Why do CSGO pros tilt their keyboards?

Kenneth Williams • September 30, 09:54

You’d think CSGO players would try to take it easy on their wrists but they’ll make exceptions for the sake of desk space.

If you’ve seen professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you might have noticed that many players tilt their keyboards when they play. The angle can vary, with some at a slight tilt and others nearly sideways. It doesn’t look comfortable to play like that, so why do CSGO pros tilt their keyboards?

The answer lies in the early history of competitive Counter-Strike.

The history behind CSGO’s tilted keyboards

In the early days of Counter-Strike esports, the only way to hold truly competitive matches was on LAN. Players would travel from event to event with bulky computers and massive CRT monitors in tow. Tournament hosts weren’t nearly as well-equipped as they are today. On some occasions, the five-man team would have to bunch up on a short bench.

This posed a major problem for CS players. In order to save on desktop real estate, players began tilting their keyboards to the side. This opened up a ton of room for the mousepad, the most vital part of any player’s setup. Even if the angle did negatively impact a player’s movement, the available mouse space more than made up for it.

Does tilting your keyboard give you an advantage?

Tilting your keyboard to the side doesn’t grant any real advantage over having it positioned normally. In fact, having the keyboard positioned in an uncomfortable way can make certain inputs more difficult.

The majority of pro CSGO players who play with a tilted keyboard only do so because they’ve gotten used to it over years of competitive play. Nowadays, high-end gear manufacturers offer ten-keyless “tournament” keyboards and players have much more space. Still, some players continue to tip their peripherals. 

For old-school players, the keyboard tilt is something they’ve always played with. It harkens back to the early days of esports, where the prize pools were small and the desks even smaller.

As for the rookies, many of them just want to emulate their idols. Others picked it up from playing in internet cafes. The keyboard tilt is slowly going extinct, but for now it remains one of the last holdovers from the early era of esports.

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