The Ultimate Guide to Getting Good - Part 6: Cache CT-Side
Tue 30th Jan 2018 - 8:00pm
Today we'll take a look at the CT-Side of Cache, after having taken a look at aim, movement, economy, your mistakes, and the T-Side of Cache, the last of which I highly recommend for you to read to know both sides of this coin.
Cache is one of the most popular competitive maps, whose main creator of the CS:GO version FMPONE is the only one to have his map featured inside the competitive mappool without it being created by Valve.
Very simplified, Cache can be portrayed as a "4-squares-window".
Its simplicity allows for both basic teamplay and elaborate fakes and executes. But how do we stop a take from happening? How do we flash for our teammates, and how do we anchor? All of these questions will be answered in this article.
- The Basics
- Three Tips
- Team Dynamics and Aggression
- Most Important Grenades Video
- Last Words of Advice
Let's start with the very basic of what you and your team has to do to build a solid foundation for your CT-Side on Cache.
You should start by assembling your CT-Side in a way that grants you both quick reaction times to hits and enough anchoring power to not to let the Ts on the sites without damage. For this, there are two popular set-ups with the distribution of (A-MID-B) 2-2-1 and 2-1-2, depending on the T-side tendencies, but before we check out those set-ups, you should know about the two basic roles that CT players have.
On CT-side, there is no entry and support anymore, at least not in the same way as there is on T-side. On CT, you can distinguish between two kinds of players: The Rotator and the Anchor. The Rotator is pretty straightforward: Rotate if help is needed elsewhere than the position he is currently holding. The Anchor, however, has a harder and more crucially important role: He needs to stay on his position until the team is basically 100% sure that a hit is commencing elsewhere, always leaving some sort of resistance on the bombsite they are holding.
To do this, he needs to know his way around taking smart duels, delaying with smokes, incendiaries, and flashes, not leaving the Ts a chance to get on the bombsite before help from the CTs arrives. That is why the Rotator should use his utility earlier if the dynamics of the game call for the use of utility early in rounds and the Anchor should keep onto his utility for as long as possible.
Delaying a bombsite take as an Anchor
The Anchor players need to make sure that they will still have utility once the Ts try to execute. Depending on which kind of utility they have, they should deploy them tactically in a way that either stops the take dead in its tracks or delay it enough for your mates to arrive and help you defend/retake. One example of this would be to throw an incendiary grenade in front of B-Main and smoking Checkers, not allowing the Ts easy entry onto B.
Flashes, straight up in the sky or bounced off a surface, can help you buy those last seconds or grant you a kill that your side will desperately need to win the round.
This is probably the most common set-up and allows for containing Mid once you have lost it to keep them from spilling into A or CT without resistance. Alternatively, this is the set-up to go to if you want to retake Mid once Ts have taken it or at least if you want to peek Mid with a flash.
As you can see, this set-up tries to keep Mid and A relatively safe from takes and executes, meanwhile B is held by a single person who is the Anchor, whose job it is to delay once a hit commences onto the B-bombsite. This is also the reason why one player should play around Z at all times. It ensures a fast reaction to incoming nades, steps and just Ts spilling into the B-bombsite. The Mid/Highway player, however, should concentrate on holding Mid followed by a rotation onto A, since A is often taken with utility heavy executes, leaving two people between a rock and a hard place in case they need to face into five incoming, angry Ts.
In this kind of set-up you should especially consider not giving up Mid, as it opens up the Vent for a quick B-split. In order to do this, you should try to either keep the Ts locked out of Mid at all times with utility and doublepeeks or by having one player close to Garage, in which case the other player should stay close to Highway. This ensures that the person playing close Mid can rotate fast into B through the Vent and the Highway player can switch to A quickly.
This is the second, alternative common set-up, used more by well-trained teams that have set reactions to aggressive plays from the Ts. This one could also be quantified as 1.5-1.5-2, as you will have one player always on or closely around Highway to reinforce A, as well as Mid if needed almost instantly.
In this set-up, you want to rotate in a way that could remind you of moving-up in a row of chairs. If there are a bunch of signs for an A hit, like the first peeks or smokes, the Highway player will fully concentrate on A, while the Mid-player will rotate to Car and possible move closer to A, while the Rotator from B moves to Z to ensure that no one is pincering A from Mid. The Anchor on B, in this case, needs to hold onto his utility for delaying the bombsite take, if it was a fake on A.
These set-ups are just examples and you should never just rely on one-dimensional set-ups over and over again. If the situation calls for it, you should leave the area that I marked on the graphics, as they are just examples of where you will play most of the time.
Positioning and Crossfires
On Cache, it is easy to predict where the CTs are going to be. That is why molotovs are so crucial for the Ts, as they can flush out the most common positions, which leaves not too many open in most areas the Ts will clear. In order to prevent being prefired and peeked from two sides, you should make sure that you are as unpredictable in your positioning (and aggression, but more to that later) as you can be on Cache. For this, you need to go out of your two or three comfort zones on bombsites and Mid and play different, favourable angles. Keep in mind that, depending on the situation, just spotting and waiting until they come onto the bombsite on B, as well as on A, is sometimes more than enough to ensure that reinforcements will avenge your death or even help you hold the site alive.
