CS:GO is a game which demands teamwork, therefore it is crucial to understand the basics of team play to maximise the potential of your team. In this article, we will go over basic guidelines and instructions to get you on the right path to becoming a better team player.
What is a trade kill?
Simply put, a trade kill occurs when teams frag back and forth in succession. For example, a Counter-Terrorist manages to secure one kill and is then killed immediately afterwards. We refer to these as frags traded between the two teams.
Why is trading important?
Trading is important to even the numbers. A team which has five players alive has a distinct advantage over a team with only four players alive. However, if both teams have four players alive there is no distinct numerical advantage. As a result, it is most effective for the attackers to trade since it is unlikely for them to run into five defenders in one lane. If each of the attacking team's deaths is traded it causes the defense to spread out more in order to cover all bases, leaving the attacking team in an advantage. For instance, after two trades have been made, both teams are left with three players. The defenders now essentially have only one player to cover each lane, while the attackers have three available players who can attack together.
How to trade effectively.
There are two main methods of trading, both situational and both with their own advantages and disadvantages. The first method we will look at is peeking the same angle from different positions at the same time. Situationally this could be applied if you have information of an isolated player and elect to aggress. When two players peek together they force the isolated opponent to commit to an aim battle with one player, allowing for the second player to trade him. This is not advisable when multiple defenders are holding an angle, as it could cause more deaths than expected.
The second method is using the information gathered by the fallen entry-fragger. For this to be effective, it is advisable to leave a space between you and him so that you can process information before being forced into an aim battle. For example, on Inferno, suppose a defender is hiding behind Sandbags. If two attackers push back-to-back, the surprise attack from the hidden CT player might secure two kills for the defense. By allowing a buffer between the entry and the next player we can avoid situations like these. Now, to trade the kill the second attacker could use the information and this position to his advantage, flush out the defender and kill him during his retreat.
Don't force trade kills.
It is important to note that if an entry-fragger is killed in an unfavourable situation, it could cause more harm to send another attacker in after him to get the trade. The second attacker could also be killed, and it is better to be in a 5v4 instead of a 5v3. The information gathered by the fallen teammate could prove more useful to the round than sending in attackers who could potentially be picked off as well.
Map control as Counter-Terrorist.
Many areas of the maps are key to winning rounds, and in the early game more importance should be placed on certain areas over others. This includes areas with positional advantages (e.g. Car on Inferno), areas which are challenged by attackers early on (e.g. Long House on Dust2) or areas which provide easy rotation between the sites (e.g. Connector on Overpass). For instance, on Dust2, to an A defender Long and Pit are more important in the early game than Catwalk and Short, because assuming there is a teammate watching Middle, a defender on A site covering Catwalk and Short would be wasted defense. This suggests that both A defenders take control of Long and Pit together. Sometimes teams will even send three players if this position is persistently attacked, and later rotate one player back to assist in covering other areas.
Use your deaths to your advantage!
Dying can be a frustrating experience, but it is also a great time to gather information and help your teammates win the round. There are many things to look for which can be of use. Examples of this include how many enemies there were, in which direction they were moving (the death screen is powerful for this reason!) and whether they had the C4 or not.
Communication is a skill. Practice it.
Information is critical, from a small detail like the amount of HP left on an enemy, to crucial information like four players pushing B. Any information can change the course of a round, therefore it's important to always be communicating with your teammates. It is important not to be vague and to be as concise as possible. "At least two at Monster" is more favourable than "they just threw three flashbangs from Monster." Always try to state the obvious, as it reduces the time needed for everyone to process the info. Focusing on good information and communication is a priority for anyone wanting to become a better teammate.
Take the Initiative.
Supporting with grenades.
Take the initiative to throw nades to support teammates even when they don't ask for them. Learning timings on specific areas, how grenade trajectory works and smaller details like how long until the flashbang pops will give your team a substantial advantage when challenging areas. It is also advisable to help your teammates out of unfavourable situations using grenades, like flashing them out of an area or smoking off an angle allowing them to retreat. It may also be a good idea to keep some grenades during the round, since they can be of great use to you and your team during a retake.
Always ask yourself if there are any nades you could throw during the round which could help your team. Are your teammates planning to challenge Middle on Mirage? Take the initiative to buy a smoke and smoke Top Mid to block off the defensive AWP. Are you planning to eco rush B? Take the initiative to buy a flashbang to blind the defense. A few well-timed and well-placed grenades could go a long way.
Don't be afraid to suggest strategies.
A poor strategy in which everyone works together always outweighs no strategy and no teamwork. Never be afraid to suggest ideas, and don't feel compelled to come up with elaborate ideas either. A simple, common strategy like a B split is more than enough to win a round. Teamwork is what wins games.
Watch what isn't being watched.
Always be aware of your teammates' positions and what they are looking at. Communicating which angle you are holding and being aware of how your teammates are holding are two basic yet important practices. It is essential for the defense to cover as many openings as possible, including while defending the bomb post-plant. Once a teammate is picked, it is advisable to reposition and focus more on a general area rather than holding an angle. Harmonise with your teammates to cover as much as possible.
Initiating pushes post-plant.
Sometimes defending the planted bomb could be made more favourable by controlling a certain area of the map. It is acceptable to try to retake areas after planting the bomb. Catwalk on Dust2 is a good example, as controlling that as a Terrorist post-plant gains the team an advantage when it comes to defense and map real-estate. Have a teammate come with you and take map control to assist in your defense.
Saving together, buying together and why it is important.
There is a saying that goes "your money isn't your money, it's your team's money!" It is important for teams to remember that the economy is another strategical aspect of the game. It is crucial to buy and save together to maximise the effectiveness of rounds. For example, a round in which five players have rifles, armour and nades is more effective than a round in which two players have pistol and armour, one player has an AWP and the rest are hard ecoing. The force-bought AWP will be less functional in a round in which teammates don't have the equipment to support it. Making sure everyone has the equipment available to support each other is paramount to winning rounds. Don't be afraid to eco in one round if it will mean a full buy on the next.
CS:GO is a game which demands teamwork. While the game also relies on individual skill, teammates working together as a unit will maximise a team's potential. Teamwork is a skill each player should work on if they wish to climb the ranks.
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