The Ultimate Guide to Getting Good - Part 5: Cache T-Side
Sun 21st Jan 2018 - 6:00pm
Cache's CS:GO appearance is mostly attributed to FMPONE, who is the only one to ever have a non-Valve map included in the official, competitive map pool. The layout is basically the "four squares" layout that makes Dust 2 one of the most popular maps, with a few twists like the Mid Boost and Vent added to the mix.
Side by Side comparison, showing why you can call it a four squares layout.
This article will have the following structure:
- Introduction (to Cache)
- The Basics
- Three Tips
- Their and Your Patterns
- Actively Preparing your Executes
- Your Utility and Execute (with video)
- Last Words of Advice
Cache can be played both execute-heavy, with relatively easily set-ups, or aim-heavy. Both kinds of playstyles find their use at every level in competitive CS:GO, but the execute-heavy style has seen a slight rise in popularity ever since Ninjas in Pyjamas popularised the excessive use of Molotovs.
The Basics: Their Game
The CTs do have viable options to explore the map to try and gain map control, but, at the most basic level, they are restricted to the bombsites and a few extensions of those at first. This means that the CTs will grasp for air, meaning that they will try to find openings to sneak through and feed their team information as well as map control. After a few rounds, lost or won, the CTs normally start to exploit patterns of the Ts to backstab them. For this, they can push up Mid, push into B-Halls, A-Main or Squeaky without too much risk, especially with utility.
Blue: CT controlled, Red: T controlled, Yellow: Most contested
The Basics: Your Game
Cache has mostly levelled fighting areas, allowing you to rather easily predict where the head is going to be. Most of the cover on sites and in Mid also only allow for one or two common angles to be held by the CTs, giving the Ts many possible ways to engage the defense in favourable fights. The first thing you should take care of is your crosshair placement since this will make entrying and clearing out sites significantly easier.
Once you know where the heads are going to be, you should realise that Cache is a map that allows for you to easily drift off into predictable patterns: Try out A-Main, find nothing, go to B and try to clear out Checkers etc. You should fight your predictability by actively looking for ways to catch your opponents off-guard by playing off-angles when you are looking out for that information push by the CTs, for example.
Three Tips for This:
- Utilise the Sign-angle if you intend to passively hold B.
This boost will allow for you to safely watch for any aggression from the B defense, especially useful when you are losing the control in front of B a lot or your team forgets about B a bit too much.
- Use the hard-to-counter Truck-angle outside of A
This is a spot that is almost never checked and even if people will predict you to be there, the prefire isn't the easiest. On top of that, you will you be just far enough away from Squeaky for most CTs pushing from there to step loudly before walking into your crosshair, since they will think that the area outside of A is clear.
Once spotted, you can choose which fight you will take at what time since you will be the one holding up the CT. If you play it smartly, even if outnumbered, you will you be able to wait for backup to arrive.
- Utilise jump boosts and boosts in general
There are a bunch of boosts able to help you hold certain areas with ease, not allowing the CTs to have a chance if they push out of their safe zones. One of those boosts is the boost on top of Red, the container in Mid garage, allowing for you to wait for the pushed-up CTs to get greedy safely.
Furthermore, boosts are also useful for aggression. Self-boosting on top of Red at A will allow you to spot enemies hidden on the bombsite easier.
Timings are important in CS:GO and knowing about them will enable you to seize the opportunity of a favourable spawn to catch the enemy by surprise. I tested the timings and came up with the following conclusions (for the ideal spawning position):
Let's start from the top and move to the bottom of the picture (again, with the best possible spawns on both sides):
In Squeaky, you will encounter the best spawn of the CTs around the last bit in front of the door, similarly to A-Main, where you will almost be at the entrance to the A-Bombsite before the CTs will be able to greet you and cut you off.
