The moment your team comes together, you pick your roles and are ready to start practicing, you should start planning your setups and execution of tactics, which are the keys to victory.
With this article, we’re starting our “Best Tactics” series, which will provide you with several “take and use” setups, which can become your foundation. Implement, alternate, and modify them to improve your understanding of CS:GO and team play.
The first article is dedicated to T strats and CT setups on Inferno.
When thinking of Inferno always keep these three things in mind:
1. Having utility is crucial
2. Banana is the key area on the map
3. Having the closest respawn position is necessary for securing banana
Combine those facts and you get one key to start winning more on Inferno.
For the Ts, securing banana, or at least creating the possibility of a presence there by throwing nades and shooting brings variability to the Ts’ tactical executions and makes their rotations easier. This forces the CTs either to play more statically (2B+3A or 3B+2A), delaying their rotations, as there’s no precise information as to whether it’s an A or B site execution, or to play risky, retaking the area in the middle of the round or playing a guessing game, reinforcing one site or the other.
As for the CTs, securing top banana (especially barrels and top-of-the-wall positions) on the contrary, allows them to consciously leave a single player to defend the B site (optimally the AWPer) and rotate the 2nd B-site player early. They’re then able to reinforce the A site with a fourth man.
In the following tactic examples, we’re highlighting full-buy rounds to remove as many variables as possible, such as one side’s lack of primary weapons or grenades or the volatility of pistol rounds. And this article’s goal is to demonstrate a tactic’s idea and execution, rather than the actual outcome.
This tactic was executed by North in a match vs. MIBR at ECS Season 6 Finals.
It was possible for two reasons:
– MIBR’s passive play at top banana (the Ts’ smoke toward barrels and a few HEs in the early/middle -stage of the round did the job)
– MIBR’s passive play at CT mid
This allowed the Ts to secure the positions necessary to start their execution.
The execution itself by roles:
Player 1 (underpass):
This player throws a smoke over the A site’s roof, which blooms between graveyard and the A site boxes, cutting off the CT’s vision of alley, library and the site from pit, allowing his teammates to attack the A site through alley without being spotted. After his teammates start their alley push, he also throws a flashbang from top mid over the A site’s roof toward pit+short, providing additional support. Later on, he’s the one to attack from short.
Players 2, 3 and 4 take the following positions:
Player 2 (top mid right wall):
The second player throws a smoke toward alley which blooms inside the arch and cuts off vision of top mid and alley from there. Also, before entering top mid, he throws a flashbangtoward the alley corner.
Player 3 (top mid right wall):
This player has the easiest job to do: to throw a smoke toward library.
Player 4 (top mid left wall):
The first nade this player throws is a molly toward short which flares up around the corner, the most common CT position to pick Ts entering CT mid — to drive the short defender off this position and deny a possible counter push. The second one is a flashbang which goes over the roof toward alley.
With all nades thrown Players 2, 3 and 4 start their alley push toward the A site through small pit taking firefights with the CTs in arch, library, alley, graveyard and the site. While the execution is underway, Player 5 steps up.
Player 5 (apartments):
He throws a smoke toward apartments balcony and helps his teammates in securing the site by throwing flashbangstoward pit and small pit right from apartments. He only starts his execution when his teammates have reached the plant and focuses the CT on short (along with Player1) and in pit.
A Apartments Execution
Another type of A-site execution was converted by Astralis in their match vs. Fnatic in the IEM Chicago semifinals.
In this exact round, Astralis were struggling, lacking the utility and the firepower, but they won anyway, proving that was enough. We’ll describe the actual situation in short and then will add in some grenades the Danes were lacking to improve the execution and make it easier.
The very essence of Astralis’ round boiled down to four Ts entering the A-site through apartments with the fifth joining his teammates in apartments after a bit of delay, flashing them into short and pit. The smoke he had was thrown toward small pit, to cut off vision of the site from library.
In a scenario where the whole team is fully equipped, grenades must be thrown in the following way.
Player 1 (top mid right wall):
This player throws his smoke, followed by a flashbang, toward alley, to smoke off the corner and make him and his teammate’s entering top mid hardly visible. He can throw his second flashbang toward pit and molly toward bike position.
Player 2 (top mid left wall):
This player throws the aforementioned smoke toward small pit, a flashbang toward short to blind the CT on short, visor or under it. His second flashbang is also thrown toward pit.
These two players attack the A site through short. Their flashbangs toward pit help their three teammates enter the A site through apartments. They focus short, site, and pit, if possible.
Players 3, 4and 5stand in line in the apartments near the left wall, with Player 3 turned 180 degrees and sitting with a weapon in hand. Player 4standing and looking forward, with a weapon in hand as well, and Player 5getting ready to throw grenades.
Player 3 (apartments, first in line):
Stands closest to the apartments exit with his weapon locked and loaded and jumps out from apartments toward short or pit (it’s still a subject of debate).