On top of that, be sure that you will always be able to help your teammate or at least ensure that no one can cross to him from a position he cannot hold, establishing crossfires that will surprise Ts once they move out. The best example of this is NBK/Quad and Forklift on A, where both of you have to hold each other's close corners so no one can surprise you.
Utility as a Rotator
Even though the Rotators are responsible for early utility usage, they should always keep a smoke, incendiary, or flash in their pocket for when they actually have to rotate and potentially have to retake an already taken bombsite.
The areas where you will meet, shown from the perspective of the ideal spawns
Especially in Mid, you will be in Z around the same time the Ts can be in Garage. If you choose to go around the long way to Highway, you may meet a T close to Whitebox or on top of the roof in Mid. In this case, they could've already opened Vent and be in Checkers.
On B, if you want to face, you will spot Ts just coming around the corner in B-Main if you stand in the first doorway to Checkers, or you will spot them right beside the Box in front of B if you go into Checkers and face them from there.
On A, if you want to surprise them by going Squeaky, you will meet them around five to six metres away from the door, and in A-Main they may be coming right around the corner of the box as you enter A-Main.
- Smoke off the B-Ramp during a B-take as the Anchor
Just dropping the smoke with a right click while their smokes and molotovs are flying will ensure you a favourable duel if they decide to push through or allow you to concentrate on the Headshot-angle only, leaving them not many options but to risk a few deaths or waiting for the smoke to clear again.
- Spraying Checkers the right way
The left image shows with a red square where the wall right next to the big box in Checkers is, and the green where you can spray to hit a player playing there. The right image shows you where to spray/tap to hit players moving into Checkers.
These images show you where you will hit your shots if you follow these instructions.
- Utilising boosts
A lot of people forget about all the possibilities you open up when boosting, especially since you can catch people both defensively as well as aggressively, making them take time establishing the positions affected by the boost the next time they dare to go there. Just be sure that you do not fall into the trap of always boosting and getting prefired. Also, try to use covers for your sound if it includes runboosting or dropping down a few feet after you've helped your buddy up, like a frag grenade or well-timed flash from a teammate.
Possible boost spots include the Counterboost in Mid, Shroud and the Bigbox on B.
Shroud and the Bigbox on B, where you need to stack on top of each other in order to get a view into Garden.
Team Dynamics and Aggression
As I pointed out on the T-Side Cache guide, it is important to read their and hide your patterns, as they telegraph their and your play. You need to make sure that you will not become readable by always doing the same over and over. For example, if you only smoke A-Main early when you go aggressive in A-Main, you should switch it up and smoke it off, followed by a flash in A-Main without going through the smoke. This will not only steal precious time off the Ts, it will also make them unsure what will happen next. Alternatively, you can try to prevent these patterns from happening in the first place by actively thinking about what you did the prior rounds.
On the other hand, realising what the Ts patterns are is crucial to your victory. Keep an eye on flashes thrown from the same angle, certain actions telegraphing plays like smoking Z-Connector and so on. Once you know about these patterns, try to read them and give you and your team the information flow that the Ts don't want you to have or counter it by being prepared and playing differently to the times their play worked.
Aggressive plays on CT
On Cache, on the CT-side, aggression is relatively easy to incorporate into your gameplan. Just open up the Squeaky door, smoke off A-Main and flash through or sneak through B after they've completely ignored it a few times. But, of course, there is more to this than just randomly doing this stuff.
For example, you should always poke and peek certain spots to see how many there are and how they are playing. This can be done by faking aggression, like just shoulder-peeking A-Main in order to provoke a reaction. Especially in Mid you can play around with incendiaries to Boost once you have placed a player below the Boost. If they do not dare to push through the fire, they will drop back down and your buddy will have a chance to hear them. If he listens closely, he will most likely hear the attempt to re-boost, and you can properly prepare and you now know that they concentrate on Boost, which may leave Garage open and so on.
This has a lot to do with the reading of patterns that I pointed out earlier. But once you have read their patterns, be sure to not to telegraph your aggression and use every bit of information you have gathered the rounds before to have the safest form of aggression, like an un-dodge-able flash through the A-Main smoke, or just sneaking through your Garage smoke in Mid, surprising the Ts as they rotate or are boosting their buddy up.
Also, to be aggressive and keep the Ts on their feet, you do not need to push through. Just eliminating a solo player with a flash and a well-timed peek will give you an advantage the Ts will work hard to get back from you, putting the pressure on them.
The Most Important Grenades
Last Words of Advice
Basically, the CT-Side can be proactive and gain a strong advantage over the T-Sde with just a bit of work on your grenades and timings. Be sure to always leave room for experimentation when you are behind and never lose hope, as it takes just one play to stagger the whole T-Side and not leave them any room to breathe themselves anymore.