Check your loadout carefully
This may seem super basic, but overlooking what type of lethal and tactical equipment you have could be the difference between winning and losing — so be sure to look at your gear before you fight. You don’t want to throw C4 thinking its a frag, or a flashbang you think is a smoke grenade.
Play to the weapon you have
Trying to hit a longshot with a shotgun is a pretty terrible idea. You could, however, sit back and “snipe” with the .50 Desert Eagle or .357 Magnum, where a single headshot will get you a win.
Maybe less obvious, but equally valuable, is the rate of fire. If you have the Desert Eagle, the Magnum or the 725 shotgun, focus on accuracy. Especially with the pistols, it will take an extra split second or two to get the sights back on your opponent. If you fire ASAP, you’ll almost certainly miss. If you’ve got a low-caliber pistol or the Origin 12 or R9-0, focus on speed and shot volume.
If you don’t have a teammate calling out your opponent’s position from above, try to maximize the speed and scope of your search. One way to do that: Look to the lanes on the outside to start; focus on one and then if you don’t see your foe, move quickly to scan the other while pushing to the middle between the two spawn points. By now, you should have either caught a glimpse of your enemy or reduced their possible location to three places: On their side of the map against the middle fixture (every version of the Gulag map has some solid object obstructing the dead center of the map), lurking back in their spawn point or moving back around where you just came from. If it’s the latter, you should hear their footsteps, so be sure to use your ears in addition to your eyes.
Use cover and don’t stop moving
There’s no “right” path to take. It’s all relative to what your opponent does and what your strengths are. Most players will try to read their opponent’s initial direction by looking at the red silhouette at the start. I’d look opposite of your intended path while you’re highlighted. Since you don’t know your opponent and it’s not a series, it’s impossible to pick up a pattern or tell. The best move is (probably) to give them inaccurate intel as to your intentions, as much as you can.
As you hunt, keep to cover and don’t stop moving. Wherever you push out from your starting point, make sure you have a wall close to one side or the other. This will keep you hidden from view and allow you to focus on the area in front of your weapon. It will also make it harder for half of the gallery to hit you with stones.
Also, don’t camp. Not only will you make yourself more likely to be hit by the hail of stones from above, but players tend to spam likely hiding spots with either lethal or tactical equipment. If you get nailed by a flashbang or stun grenade, you’re a sitting duck. If it’s a frag of C4, you’re dead.
Use lethals and tacticals to flush out the enemy
The converse of the above applies as well. If you can’t spot your foe, toss a grena
de where you think they might be, then break the other direction and scan that way. If you see a hit marker from your grenade/tactical, you’ll know where they are (generally), even if you don’t get the kill outright. It may also flush them out into your line of fire as you approach from the opposite direction.
You can also use your lethals and tacticals defensively — to buy yourself time and space if you need to reload.
ADS is overrated
Don’t feel the need to aim down the sight before firing unless you’re trying to hit a long shot with the Desert Eagle or the Magnum. More often than not, you’re going to be up close, and matches will often be decided when players are rounding a corner. Focus on getting your shots off first; you’ll often be close enough to land them. When you’re hip firing, prioritize speed over accuracy. It may not be elegant, but it’s effective. There really are two types of players in the Gulag: the quick and the dead.
One odd note regarding shotguns, which should be the perfect non-ADS weapon: Sometimes hip firing the Origin 12 doesn’t register hits unless you’ve got the barrel planted on your enemy’s person. If you’re not seeing hit markers on your first shot or two, it can help to slow your shots and sight 'em up.
Last but not least, when the overtime flag arrives, make your way to the middle. The flag’s appearance will pull in your opponent (helping your search) but you can also use it to bait them. If you’re there first and don’t see your opponent, run past the flag and get back to cover. Your foe will get a verbal alert that you’re on the flag and may throw caution to the wind hoping to stop you, thereby exposing themselves to your shots.
Beware of mines/C4
Since both players get the same equipment, you’ll know when these could pose a threat. If you’ve got claymores, be careful to look for your enemy’s via the laser indicators when coming around corners. That’s obvious. What’s less obvious: If you plant a mine and stick too close, the gallery can blow it (and you) up with a well-thrown stone.
There’s also a cheeky troll move you can pull with C4. Rush the middle and drop the C4 right where the OT flag will be. Avoid fighting the other player until OT arrives and wait for them to push. When you hear the voice cue that they’re on the flag, detonate and enjoy the frustrated yell on game chat.
Don’t punch your future foes, spray them
You’ve probably noticed the tendency of players waiting for their Gulag match to treat those around them like human punching bags. It gets ... old. Rather than punch back, take a deep breath and spray paint your assailant with a vibrant colored tag. Suddenly a ghillie suit is a clown costume with a target or red heart on the chest. If you face them in the showers, they’ll be a little easier to spot.
It may not help too much, but at the very least, I find it therapeutic when I dispatch a wannabe Mike Tyson.