Student Highlight- Alex Wells

Everyone else on his team of five were killed by the Terrorists. Being the lone Counter-Terrorist, he set out to bombsite B. On his way there he was met with two of the enemies. He swiftly dealt with them with one tap to the head. He continued on to bombsite B with a cool, calm demeanor. When he arrived, he dealt with two more enemies as swift as the first two. Now it was just a one-on-one. He reloaded his magazine and held his position, waiting for the terrorist to strike.


For less than half a second the terrorist peaks his head out for information; this mistake proves to be fatal. The Counter-Terrorist goes to defuse the bomb, but arrives moments too late. With a huge explosion, the round is over, and the Terrorists win. The lone CT, now dead with the rest of his team, says with a hint of humor, “Unlucky.”


This, as you’ve probably guessed, this isn’t a narration of a real Counter-Terrorist, but of the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive. And that lone CT was none other than West Potomac’s own junior, Alex Wells. Counter Strike: Global Offensive, or CSGO, has become a worldwide phenomenon. With concurrent players peaking at around one million, and tournaments between top players getting as many as 27 million views, it’s hard not to see the influence CSGO has worldwide.


Wells bought the game on, a online streaming service for video games, two years ago when his friends convinced him to try it. He thought he would just play it with his friends casually, but that mindset changed when he unboxed an expensive cosmetic item for the game worth upwards of $300. Soon, he and his friends began playing the game’s ranked competitive game mode and his natural skill became clear; Wells quickly stood out among his friends as the best at the game.


“He’s just really good,” said junior Alex Lagow, one of Wells’ friends he plays CSGO with. “His reflexes when playing are amazing.”


Wells, through his two years of playing, has risen through the 18 ranks to the top rank of Global Elite. This rank is composed of the top 1% of players, including all of the professional players. But even with his high rank and extremely competitive environment, Wells still keeps a calm demeanor and a light-hearted attitude when playing the game.


“I take the game seriously and I’m pretty competitive, but I don’t like to lose my cool with my teammates or get mad at them or anything,” said Wells. “If they get angry they start playing worse and then we lose the game. So I keep my mouth shut and only say things when necessary or when it’ll help boost the team’s morale.”
The company who upkeeps CSGO and owns Steam – Valve – has recently updated the game to make the ranks even harder to climb. But even with this change of the ranking system, Wells has kept his ranking in Global Elite and continues to play at peak performance.