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The Art of

Counter-Strike Vol I

by Ronald "Rambo" Kim ,

Ognian "steel" Gueorguiev

Danny "fRoD" Montaner

frodFirst competing in Counter-Strike competitively from a young age fRoD has a whole swath of minor LAN accomplishments which were not included in the list below due to being dwarfed by the higher points of his later career. His entry into the upper levels of competitive play began with a humble 17th place at CPL Winter 2002 with the Green Berets (GB) team.

From there he moved on to play with art of eXecution (aoX) in early 2003 before winding up in the team which would establish him as one of the top North American CS players: united 5 (u5) As a member of united5 fRoD and his team pulled off a huge upset at CPL Winter in 2003 by beating then #1 US team, and #2 seed at the event, 3D on de_cpl_mill and sending them to the lower bracket. u5’s run would end with a respectable 7th place, also earning them the notoriety of being the highest placing North American team at the event.When it emerged in 2004 united5 was converting to a locally based team and would be living in the same house fRoD decided it was time for him to part ways with the team and look for pastures greener, being as he was not in a position to leave his Florida-based home.

After a few months of maintaining his match shape through playing in local LAN tournaments fRoD was announced as a member of the new and as yet unproven compLexity squad in August of 2004. At the time the team’s reputation within the community was not well respected due to the outspoken nature of their owner and founder, Jason Lake, as well as being involved in the gradual process of acquiring players with enough talent to make an impact. With fRoD joining the team as a dedicated AWPer and reteaming with his team-mate tr1p from united5 the team was well on their way to becoming a force to be reckoned with, as shown by their 3rd place at the WCG USA qualifier finals that year.

boxA year on from his united5 CPL Winter performance fRoD along with his new team was set to shock the community once more. Despite coming into CPL Winter of 2004 seeded 27th the team would wind up placing an impressive 5th, above a number of top international sides, and establish themselves as one of the best US teams. For fRoD this was an event where his dominant AWP play, around which his team’s success seemed inextricably woven, showed the world he was not only one of the best snipers in the world but one of the best players. In an era all but the most elite of snipers shied away from the weapon in major LAN tournaments fRoD’s play had been consistently impressive and impactful. 2005 saw coL and fRoD head abroad as they competed in the CPL’s World Tour Spanish stop held in Barcelona early in the year. The team once more impressed and this time came away with a 2nd place, ahead of a NiP line-up filled with 6 of the best players to ever load up CS. This placing showed the world the team was not only the best US team but also capable of competing with the elite of the European and international scenes, a significant point since US teams had always struggled to legitimately compete for championships overseas. Maintaining their spot as the #1 US team fRoD and coL beat 3D to head to ESWC as representatives of the USA.

At the event they memorably overcame the ‘group of death’ featuring the likes of NiP and mouz to go on and win the entire event and a staggering $40,000. The team was now considered the best Counter-Strike squad in the world and fRoD’s play was dominant throughout the tournament. As the first US team to win a major event like ESWC overseas the team had put themselves on another level from their fellow countrymen.

The rest of 2005 saw coL win the Newegg LANfest and then consistently place 2nd in a number of domestic events. Their reputation as US #1s and one of the world’s best teams would soon return as 2006 rolled around though. Invited to attend the WEG Masters event in China, along with champions of previous WEG seasons and CPLs, coL stormed to a 2nd placing worth $20,000. fRoD finished the event statistically as one of the top 3 players and his team had placed above all but one of an entire field of elite caliber teams. This success was then followed up as coL and fRoD won the GGL’s Americup 2 finals over rivals 3D earning themselves a match against the Eurocup champions mousesports in the GGL’s Transatlantic Showdown. Beating mouz 2 maps to 1 coL won the event and once more established themselves as potentially the best team in the world.

A busy Summer tournament circuit saw coL taking a 5th place at ESWC but then following that with 2 large cash prize winnings. Firstly they won the WSVG’s ISC event in Dallas beating Alternate aTTaX for $40,000. They then won the CGS’ Championship Gaming Invitational event which featured NiP and 3D, this netted fRoD and his team-mates $50,000. 2006 closed out with coL beating their rivals 3D in the 2006 DigitalLife event and fRoD standing in to play for 3D at the WCG’s Pan-American games where he won a silver medal.

In 2007 the team acquired Rambo and zet for their change to CS:Source and joining the Championship Gaming Series, a televised league on DirecTV. There was still time to show they were leaving one of the best 1.6 teams though as they beat CEVO champions Pandemic at the PNY finals early in the year. In the CGS the Source team was able to finish with the best record and qualify to represent region 1 at the World Finals event where they took 1st place. 2007 proved to be a year of Source dominance as fRoD and his team won every event they entered, including the DigitalLife and Newegg LANfest tournaments.

In 2008 after season 2 of the CGS the team made a brief return to 1.6 competitions playing in CEVO-P season 9. They were able to finish a highly respectable 2nd place ahead of top current US teams like EG and x3o. fRoD and his team-mates also won the CGS’s 1.6 Pro-Amateur event for a cool $5,000. With the CGS announcing their league is now at an end fRoD and his team-mates look to return to Counter-Strike 1.6 and reclaim their reputations as the best US team and one of the most feared sides in the world. As a player with one of the most impressive resumés and the highest statistical averages to back him up you can be sure fRoD is in a position to help that happen.