Player 4 (apartments, second in line):
Jumps out of apartments toward pit, focusing on the CT in this position or on the site.
Player 5 (apartments, third in line):
Throws his smoke which blooms on the apartments balcony, covering this position from the CT on the site, and flashbangs toward pit. If possible, he stays in apartments after his teammates leave this position and focuses the site.
Aggression On Short vs B-site Execution
The next paragraph contains both T and CT tactics. They were taken from the ESL Pro League Season 8 Grand Final featuring Astralis and Team Liquid.
In the previous strats, there were things to be improved upon. But, in this round the team were both well-equipped, so we’ll just highlight the pros and cons of both the CTs’ setup and the Ts’ site execution.
The Ts (Astralis) started the round by securing banana and apartments without any real resistance from the CTs, which allowed three of the Ts to secure top banana (one of them in the corner in front of barrels) by the middle of the round.
Meanwhile, two Ts moved into apartments and boiler. It seemed obvious, that the CTs were playing very defensively, which allowed the Ts to secure CT mid as well. For some reason, though, they decided not to proceed with that course of action, which turned out to be the right read — all three CTs on Awere playing close to CT mid, on short.
With an AWP, he secured the balcony position near the roof’s overhang, controlling the Ts entering CT mid. His objective was to evade the Ts’ flashbangs, pick off one player and immediately rotate toward the site, sniping down the Ts executing from apartments.
He was standing under the roof overhang in the corner on short, holding a flashbang with LMB pressed. He was turned toward the gap between the roof and the wall, therefore the Ts’ grenades (except for precise mollies) couldn’t get him. His objective was to throw his flashbang immediately after the AWPer’s shot, supporting his rotation toward A, and then spray down the Ts entering CT mid.
He had the most difficult part. Being on short, he needed to control both boiler (to protect the AWPer) and apartments exit (to prevent being killed from behind), switching his focus time and time again. He delayed the apartments execution by gradually throwing his nades toward apartments exit.
Contrary to the team’s aggressive setup on short, the last two CTs played passively on the B site, the first boosted onto new box while the second stayed in dark spot.
They were forced to use their utility to delay the Ts’ possible B-site execution, as none of the Ts showed up near the A site.
The Ts, in turn, waited patiently until the B-site defenders used all of their utility. At the moment the last smoke in front of the B site dissipated and the CTs’ AWPer gave away his position on A, the B site execution began.
One smoke and two flashbangs toward the CT position with a smoke toward coffins gave the Ts the opportunity to focus on the site.
With AKs, and no need to focus on the smoked-off positions since they knew no players were there, they swept away the B-site defenders easily, leaving no options for their teammates besides saving their weapons.
Single Banana Control and Passive A-site Defense
We took the following CT setup from the aforementioned Astralis vs. Fnatic IEM Chicago semifinal.
The setup starts with two B players playing aggressively on banana while the third one, with an AWP, stays in the CT position. The objective is to win the opening fight, push the Ts out toward underpass and T ramp and secure banana.
Players 1 and 2:
They throw their HEs and one smoke toward banana start and mollies toward the middle of banana (one of them could even go toward corner behind the wood position).
When banana is secured, Player 3 (the AWPer) takes the barrels position or gets boosted onto the wall, therefore he can control banana single-handedly. This allows two B-site defenders to rotate toward the A site.
Meanwhile, Players 4 and 5 (the two A-site defenders) deny the Ts’ potential fast A-site execution by throwing a smoke toward CT mid and a flash toward second mid.
Then, they take up defensive positions, e.g. inside the plant, controlling apartments exit, and in pit, controlling short. Players 1 and 2, who rotated over from B, take the arch position to control alley and still be able to rotate back fast if necessary as well as in small pit or library, so they can switch between alley and short+apartments control.
Single Banana Control and Aggressive A-site Defense
If you manage to provide the B to A rotation quite early in the round, you might be able to take aggressive positions on the A site.
Player 1 (initial A-site defender):
He stays in pit from the very beginning of the round, controlling apartments exit.
Player 2 (initial A-site defender):
Plays close on short, under the roof, controlling CT mid, or near the short corner, controlling boiler.
Player 3 (the first, rotated from B):
He takes the alley deep corner position and hides. He only steps up when the Ts secure CT mid and stop paying attention or when they’re baited by Player 4 and rush alley.
Player 4 (the second, rotated from B):
He takes the outer alley corner. First, along with Player 2, he fights in CT mid and second, he baits the Ts into rushing alley.
In this setup, two players in the alley area don’t have much utility after securing banana for their sniper, so these tactics are mostly about aiming and not letting the Ts start their nade execution.
So, there you go. Analyze professional teams’ tactics, come up with your own, and go into your next match better prepared. We’re already working on the next installment of the series to get you some advanced tactics from the world’s best teams. We’ll be back before you know it, so stay tuned to dreamteam.gg.