How to pop-flash in CS:GO
Grenade usage is a skill that takes time to master in Counter-Strike, and it’ll improve your overall impact if you know how to use flashbangs correctly.
At a small $200 price, the flashbang is one of the most effective grenades in CS:GO. To make the most of your money, it's beneficial for yourself and your team if you know how to use the grenade properly and effectively. If you don’t, then you end up wasting $200 to $400 per round, which can eventually build up and hurt your team economy when you are coordinating buy rounds. “Pop-flashing” is the best way to make efficient use of your grenade money.
Related: The fundamentals of Counter-Strike
So what is a pop-flash?
A pop-flash is an instance in which a player throws a flashbang well enough to fully blind an enemy, preventing that enemy from reacting so that they can look away in time. When someone looks away from the flash, it renders the flashbang essentially useless because the “blind-time” is significantly reduced. So ideally, you want to perfect your throwing ability to minimize enemy reaction time and to maximize enemy blind-time.
There are typically two types of pop-flashes: those that are silent and those that make sound cues. Those that are silent typically aren’t bounced off of a surface. If a pop-flash makes a sound-cue, it can give someone enough time to look away. Depending on your distance from an enemy, sound cue pop-flashes are usually less effective than silent pop-flashes. This makes silent pop-flashes the best way to blind enemies.
In addition, you can either pop-flash for yourself or for a teammate. To pop-flash for yourself, stand close to the side of a doorway, look upwards at about a 75 degree angle, and right-click to underhand throw the flashbang. When pop-flashing for a teammate, you’ll need to estimate and calculate the distance at which it’ll pop. It’s also a good idea to call out your flash for your teammate and/or ask them if they want to be flashed in the first place–that way they can look in the correct direction opposite from the flash so they don’t get blinded. This is a perfect example of teamwork done right.
To find pop-flashes, a simple search on YouTube, like “Mirage popflashes,” will give you results for various maps and their different angles, sightlines, and bomb sites.
Good luck and have fun honing your pop-flash skills.