Setting Up The Round - How To Bait Out Utility
Sat 15th Feb 2020 - 9:18pm
CS:GO, although at its core a mechanics-heavy shooter, is also a game that is decided by tactics and your use of all the tools that CS:GO gives you. Especially after a certain level, you will find it incredibly useful to make use of smokes, flashes, and molotovs properly, but a less talked about aspect of CS:GO is baiting out utility from the CTs before you set up your proper execute in order to not to get blocked off by a late smoke or incendiary grenade.
In this guide, I'll explain to you certain aspects of CS:GO that are related to utility baiting and how to exactly set up a round by baiting utility, giving you different ideas on how to train yourself and/or your team to create a better chance of winning when executing onto A or B.
When Do We React with Utility as a CT?
First, a general approach to baiting out utility can be had by looking at our own reactions when playing as a CT. When we're on the CT side, we want to stop the Ts in a variety of ways, or get aggressive on our own, when we use utility. The best example would be to use an incendiary to block off a chokepoint when we think the Ts are executing, probably best explained at B on Inferno, where the CTs like to fire up the part in front of B when the smokes start flying in, either to block off the Ts or to make them extinguish the incendiary with a smoke and give them a disadvantage when advancing to B. So, one reason to react with utility as a CT is when we want to stop or hinder the execute.
Another reason to use your utility as a CT would be to stop a behavior pattern that you have noticed, like the Ts going out A-Main on Mirage early without any smokes but with only a few flashes to catch you out. This is especially noticeable when the Ts have little problem out-aiming, and we try to counteract such aggression with incendiaries, HE grenades, and smokes in A-Main and Palace. We fit our utility usage to the patterns we notice with the Ts.
Another reason to use utility as a CT certainly is to give our teammates either more map control or to give them a favorable peek, resulting in a better chance to win the round. Simply put, we also like to use utility when we think we can get aggressive or catch out our enemies. Keep all of this in mind when we continue on with this guide.
Faking an Execute to Bait Out Utility
Probably the costliest solution to bait out utility, it is also the easiest to understand and employ without giving away your game plan. The premise of this technique is that you can make it look like you're legitimately executing on A or B in order to bait out a response from the CTs. You need to make it look, sound, and feel like an execute, meaning that a single smoke isn't enough most of the time. Think of how an execute would work out! The smokes would block off the chokepoints or strategically important lines of sight. You'd flash out your teammates and spray through the smokes and maybe even use molotovs to follow up.
Of course, throwing three smokes, four molotovs, and eight flashes isn't logical since you need that utility to take advantage of the baited utility later in the round, which is why you should choose your timing and place carefully.
As you can see, most executes on B can be set up with only two smokes, while most executes at A use three
A good example of a not-so costly fake is at A on Inferno, where you can smoke off Long and flash into Top Mid to prefire an angle in order to bait out a reaction of the CTs, like an incendiary or two as well as the same number of smokes or flashes. The same can be said about the one-way smoke out of Apps followed by a flash towards Pit, giving the CTs the impression that you want to exit Apps, which should bait a reaction. It has to be said that it is also important to keep a few Ts at B in such situations, in order to not to allow the CTs to advance and clear out Banana and take away your possibility of going B later in the round.
Patterns are not just relevant for learning the spray control of weapons. No, they are also important for the pacing and reading of rounds. In this case, a pattern refers to the recurring tendencies of players and teams to do or to not to do certain things in the game. One example of such would be the obvious pattern of setting up a default before executing A or B, as a default is a set-up that most teams have on their T-side to peek and poke around the map to find information that will have little to no variation on the low-to-medium levels of team CS, shown as an example in the image below.
5 Ts, all with different default positions to peek and poke around the map
When you're playing as a CT and you're looking for certain patterns, like an early flash above A-Main on Mirage before the Ts set-up in front of A, you'll most likely find them since every player is just human and most likely can't control every single action he plays out. On the other side, the T-Side, you should take advantage of this by setting up (and breaking) patterns.
Setting Up and Breaking Patterns
As a T, you'll automatically set up patterns, like holding passively when you're not doing anything proactive around the map and waiting for aggression. In order to abuse the CTs' tendency to believe the patterns they pick up on, you first need to set up patterns that you will later break up in order to bait out the utility of the enemies. One such example would be to be aggressive everywhere on the Map early on in the match, like running out of Monster at Overpass in an early round with a flash above Monster and running through Connector with a barrage of molotovs, HEs, and flashes, while later on only throwing part of that utility in the same manner in order to make the CTs unsure if you want to exit Monster again, most likely baiting out an incendiary in Monster and/or smoke Short, thinning the utility on B later in the round.
A different, more complex way of setting up patterns would be by instructing your players to always do something unrelated, but prominent before going A or B, like flashing above A-Main on Train before heading B silently, followed by a smoke execute on B. If you set up the round to look exactly the same as the ones where you went B, you will need to only flash above A-Main, followed by a single smoke B in order to bait out a strong response by the CTs on B, wasting their utility when you have only used $500 for the flash and smoke.
In general, analyzing what the enemy has seen so far by him and what has caused a reaction so far and then acting on such information will give you the edge when trying to bait out utility. It is important to correctly see the pattern you've set up, followed by abusing these patterns to waste the utility of the CTs until you are ready to execute against a, hopefully empty, CT-side. Keep in mind that, once a certain pattern does not bait out a reaction anymore, it may be time to go out all guns blazing when using exactly that pattern to keep using that to your advantage. Don't be too scared to start off aggressive in order to set the tone and pace of the game, since it will be your game to slow down afterwards and allow you to bait out utility from even the most disciplined CT sides successfully.
Should you want help with your boost game, feel free to head over to my boost guide here. However, if you think that you are lacking molotov and incendiary line-ups on Overpass, this guide is for you!
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