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The Basics of Playing as an Organized Team

Valkyrie

Valkyrie

Fri 20th Jan 2017 - 10:01am

Switching from being a Matchmaking Master, PUG Pro or Solo Queue Scientist to being an integral part of an organized team is hard. This article will try to aid you in your quest to climb the ladder further to the top of the food chain in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive!

Laying the Groundwork

To start off right, you need to lay a sturdy foundation and part of this is to define what your team will be. You need to answer the following questions to know where you will be heading with your team:

- Who will be the Team-Captain (TC)?
- Will your team be part of a bigger organization/clan?
- What and how much are you willing to invest into your team (ESEA and server payments etc.)?
- What are the rules for participation (in your team)?

(The Source-Browser in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)

After answering these questions, you can start working together with your friends/future teammates in order to find out what their goals are, what they are good at, and what they are lacking in. You should make sure to have all of your teammates on the same page. If you don't, conflicts will arise pretty quickly. 

Basics of teamwork

You should know the basics of team play to actually play in any kind of team. Without these basics, your team will be doomed to run around like headless chickens on the quest for the fastest way to enrage their teammates.

The first rule of teamwork is to stick together mentally. This is easier said than done. What do I mean when I tell you to stick together mentally? There should be no hard feelings between any of you. No one should be rude to their teammate, overly criticize a situation during a game, obviously not rage to each other or at the opponent, hold grudges for mistakes, or let their mood impact gameplay (e.g. bait teammates so they can feel better).


Roles

The true power of playing in an actual team is only ever visible when you reach out to your full potential. This is done by giving out specific roles in your team, which range from In-Game Leader to Lurker. I will give you a brief overview of the standard roles in organized teams:

In-Game Leader (IGL): The IGL is responsible for the calls a team follows. He calls whether or not you will eco or force-buy, where you go, and how you execute onto a bombsite. In standard settings, the IGL is often responsible for formulating strategies the team will learn and then execute inside of games. The IGL should also be playing other roles in the team.

Entry-Fragger: The Entry-Fragger is responsible for opening up bombsites and creating space for the team. He almost needs to be stubborn and sometimes will need to run his head into the wall until it breaks, one way or another. He should be immune to rage and the feeling of despair, at least inside of the game, as he will be the first one to engage in a fight, which he will often lose. A dedicated Entry-Fragger is not as common anymore, as the ideal person to entry in a situation is defined by too many factors(for an example, see the role of the AWPer lower in this listing).

Supporter: The Supporter is in place to prevent the Entry-Fragger from getting needlessly killed, as he will try to help his teammate to get the entryfrag, or win a bit of space. Even if the support he gave the Entry-Fragger was not enough, he is supposed to get the tradefrag to make the entries death count. The Supporter needs to be versatile with his utility in order to provide sufficient support for his teammates.

AWPer: The AWPer is supposed to manage is own economy well, in accordance with his IGLs economy-calls. He is supposed to anchor the middle part of many maps on CT- and T-side. Furthermore, the Primary AWPer should be efficient with aggressive peeks, as well as passive holds. Because this role only defines the players' main weapon, the AWPer can play as the Entry-Fragger as well as support, depending on the situation.

Lurker: The Lurker is the cherry on the top of the cake you baked when you executed perfectly onto any bombsite of your choosing. He is supposed to distract, cut-off and misguide the opponents with his weapons, grenades, and mind games. A dedicated Lurker became rather uncommon, as they became predictable in Pro-CS. Nowadays, the lurker often changes it up by entrying every now and then, in order to keep the opponents guessing as to where the team is actually heading.

To get a more in-depth overview of what roles a team normally has, and what these roles are defined as, click here. Keep in mind that teams do not have to set everything in stone by having completely dedicated roles. Sometimes situations call for a different solution than the one you have prepared. Also, be ready to switch it up when things do not go as smoothly as you intended.

The Buddy System

When people refer to the Buddy System in the context of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, they're refering to a system which makes sure that you have your teammates' backs and your teammates have your back. The core principle of this system is to have one teammate with you, no matter what you're doing. This is more common on the T than the CT side and is in place to ensure that you will never lose a life without your team having a shot at retribution. The IGL is responsible for deciding who is going to play with whom in the current round, but once you are used to this, buddies will find themselves all on their own, if no buddies have been decided from the IGL. A good pairing will always be an entry fragger with a support player, as they complement each other well, but the Buddy System is obviously not limited to this pairing. The Buddy System may have to be broken up temporarily in the heat of a round, depending on the situation and the calls from the IGL or other teammates. Keep in mind that one player may have to venture alone, as there are only five people on a team, and it is not often reasonable to have a team of two and a team of three people as buddies.

Trading

As I already said, essential to playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a team is to leave no kill unanswered. For the Buddy System to work, you need to be in the right mindset and ready in-game to tradefrag. A trade happens when the enemy, or you, kills someone from the other team and said other team replies with a kill of their own. Trading, in standard settings, favors the attacking side, as they thin out the defense which they are facing while gaining ground.

(A trade in action)

Setting up a standard

The term "standard" has at least two different meanings in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It can refer to an execute that was learned and memorized by a team which likes to fall back on said execute towards a bombsite. It often is the most choreographed of all the learned executes on a team, and will normally leave the team with a trump card up their sleeve. The second meaning of a "standard" in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is applied to set-ups that are used by teams as their, well, standard way of approaching a round. A lot of possibilities are choreographed out, and the goal of the standard is to gain information about the positions, weapons, and aggressiveness of the enemy.

(csgoboard is a good tool to formulate standards and strats)

You can start small, by only applying a set-up that relies on getting a pick on which you will rely on. You can slowly start to add secondary actions to the standard, which your team will follow if certain situations occur. A pick at B? Go there and do this. We got picked in mid? Smoke off connector and pressure A. Only time will truly tell you what works best for you and your teammates.

Scrimming

A scrim is a friendly match between two teams. The focus in these games will lie on getting better, experimenting, and trying out the cool new strats everyone came up with, not on winning the game, which would only be a nice extra. There are multiple platforms and online forums to find teams to scrim against, but you could also just add people who are in a team and ask them for a scrim if you like. Be careful with bad manners inside of a scrim, as there is a fine line between friendly banter and bad mannered play in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Fair play should be a main priority in a scrim.

Learning process

This is probably the most important aspect of starting and keeping it going the right way further down the line. You need to be bluntly honest with yourself. As I said earlier, you should know what you are shooting for with this team and all of you should be on the same page. In order to reach your goals, you all need to learn. Not just the fundamentals of your roles and weapons, but about team play and becoming a well-rounded player. You need to eliminate mistakes you make as a player as well as a team player. There is nothing wrong with slight criticism during the round of a game, especially scrims, but the expressed criticism inside of a game should only be about simple and common mistakes, like overpeeking or stopping on a rush. There is no time for a discussion about certain aspects of team play during a game. You can set up certain dates where everyone will voice their criticism about each other, or keep it simple and talk about it after every game, but the most important thing is to keep it civil. Constructive criticism is crucial to becoming good as a team, to berate each other not so much.

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