How to Improve Your CT-Side



Tue 28th Nov 2017 - 8:36pm

The current competitive landscape in CS:GO is tough. We are seeing more and more teams being able to stand their own against the best teams in the world as well as seeing more rising stars enter the scene. But even though more teams are stepping up to the plate, there is still one thing that separates them from the top tier: A solid foundation.

While many teams have very skilled players amongst their ranks, that is not all it takes to be recognized as the best. There is a reason why we see teams like SK Gaming, FaZe Clan and Astralis being on top, although the two former has the advantage of having some of the most skilled players in the world, hence having bigger firepower than the latter they all share that one common trait, a solid foundation to stand on, and in this article we will go through one side of the equation, the CT-side, and focus on playing retakes and rotations.


Let's say you're playing CT side Train and you play a default setup of 2 on B and 3 on A. If the Terrorists tend to go towards A or you get the hunch that they are going to go there this round, which player on B should rotate over towards A? Now some may think, "Ah, the guy that plays closest to Connector," while yes, having the guy closest to A rotate can turn the round in your favor since he can reach A faster than the one playing close site, but what if that player is the player most fit to hold the site he's on solo?

Now, this becomes a problem, because you've left one player on B and that player is not good at holding B alone. What will happen when the Terrorists storm the site? Now he might get a pick or two, but he also may fail to get any, leaving the site completely open either because the player didn't know how to position himself accordingly or he could've simply been outaimed.

What is important here is to know who is your site anchor and who is your site rotator? The site anchor will play deep site and will be put in situations where he will be playing the site solo and/or hold until he knows that the enemy team or bomb is fully committed to the other site while the Site rotator can either just throw some utility to stop a possible rush and then either rotate off the site or stay and listen for any steps or noise elsewhere.

As in many parts of the game, communication is a really important part here. Let's say that you're playing a standard 2-1-2 setup in Mirage and you're playing the AWP Window. If you leave your position, you need to call it out to your teammates. "Hey guys, I'm letting go off Mid to focus on A, one of you on B rotate Short so you don't get flanked and so we have Connector covered." Without calling this out, your teammates will risk getting flanked and wonder why no one called it out. This must be done in every scenario. You leave B-site to aid Middle or A, you need to communicate that to your anchor so he knows that he has to play deep site.

Set rotations aren't only about who will rotate first but also how and where do you rotate. And both of these things are something that you will have to figure out on your own within your team, as no one else can tell you how your team is suited best to rotate. But as always with things like this, watch the pro players. Look at how they react and rotate accordingly depending on the situation. From this, you can craft your own plan for rotations and maybe implement some of their stuff into your game. 

I would suggest looking at this video from vooCSGO. Even though it is a bit dated it still is a good video to get a good mindset on how to rotate efficiently.

Rotations are an important part of your CT side and will help you greatly on your way to having a good foundation to stand on. But after rotations comes another factor that you must have a good and solid plan for: retaking the site.
Playing retakes

Let us say that you're in a 4 on 4, coming from different angles trying to retake the site and defuse the bomb. One flashbang and a hero play can save the round for your team, damage the terrorists' economy and hype your team. You throw a smoke and a pop flash you have seen from a Youtube video and jump out. But you get shot before you kill someone. Now you have left your team in a more difficult scenario, that is more difficult than it should've been. They're now in a 3 on 4 with less utility, greatly diminishing their chances. And it is here that you should take something else into consideration: being selfless.

In a retake scenario, it is more important than ever to play as a team and refrag each other. So you should not think about yourself. Don't go in with the attitude that "I will save the round for my team", but instead let your teammates help you help them. If you have a good feeling that you can take the opening duel to get an advantage in the retake scenario then, by all means, do it, but make sure that you have your team behind you and that they know what you are planning to do.

Make use of your utility and make sure that you're always relatively close to a teammate so that they can trade for you if you get picked. I have seen a lot of teams doing badly in retakes scenarios, either because one of them decide to push out first in hopes to get a couple of picks for the hero play or that their communication was off. One guy didn’t refrag the other or just generally uncoordinated in their attempt at retaking the site. While these teams haven't been in the top tier of CSGO, this has also happened in some top matches. And that is not too uncommon. You are nervous, it’s a really important round that will either make or break your economy and could decide the outcome of the game.

As stated earlier, look at the pro teams. Some do it very similarly to each other and some do it differently but you can get some good ideas and a good understanding of how to play your retakes to the best of your potential but remember, it will take a lot of practice before you find the best way to do a retake and knowing when to do it and when to not to do it. I would suggest you guys look at FaZe's matches as they are one of the best, if not the best, on the CT side of the game.

As going through more of the keys to having a good CT side will be a bit much to put into one article we will leave it until the next article, in the meanwhile, remember to have fun while playing the game and see you next time.

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