 decades and no match is ever the same.
This also seems to create a tricky puzzle to solve for competitors. They either create something similar to CS, but with added gimmicks (see Valorant, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege) but then you often end up taking away the beautiful simplicity of CS (i.e. putting all the focus on strategy and mechanical skill) and replace that with gimmicks / balancing issues that frustrate players. On the other hand, if you create pretty much a carbon copy of CS, is there really a reason for players to go play your game instead of just playing the existing, polished game with the player base? I guess such copies are part of the reason why CS is having a hard time breaking into Asia.
Q: As someone who is involved in big data, do you see room for improvement in how this data can be fed to consumers and casual players to benefit their experience?
Plenty. Making data intuitive and actionable is always a massive challenge, and even if we’re doing a better job than the rest in this space, we definitely haven’t nailed this yet.
Q: What is the main challenge ahead of Leetify today?
For us it’s always to help our users improve even faster, both by iterating on what we already have and finding new ways to achieve this. We just released some seriously awesome features to help teams improve how they play together (with data on e.g. T/CT success, 5v4/4v5 situations, opening duels, trading, maps and much more) – it’s a team game after all. In the same space, we also recently released our team finder with the goal to help more people experience the beauty of team CS.
Playing in a team tends to help you improve much faster, and I think if we could help more people find a productive team environment (regardless of ambition level and time commitment) that’d be a really great thing. Going forward, we have some things on our roadmap that I really can’t wait to show. We’re finally starting to have the foundation to build some of the things we dreamed of when we were just starting Leetify.