Killer Instinct & Finishing Moves

Sat 22nd Jun 2019 - 12:15am : Gaming


What goes into making a hardened killer or finisher in any game? Let’s break it down today and look at some of the different components that separate players who can win games decisively, in leadership, as opposed to supportive game roles. What does it take to be good at crushing your opponents and dealing damage? How do you improve on these skills? What type of person is the best kind of finisher? What exactly does it mean to go for the win? Today we will be delving deeply into the world of professional cyber killers and talking about the best strategies to make you win, nearly every time you play.


Repetition vs Instinct


Recognising situations where you can take the initiative comes from a certain amount of practice, at whatever game you are playing. Knowing when to back down or when to push forward, are key skills to any professional gamer, as most esports games are about harnessing the ebb and flow of the game and bending different situations to your will, using game skills, that have been learnt and mastered, over time. The greater number of situations you see in the game, in general, will allow you to know when it is a good idea to play it safe or to become aggressive.


There is no substitute for killer instinct though and this is why some players are able to rise to the top much faster than others. It’s because they have developed a keen killer instinct, by taking risks and learning from their mistakes. Generally, in gaming, the greater the risk, the higher the reward. Players that take big risks and develop keen intensity under pressure are able to develop strategies that work, able to risk less and less to be able to achieve more. This comes from knowledge of one’s own playstyle and the playstyle of supporting players, that are there to promote the skills of winners who have killer instincts.


Play Style


What type of player are you? There are many different types of player and many different roles, spanning across a wide array of esports titles. Before deciding on what esport is right for you, it’s best if you know what kind of games you enjoy playing. If you are good at one type of game, say, strategy games like StarCraft, but much prefer playing FPS games, the best thing to do is follow your passion and dedicate yourself to the game you most enjoy playing. Adapt your mindset to suit the way the game should be played from an unbiased and focused viewpoint, that is centred around a desire to improve and win. Follow what works and what wins games, don’t follow what everyone else says is the right way, because then you won’t find your style or any kind of style that is unique, intimidating and dangerous for your opponent. It’s true, there are as many different gaming styles as there are gamers under the sun. Though, some playing styles, simply work better than others and here is why…


Aggressive playing styles force your opponents to come up with answers to the problems you are creating for them, in game, whereas tentative or thoughtful players tend not to challenge the opponent and thus do not put enough pressure on them to make the mistakes they need them to make, to win the game, or to learn enough about the opponents playing style to be able to make the finishing move. Thinking about the game and how it can be played is a great recipe for success, analysing your opponent step by step, during the game, is crucial. During the game, you should be relying on aggressive playing styles that have been proven to work for you previously, in other games.


Adapting your playing style to different opponents is a key to your success, though it’s best if you think about how to improve aggressive playstyles out of the game, then employ these styles and skills during game, when you need them. You shouldn’t have to make up new strategies, on the spot, to beat your opponent. You should already have an idea. Knowing what is the right move to use, based on experience is key to making killer finishing moves. Rely on your key skills moving forward, using aggressive moves that surprise and disorientate your enemy, sticking to the play styles that work as opposed to ones that you would like to work, but haven’t tried yet.




What is talent right? Talent is a gift for a specific role within a game that not only suits a specific player’s playing style but also their personality, personal drive and hunger for that role. Some people can just sing better than others and the same applies to winning in gaming. Certain players have a natural flair, energy and ability that outshines their opponents. A lot of this can come down to confidence, but also has to do with self-talk and conditioning of responses, especially reactions to winning and losing.


Generally, players with talent win right? So, when they lose they are more likely to look deeper and consider all the options, recognising where they went wrong, whilst accepting that the loss has to do with their own shortcomings and not of the enemy’s in-game prowess. This is because players with talent have trust in their ability from day one. They are used to winning all the time because they started winning. Players that are negative, blame others or the enemy are less likely to make the changes that will turn them into a winning player and will have difficulty even starting off on the right foot, like when they pick up the game for the first time.


Having a can-do attitude, self-confidence and surety help foster talent, in the beginning, before things like practice and conditioning take over to build out player attributes, long term. If you don’t start off on the right foot, adopting a confident, positive can-do attitude, then you are setting yourself up for failure. The trick is to go into any situation or game with a self-affirming orientation focused around the promotion and mastery of the self as being the only distinguishing factor to your success and ability to own!


Predicting the Enemy


The best way to predict what your enemy is going to do is to take in and realise what your enemy has been doing previously. The best players always have some kind of idea how their actions are going to be met and responded to, by the enemy, and develop winning strategies around tactics, that allow for the enemy to be put off guard, caught out in the open, be detached from their teammates or be placed in a situation that is risky for their life or that or their teammates.


Making killer moves that take the enemy by surprise and win the game, is a combination of factoring in all the times you have pushed previously whilst considering the small countermeasures your opponent has put in place to try and stop you. Killer finishing moves can be made when you have enough information, to be able to have a clear advantage, predicting how your enemy will react to you challenging them aggressively for the very last time. Once you have built up enough information on your enemy and their counteractive playing style, you will be able to more easily defeat them, as you will know where they are looking, what they are thinking and eventually, the best way to take them out!


The Best Finishers


There are players out there who have so much killer instinct, brought on by the above-mentioned skills and attributes, that even the most naturally talented players, stand no chance against them at all. How can this be so? It’s because talent isn’t the be-all and end-all of whether or not you are going to have what it takes to reach the top, in gaming.


It takes all different kinds of skills, that go into making the best finishers and you would be surprised how little flair or talent you need to reach the top if you are willing to put your mind to it. If you put in the effort, practise, have faith in your ability and confidence in yourself and your teammates, then there is no telling how many opponents you can even take down simultaneously. Think about it like this… Talent is a starting block that you use to push off and jump into your playing style. Confidence in your ability, taking the time to learn about the game you are playing and individual opponents along the way is where students become masters and where real killer instinct is born under pressure. Think about this… You can’t be talented at performing under pressure, it takes years of being exposed to challenging environments and harder players, where the real finishers are born and where you can become the best player, without even needing to be naturally talented!


Take Them Out


The more times you win at games, the more of an idea you will have about how you can repeat winning and become consistent at making killer, finishing moves. Sure, talented players win more often to begin with but can become complacent and overconfident. Players that are driven, persevere and harness their true grit, but are not necessarily naturally talented, can often end up winning more consistently. This is because these kinds of players have to learn more about the game mechanics, themselves and information about their opponent. This can lead them to improve dramatically on their ability and game styles, by learning what it takes to develop a killer instinct and the winning, finishing moves.


It’s not about how good you are when you pick up the game for the first time and whilst your little brother might be hectic at the same game you are average at, if you stick with it and employ the strategies I have been talking about then by the time you are finished with the game, not even the most talented players will be able to beat you, as you will know how to beat them, using killer moves and winning strategies that go above and beyond talent and natural ability.


There is no such thing as luck, in game. Just strategies that work. So go and take them out, guys! Thanks for reading!



Joshua Forbes

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