Operation Riptide came with something that changed CS:GO to something completely different competitively. While more casual players would say that the update wasn’t that big, any competitive player knows that being able to drop utility for your teammates to pick up changes a lot.
Ever since Counter-Strike was released, more than twenty years ago, players were never able to drop utility and would only be able to transfer utility to their teammates when dying (on CS:GO, you’d drop your most recently selected grenade upon dying). Now, everything changed, and the meta will change.
Let’s look at it as a Counter-Terrorist first - the utility is mainly used to stop the opponents from getting into the bombsites and to initiate the retake if you end up losing control of one. You use Smoke Grenades to close choke points and make it harder for your opponents to gain map control - now just imagine if you had more than one. That’s the main thing we’re seeing with this update, just as HEAP says:
I think it's fun that maybe it can change the meta of the game, but I don't think it has changed that much yet. The only thing I've seen changed the most is on Inferno, people drop a lot of utility to the guys in B.
Inferno is indeed one of the maps that the professional teams are using the update the most. If we look back in time, the skybox in the past was open, making it possible to throw smokes from A to B, which enable some strategies that allowed the B anchor to be there alone for the majority of the round while the rotator played closer to A. When the skybox was closed on an update released by Valve, the meta changed on that map, as the B site was now harder to hold because you didn’t have “infinite” smokes. But, in a way, you now have them again.
Players are generally dropping Smoke Grenades and other utility near the ledge where you can boost up to defend B, allowing the player to smoke the entrance choke point indefinitely.
Naturally, you need to find a balance, as players can’t buy more than one Smoke each and you’ll still need them on A, but just by reading this, you can see how much the meta can change in the future as players start to think about better ways to use the utility in a group instead of individually.
It will change in the sense that you now are able to shut down one area of the map more effectively alone by having more utility dropped by your teammates.
It was also beaten a record recently on Dust2, when Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, from OG, did more than 1000 utility damage in a single CT side on Dust2. That is an unreal number, and by looking at the match, it was found that every player was dropping an HE Grenade on the CT Spawn so that the rotator could toss them up to Short, where Aleksib was playing. He was then throwing the HEs at different timings to Lower Tunnel, catching the opposing players time and time again.
Those are just some examples of how professional teams have been using the utility dropping update as Counter-Terrorists.
We’ve taken a look at CTs, now let’s go to the other side. Although it does not seem as useful as on the CT side, the utility dropping feature can be really useful on the attacking side.
I’ll just say one word: fakes. That’s it. Now just think about the possibilities and how much you can deceive your opponents with the right utility and timings. Let’s take a look at some examples of what you can do.
The most basic one is also something that players are already very aware of, but it can work from time to time. Just have your team dropping you Smoke Grenades and other utility and do an entire execution alone - throw all the smokes and flashbangs alone while your team pushes on the other side.
This might look genius, but it has one big flaw - the timing of the Smokes will make your opponents see that just one player is throwing them, making them avoid early rotations. But that’s just the first layer of genius, as HEAP explains:
You can have four guys preparing to go into one site and then have one guy throwing all the Smokes so that your opponents think it's just one guy faking the execution when in fact all the players are there getting ready to enter.
It’s so simple and, although it might not work every time, I’ve been having a ton of fun doing this with friends on Matchmaking and FaceIt. I’ve even had a few times where players started rotating to the other site because the timing of the utility thrown was off.
There’s also something really great that can be done and most people are forgetting. Let’s say you’re the entry fragger and have a high chance of dying early due to the role - you don’t have to waste utility or use them early in the round anymore. If you suddenly find a good chance to enter, you can quickly drop everything at your teammates’ feet and you won’t be worried about wasting everything on your kit. There’s even the possibility of dropping utility if you find yourself on low HP and you think you might not be able to use it before going down.
As you can see, we’re still in the early stages of this new meta of Counter-Strike. Players will start developing new strategies to implement this and make taking a site even harder… that is until the T’s also start using new ideas with fakes and even double fakes. Take a look at some high-level professional matches and see how they use the utility nowadays and how everything has a reason to be bought.
Before going away, remember to follow HEAP on social media to stay up to date with everything regarding the DignitasVIE CS:GO team!
Thank you for reading this article! Hopefully, you’ll be able to take your game to the next level with this amazing update that Valve implemented recently! You can reach out to me for feedback or suggestions via Twitter!
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