LAN accomplishments

  • 2002 17th-24th CPL Winter $500 (GB)
  • 2003 7th CPL Winter $3,000 (u5)
  • 2004 1st Gamers Paradise $600 (cbc.eGames)
  • 2004 1st Gamers Asylum Summer $1,500 (aG)
  • 2004 1st WCG Miami Qualifier $1,000 (aG)
  • 2004 1st First NetXtreme $1,000 (aG)
  • 2004 1st Second NetXtreme $750 (aG)
  • 2004 1st Third NetXtreme $1,000 (aG)
  • 2004 4th Lethal Gamers pre-CPL (coL)
  • 2004 5th CPL Winter $6,000 (coL)
  • 2005 1st NetXtreme $375 (aG)
  • 2005 2nd CPL Barcelona $6,300 (coL)
  • 2005 1st ACON5 USA Qualifier (coL) - LCD Monitor
  • 2005 5th ACON5 (coL)
  • 2005 1st ESWC USA Qualifier (coL) - Intel Processor
  • 2005 1st ESWC $40,000 (coL)
  • 2005 1st Newegg LANfest $1,500 (coL) - Gaming PC


  • 2005 2nd WCG USA Qualifier $2,500 (coL)
  • 2005 2nd GGL Americup $3,000 (coL)
  • 2005 2nd DigitalLife NY Qualifier (coL)
  • 2005 2nd DigitalLife $7,000 (coL)
  • 2005 1st Lethal Gamers pre-CPL (coL)
  • 2005 1st CAL Razer Extreme $9,000 (coL)
  • 2005 9th CPL Winter $900 (coL)
  • 2006 2nd WEG Masters $20,000 (coL)
  • 2006 1st GGL Transatlantic Showdown $17,500 (coL)
  • 2006 3rd WSVG Lanwar $5,000 (coL)
  • 2006 1st CGI $50,000 (coL)
  • 2006 5th ESWC $8,000 (coL)
  • 2006 1st WSVG ISC $40,000 (coL)
  • 2006 7th WSVG Finals, NY (coL)
  • 2006 2nd WCG Pan-Am $2,300 (3D) – Silver medal
  • 2006 1st DigitalLife $15,000 (coL) - Laptop
  • 2007 1st PNY Finals $2,000 (coL)
  • 2007 1st Digital Life CS:Source $10,000 (coL)
  • 2007 1st Newegg LANfest CS:Source $5,000 (coL)
  • 2007 1st CGS world finals CS:Source $5,000 (coL)

Online accomplishments

  • 2004 1st The Rush $500 (coL)
  • 2005 1st CEVO-P s1 1.6 $4,000 (coL)
  • 2005 1st CEVO-P s2 1.6 $8,000 (coL)
  • 2006 5th CEVO-P s4 1.6 $1,325 (coL)
  • 2007 1st CEVO-P s3 CS:Source $5,000 (coL)
  • 2007 1st CEVO-P s4 CS:Source $5,000 (coL)
  • 2007 1st Xfire Stride CS:Source $12,000 (coL)
  • 2008 2nd CEVO-P s9 $3,500 (coL)
  • 2008 3rd CGS Pro-Am CS:Source $2,500 (coL)
  • 2008 1st CGS Pro-Am 1.6 $5,000 (coL)


Team career prize winnings: $312,550

Other accomplishments of note

  • Selected to represent North America at GGL Vsports All-stars
  • Selected to represent the East in the Gotfrag Allstar game
  • Selected to represent the East in the CEVO-P All-star game
  • Most Valuable Player in the 1st Gotfrag All-star game
  • Undefeated in CAL Razer Extreme
  • Undefeated in CAL-i s14
  • Undefeated in CAL-i s15
  • Undefeated in GGL Americup s2
  • Undefeated in CEVO-P s1
  • Nominated for the GGL Leap player of the year 2004 award
  • Nominated for the Esports Player of the Year 2005 award
  • Nominated for the Esports Player of the Year 2006 award
  • Nominated for the Best Counter-Strike Player of the Year 2006 award
  • Winner of the Best Counter-Strike Player of the Year 2005 Award
  • Franchise player for the Los Angeles Complexity 2008 in CGS season 2
  • Highest Frags Per Round statistical average in Gotfrag’s Gamesense in both 1.6 and CS:Source history

The production team

Ognian “steel” Gueorguiev and Duncan “Thorin” Shields both have long and illustrious histories within the field of Esports.

steel played as professional from 2001-2005 and was the first Counter-Strike player to hold both a CPL and WCG championship title. As well as playing for the legendary 3D he won over $115,000 in prize winnings with his teams. He now works for EsportsEA as a content writer specializing in player analysis and collaborating with Thorin on their ESEA100 hall of fame project chronicling the top 100 CS players of all time. His role on the TAO-fRoD project involved managing and producing all media and technical aspects. He resides in Montreal, Canada and is pursuing an education in photography.

Thorin has been a professional Counter-Strike journalist since 2001 and spent the first 2 years of his career travelling the globe reporting on location from events. His most famous work has been with and EsportsEA. He now specializes in community features like ‘Ask ESEA’ and ‘Master Debater’ as well as collaborating with steel on the aforementioned ESEA100. His role on the TAO-fRoD project involved articulating fRoD’s words into the most accurate and understandable language as well as coordinating content aspects. He resides in the North East of England in the United Kingdom. Both are also co-authors of TAO-CS (The Art Of Counter-Strike) volume 1.