Last month, we published an article teaching how to defend B Site on Inferno with GeT_RiGhT. It’s now time to check A-Site on Mirage! Along with GeT_RiGhT, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you improve your CT game on one of the most attacked bombsites with set Smokes.
Everyone knows how to play Mirage, it’s one of the most played maps in the pool and, alongside Dust2, it’s a PUG map. If you’re wondering what’s a PUG mag, it’s one of those maps that everyone knows how to play (even if not very well) and can just push the game forward with his aim - let’s keep it that way.
When asked what his favorite positions to play on Mirage are, GeT_RiGhT said that he didn’t have any favorites:
I play all positions on this map, I don't really have a favorite one. But the one I think I excel the most is the A anchor. Basically, the guy that stays A with all the grenades and tries to take as much information as possible from Ticket, for example, or staying under Shadow with your own Smoke Grenade to defend yourself... I've been playing all the positions on Mirage, but, in general, it's not one of my favorite maps. It's a hard map, no matter who you're playing with.
Let’s start with Ticket, or CT, depending on the country you’re playing from. One of the most important spots to defend in A, since it allows you to have the majority of the information and still go back just enough to avoid getting killed and set up a retake with your team. Not only that, but you’re also able to throw most of the utility to the bombsite to not only help the retake but also delay the opposing push.
It’s a position often preferred by AWPers for a good reason: the long-range advantage you have that can only be easily countered by another AWP. Still, don’t underestimate a capable rifler on the other side, since it’s a very common place to pre-fire. You can also just play for the information on palace and ramp, taking occasional peeks or even jumping without showing too much to have information - just remember that by playing like this you’re giving site away almost for free, setting up an eventual retake scenario; and that’s a valid strategy.
Two different peeks you can do on Ticket (be aware of the lack of information while peeking Palace).
If there’s another player on A site, let’s say on Shadow, it is the responsibility of the Ticket player to cover him as much as possible and make it possible for him to eventually peek and take at least 1 or 2 players before falling. Playing on Shadow is one of those situations of high risk, high reward. But it is only able to actually deliver that high reward if the support from Ticket is well communicated. GeT_RiGhT likes to play on Shadow and he tried to stress the Ticket’s player importance as much as possible:
If it's late in the round, I love to take my AWPer to Ticket so he takes my position from before and trying to take the peek before getting smoked off. He can then flash for me so I can appear on Shadow and face the opponents coming up Ramp, at least try to get 1 or 2 kills before eventually falling. You're going to be swarmed by the enemies if you're staying Shadow, you want to help the player there as much as possible - your AWPer has to be quick, give as much information as possible, so the player on Shadow knows when and where the flashes are coming from.
If things go well for you, you should have the man advantage when they get site control, and then it’s just playing collectively with the players still alive and try to overwhelm the attacking side.
Then Comes the Retake
I’ve also asked GeT_RiGhT about a potential 5v5 retake scenario and how we would play it to win it. In his ideal scenario, there would be 3 players coming from Ticket/CT, 1 from Jungle and 1 from Stairs (or 1 from the flank if the B player is already pushing before the opponents attack A).
I think you should have at least 3 players coming Ticket, and have 2 coming from Jungle or Connector. Smoke off the heavy positions, use a Molotov on Ninja or Shadow, or even Tetris. The players on Ticket can also throw a flash into Ninja that bounces off the wall, so you don't get blinded by it, and then attack as a team. I believe if you do it correctly and you know your retake positions good enough, you're going to be successful. You want to have your AWP on Ticket to try and get a pick on Sandwich, take the long-distance duels and you're the guy running to the site and taking the close-range engagements. I don't really have a set strat, it happens differently every time. It's situational, but that's how my dream scenario would look like.
Obviously, this is a dream scenario. Most of the time you won’t have enough utility to do exactly what you want or even 5 players alive. This is where the beauty of communication comes in: you need to understand what each player has (there’s a bind you can set on the game settings that allows you to see this information overhead), how to use to benefit the team the most and when to use it.
Regarding priorities, if you only have a smoke, I’d say to always smoke Ramp if the bomb is towards there. If it’s on default, Smoke palace, clear Ninja and stick the defuse - you’ll have your teammate playing hidden from Ramp and watching a possible player coming out of Palace to kill you. In the situation that you also have a Molotov, use it first on Ninja, so that the player on CT can take out the Terrorist that will come out burning. But what about Flashbangs, you ask: well, just use them. Use them last, but use them well. Throwing them should be the signal you need to start pushing the bombsite together. If thrown well, they should only blind attacking players and, hopefully, allows you to get an easier retake and even catch players unaware.
Utility usage example from Stairs (Incendiary to Ninja, Smoke to Palace without showing yourself).
Of course, even with the perfect retake execution, some things may go wrong and you lose to a player with an amazing aim that did the play of his life, but hey, it happens. On the other hand, if you feel there was something you could have done better (and generally there is), get the demo after the match and analyze, criticize your own game and learn from the mistakes.
As GeT_RiGhT said, CS:GO is a game where no two rounds are the same, they will be different every single time. The important part is to understand what’s being done wrong or not as good as it can be and improve on it - you’ll get your retake success ratio up by doing that in the long run!
Thank you for reading this article and here’s to hoping that it will help you somehow! You can reach out to me for suggestions or feedback via Twitter!
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