An In-depth New Vertigo Smoke Guide for CS:GO
Sun 17th Nov 2019 - 7:56pm
Vertigo is still the newest member of the Active-Duty map pool, still being the odd one out in the map pools of pro teams. Vertigo isn't very complex yet: CTs need Mid and the Ts will tend to go A. This is one of the reasons why I'll include at least a few off-meta smokes that allow you to deepen your playbook on Vertigo and have a bit of variety in your set-ups on both CT and T-side!
With the following ten smokes, five on each side, you will either have a start or an expansion to your line-up collection and will have an easier time breaking up the defence of the CTs or keeping the Ts out of your bombsites.
In this smoke guide I will tell you how difficult each smoke is, ranging from very easy (intuitively throw-able with no practice) to very hard (you will need to invest time and be mechanically sound to throw the smoke reliably). We will start with the defensive side, giving you material to build protocols on your CT-side, either as a precaution, as a mid-round smoke, or a retake smoke later in the round.
A-Site to A-Ramp Entry
Difficulty: Easy, Medium if done completely running without stopping.
Usage: Useful in the early sections of the round. Most helpful when you throw this smoke right at the start to help with map control at the start of the round at A-Ramp, especially useful when you also molotov or smoke off Secret.
- Fast line-up
- Fast deployment time
- Can be thrown without stopping with a little bit of practice
- Allows you to suppress early T aggression
- If you notice patterns of the Ts going A late in the round, this smoke can be used later to completely cripple their take
- You need a good spawn to deploy the smoke before the Ts arrive
- Follow-up aggression by you can be countered with flashes
- If the Ts go way back behind the smoke, they will be able to see above the smoke, which is why you need to use the actual ramp to hold the smoke shut
- Ts can rush through to Secret if they're really, really fast
CT-Mid to Secret
Difficulty: Easy-Medium since it requires a walk-throw
Usage: Quite powerful in the early sections of a round, giving you an edge when fighting for map control around A-Ramp. Especially good when a CT with a good spawn towards A rushes towards Secret and you, maybe the Mid player, throws this smoke for them.
- Completely blocks off Secret
- Incredibly hard to get through if a CT plays at the ledge of Secret, holding the smoke
- Hardly any ways to use utility to prematurely push the smoke since there isn't much room to manoeuvre
- Especially strong in combination with the line-up above
- Hard to pull off when you are the one to throw the smoke and hold Secret since the way to Secret is longer on the new Vertigo
- You can be sprayed down if you are not careful enough, both from Secret and from Ramp since the "walls" of the scaffolding are paper-thin
CT-Spawn to B Entrance
Difficulty: Hard since this line-up uses no direct pixel on the map and rather a place in between the steel frame, where you need to judge the distances to the steel beams pretty swell.
Usage: Particularly useful when you deploy this smoke at the beginning of a round, blocking off Ts that don't have a top spawn or splitting the Ts rush in half.
- Can help you gain control of the rather convoluted B-Stairs
- Has low deployment time, compared to the amount of travel this line-up has since you can throw it right after the round start
- Can be a one-way at the very top right corner of the smoke if you're unlucky with the RNG-spread of the smoke
- Top-spawn Ts can be just as fast as top-spawn CTs, so they may breach the smoke, although they'll still be at a disadvantage. Keep this in mind when throwing this smoke for a teammate
- Can be very rough on you if you throw this smoke for your own aggression at B
Mid-A to Secret (Retake)
Usage: Blocking off Secret can be very useful when retaking the A bombsite since the Ts can't just jiggle at the corner of Secret to split your attention between them and A-Ramp. This is especially useful when you are in a low-number retake like 1v1 or 2v2 and you heard someone at Secret.
- Low deployment time and easy set-up
- Forces the T to either dedicate himself to the upcoming duel or to hide behind the smoke, giving you the advantage should you bait him out behind the smoke later in the retake
- Gives away your position
- You still need to check Secret since the T could be standing in front of the smoke
CT-Spawn to the front of B (Retake smoke)
Difficulty: Easy (with jumpbind/double-key jumpbind)
Usage: Pretty strong retake smoke for B, blocking off the main path from B-Stairs to B-site, only leaving a clean entry from said B-Stairs through Catwalk.
