The Misconception of the Lurker
Mon 9th Apr 2018 - 5:00pm
For almost the entirety of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the standard structure of a team’s role has remained fairly similar for a long time. It is common for most teams to have a singular in game leader, an entry fragger, support player, a dedicated AWPer and a lurker. Especially on non-professional teams, most teams will recruit by this model.
Often in open level teams, you will see most teams be unable to follow the formula correctly, often misusing and misunderstanding the lurk position or expecting too much out of a certain player because of their role. This can cause teams to go through players and not fully understand their problems as a team. In most cases, a simple role change or a slight adjustment in how the roles are utilized can greatly change the player’s performance and overall attitude within the team without removing a player. The Lurk position is by far the biggest issue with most newer teams and, in this guide, I will explain what the issue is in most cases and how to fix it in a variety of ways.
There are several misconceptions on what a lurker should be doing. Not only that, most lower level teams know how to actually use them. A majority of the current professional teams opt to have another rifler instead of a dedicated lurker. The reason being is that you simply do not need one in most cases, as it is quite easy to operate without a lurker. Even if a team needs one for a certain round, then it is quite easy to just assign that to any of their riflers considering they are capable and lurking does not require any special skills. The majority of Counter-Strike players do not actually know how to properly lurk. Which often gives a level of confirmation bias because their statistics get inflated with exit kills or trying to save. Meaning the lurker is enticed under the concept that “It’s my team’s fault” rather than it essentially being a 4v5 in most cases.
In most set strategies, people will call someone to lurk on the other side of the map while the rest of the team takes map control or sets up for an execute. If the other team aggresses on your team at any point and you trade a kill, you are put into a very tricky spot as the round plays out. For the person lurking, they are essentially stuck on an island while their team is playing out the round. In any situation like this, the lurker is not gathering useful information that will help the team with their execute nor are they doing anything that will seriously impact the round like drawing rotates, thrusting the player into a clutch situation almost all the time. This will happen way too many times, often occurring in ESEA Open leagues and Intermediate leagues.
Using a lurk should never be something that anybody should be doing every round on Terrorist side. On some rounds, it is a great idea to counter other team’s aggression, but that is only the case if you know that the other team has a tendency to be aggressive. If a player has a tendency to push B Apartments on a map like Mirage, sending a person to hold an off-angle in Kitchen or Underpass is a great idea to counter that and deny the enemy team information of where the team is and, if successful, can draw a rotator to cover.
In a similar scenario, the team can take middle control while the lurker is getting that pick and depending how many casualties, the in-game leader has the option of choosing to go B off a pick in Apartments or fall back to A. As a lurker, they should not be going for that pick Apartments and peeking van because that is simply an unnecessary risk. A lurk will need to balance the job of getting useful info that will be helpful for your team across the map and denying information of where the actual take is going to go.
Lurkers need to be able to play the information game. Most teams are learning fundamental aspects of the game itself and playing that game could be problematic for individual performance. Not to mention a lurker often tends to play more passive than anything else because they are on their own. So mostly if they are found, the opposing team knows that it is just one player instead of the full team. This means that the player NEEDS to be up close, but not exposed or in an disadvantageous position.
It is easy to talk all day about what you could have or should have done after the game is done. When you aren’t a semi-professional player, learning is the name of the game. Using a lurk on almost every round on Terrorist side provides a scapegoat for you and the rest of the team and more often than not does not help achieve anything. On certain rounds, a good lurker can save the game and make a massive impact, but overall I am under the belief that having another player with the team can be much more effective to trade kills and take map control with teammates. My advise to any new team would be to opt for a player that can act as a second support and if you need a lurker, just send any of your riflers. Each player can rely off each other and learn the game much more, making accountability better than just trying to make excuses.
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