Mid is a bit interesting since the CTs can be on the boost at almost exactly the same time as you can. You will have just settled as the CT will jump on top of the boost. On the other hand, the CTs will always have an upper hand if they want to hold from Z since they will be there a solid second before you will be in Mid-Main. If they want to go the long way to Whitebox, you will greet them by just turning the corner to Highway or on top of the roof in Mid.
At B, you will be right in front of B-Main or just turning the corner when you will encounter CTs that have settled around or in front of Checkers.
There are two patterns to abuse: Those of the enemies and your own. You can either react to the patterns that the enemies use or simply manipulate what your patterns look like to the CTs and use this to lure them into traps or slower reaction times once you enter a bombsite.
The Enemy's Patterns
The CTs will surely show signs of what patterns they fell into. Part of these signs are repeated pushes from any site or Mid, counter boosts, defensive boosts, certain ways of holding onto, or using utility early and similar actions that aim to make the T-Side harder. As pointed out earlier in the article, you should always keep an eye out for the CTs over aggressing on one side of the map to counter it early and deny it before you find yourself with your backs against the wall, unable to set-up anything.
Also, keep an eye out for more passive patterns. An example would be their nade usage. If you find out how they react to certain plays, sounds, or grenades, you will be able to abuse their patterns and force them into using their utility before you execute or throw a fake. Do they throw away a smoke whenever they hear steps? Step as much as you want. Alternatively, you can keep it quiet and suddenly go for picks. The list of possibilities after finding out their patterns is endless. This, of course, takes a lot of trial and error and only practice will make perfect with finding out what special cues actually mean.
Basically, as a T, it is possible to play defaults again, again and again, to see what the CTs do. If they do nothing, they will eventually run out of utility (at least if you abuse their patterns). If they get aggressive, and you realise where they will do that in the future, you can just cut them off and gain an easy advantage.
Most of this is closely related to how you should treat the enemies' patterns since you will use the patterns you use(d) to manipulate the enemies.
To do this, you will need to either find out what kind of patterns you fell into before you tried mixing it up or deliberately set up false patterns the first few rounds on the T-Side. If you set up a pattern, you should make sure that it is easy to spot. For example, whenever you try to take Mid, you will throw a flash Mid before even boosting. The enemies will soon connect the thrown flash to a boost if you only throw the flash when you intend to boost.
Actively Preparing your Executes
After you've waited for a mistake by the CTs or have abused them enough that they do not dare to get aggressive anymore, it's time to prepare your executes. For these, you need grenades of which you will find the most important ones at the bottom of this article.
Mid control is crucial for this since it is both easy to obtain and hard to give away again. Mid gives you the ability to wrap around A and take easier Checkers control on B, making it a crucial component to take in order to execute splits in an efficient manner. On top of that, it is also possible to clear out CT behind Z to have an even bigger wrap around the enemies, tightening their map control until they basically choke before you finally pull the trigger and execute onto a site.
It is crucial to ensure that no one from the opposition dares to push or that they will be intercepted by a teammate/you while you set up and take map control.
Your Utility and Executes
Your utility is needed to aid you when you take map control and execute. On Cache, Molotovs are especially important, so learn to deploy them in the correct manner. Basically, Molotovs try to flush out enemies or deny them a strong position. Be sure to aim where you threw your Molotov afterwards if possible, to ensure the death of a potential CT hiding in that spot.
Keep it simple and be prepared for flashes. Especially when the CTs get passive, they will hold on to a bit of utility until you finally start the execute and people like to go for hero plays through the smoke. Be prepared to dodge these flashes or flash the most popular positions yourself to ensure that they are unable to do anything for the first crucial two to four seconds.
Here are the most crucial grenade line-ups on Cache:
A Last Piece of Advice
Be sure to keep your cool when executing and check every common spot thoroughly. You should not be caught off-guard by the CT in Heaven or on Shroud, and definitely not by the guy playing Sandbags. If you deploy your utility the right way, the CTs will not have much of a chance to stop your execute if you also keep the basics in mind.