- Limits the possible hiding/fighting spots for the Ts
- Thrown from a safe distance to B
- Perfect throw position for CTs coming from A
- You need to be quite far away from B to throw this smoke without wasting time
- A smoke is no wall, which is why, depending on bomb plant spot, this smoke won't help you against spam from B-Stairs
T-Spawn to front of B
Difficulty: Hard (with jumpbind/double-key jumpbind)
Usage: Useful in a variety of situations, like you playing A in the T-side default before starting to take map control at B or at the very beginning of a round, maybe to counter CT aggression.
- Completely blocks the front of B off
- Fast, albeit a hard, line-up
- Can be used to fake B
- Can, therefore, be used to condition the CTs that this smoke is only used when you fake B to go A, tricking them later in the half
- Especially strong with a smoke landing on Catwalk
- Hard to not to mix up all of those T-Spawn line-ups
- Helps the CTs time their HE grenades to inflict damage on Ts creeping up on B-Stairs
- Can give you a false sense of security, since the CTs can flash and peek through Mid-Window or Catwalk
T-Spawn to B Catwalk
Usage: Can be used in many different situations, like falling back from A to start advancing on B or faking B.
- Fast line-up, since you can throw it right from T-Spawn
- Complements the line-up for the front of B very well
- Can be used to fake B
- Can be used to condition the CTs that this line-up is only used when faking B
- Can be hard to remember which T-Spawn line-up is for which smoke
- Can cause you to misjudge how far the CTs are at B-Stairs
- Is not as useful when you don't throw the smoke to block off the front of B
A-Ramp to Secret
Usage: Can be used at whatever point in the round you choose, although earlier, after clearing out Sandbags, is the safest time to do so. Is incredibly helpful to prepare a Secret-Ramp split.
- Easy to throw
- Will most likely cause the CTs to throw at least a bit of their utility in return most of the time
- Can cause the CTs to get over-aggressive at Ramp
- Helps you with taking map control at Secret
- You're rather open if you don't have enough manpower around you to hold all of that map control at A-Ramp
- Smoke can be useless if the CT is in front of the smoke with an XM1014 or a similar close-range weapon, waiting for you to jump up on Secret at the ledge
A-Ramp to onsite A
Difficulty: Medium. You need to be exact.
Usage: Good for any kind of A execute, can be deceiving if a T has slipped through Mid later in the round.
- Can be used for map control in front of A or an execute
- Good all-around execute smoke that blocks off a lot of angles and jiggle spaces
- Forces Ts on and around A-Site to make a decision
- Especially strong after taking Secret control
- Really good with a smoke on Selfboost
- Line-up looks easier than it is since you need to be quite exact
- You're rather open when throwing this smoke
- CTs can play around the edge of the smoke
- Won't block off the sniper spot in Jungle and Selfboost at the orange boxes
A-Ramp to Selfboost
Usage: Kind of useless on its own, unless you are in a low number, late-round situation like a 1v2 or 2v2. Also very useful when you're executing A with other grenades.
- Can be quite surprising to the CTs
- Takes away one of the most powerful defensive positions on A
- Easy and fast line-up
- Grants you the luxury to focus on fewer angles on A, especially which other execute smokes like the line-up above
- You are a bit in the open when throwing this smoke unless you have enough Ts around you to hold off any CT aggression
- Brave (or stupid) CTs will try to jump up and play around the smoke, which will either weaken your take or give you a free kill
- Almost useless on its own
With great power comes great responsibility
I think these line-ups will do well in everyone's pocket, but especially teams with full executes and protocols will benefit greatly from this list. At the end of the day, it's up to you which smoke you will use at which point in the round. There are always outliers where an early-round line-up will be useful late-round and vice-versa, so try to think outside of the box when using these smokes in practice sessions.
Do you think you still need to self popflashes to master CS:GO even more? Feel free to head here for a variety of them! Ever felt like a well-placed HE or fire grenade would've stopped the enemy from planting the bomb? Look no further!
Want to show us how you used these smokes to craft a full execute? Feel free to join our #Digscord and share your thoughts with our staff and management or hit me up on Twitter if you have any kind of feedback regarding this article or any of my other work!
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