CS:GO T-Side Solo Survival Guide: Mirage A-Site
Tue 19th May 2020 - 5:21pm
While CSGO is a team-based game through and through, sometimes, the outcome of a deciding round falls on your shoulders. In those situations, the difference between losing and winning can depend entirely on a well-thrown smoke or a perfect flash. Mirage is a beautifully crafted map and, while a little overplayed, it is perfectly designed to bring out those beautiful aspects of CSGO. In this guide, I will show you several ways in which you can employ your utility to help turn the tide in your favor on this beautiful map.
Of course, the best way to win a game will always be playing together and using utility as a team to shut down a site completely. The advice in this guide should be considered a last resort for the situation in which your teammates do not know how to use their utility or if you find yourself having to clutch the round. To write this guide, I used YPRAC's Mirage Guide. Not all of the line-ups described in this guide are part of this custom map, but it is a great way to check your accuracy with utility.
In the first part of this series, we look at utility usage on the A-Site. Depending on the information available to you, you might choose to smoke off CT-Spawn or Jungle/Connector. In clutches, smoking off Stairs is generally not worth it without Jungle/Connector also being smoked. You are far more exposed if enemies can watch A-Site from Jungle or Connector than an enemy pushing Stairs.
To smoke off CT-Spawn, walk up to the door in the area before Ramp, and look directly at the middle circle of the bars in the middle of the door. Then, turn around and put your crosshair on the corner of the small platform. Jump and immediately release the smoke. This will completely block off any opponent rotating through CT. Generally, this will be the smoke you use when there are multiple opponents alive, as you can find cover from Connector and Stairs behind the boxes on A-Site. Planting the bomb for Short will leave you open to a Stairs push even if Jungle/Connector is smoked off.
However, if you received information that your opponents were last seen in Middle and on Short, it might be better to slow down their rotation by throwing the smoke for Jungle/Connector. This time, you will jump onto the large platform in front of Ramp. Run up to the second fake window and look down, so that your crosshair meets the crack in the floor. Then, turn around and look at the wall in front of you. Trace the white line of cement all the way to the edge of the wall and release the smoke. Be careful, however, since you are not safe from enemies that run up the stairs or an enemy that might have quickly rotated through CT.
While you are there, you are in the perfect position to throw a pop-flash that will blind everyone looking towards Ramp. Standing on top of the crack in the floor, aim at the same wall, but this time, aim at the spot where the antenna point emerges from behind the wall. Also, don't forget that A-Site is full of walls off of which you can bounce flashes to blind any unlucky soul that decided to peek.
If one of your teammates can smoke Jungle and Connector, you can help him completely lock down that side of the map by smoking stairs. This will effectively block off the vision from every position on the site besides CT-Spawn. To throw this smoke, jump onto the little ledge leading up to the big platform and aim at the corner of the ledge supporting the scaffolding. From there, aim up until your crosshair is right below the sad emoji on the wooden pole and just release. Keep in mind, though, that this smoke is useless without the accompanying Jungle/Connector smoke.
Once your flash pops, you are ready to start advancing onto A Site. There is a good chance that one of your opponents is in Jungle, waiting for you to cross. However, that is nothing a well-thrown Molotov can't fix. If he doesn't burn to a crisp, at least it will make him change his position, either by pushing towards Stairs or by retreating to CT or Middle. He might also hide in the corner of Jungle, as the Molotov does not spread far enough, but at least he will be unable to fire at you when you enter the site.
To throw this Molotov, just huddle up into the corner right after leaving Ramp. Look at the stairs, and move your crosshair up, until it points at the second wooden support beam of the white building. Once in position, take a step forward and release. Admittedly, this Molotov leaves you open for someone peeking on or next to stairs and is quite risky. However, it might still be worth to throw it if you received information that someone was watching middle with an AWP.
If you believe one of your opponents is hiding under Palace, you can easily flush him out by warming his feet with a little fire. Simply stand next to the pallets of bricks for cover, look to the left of the red A sprayed onto the plank in front of default, then run and release. Note that this Molotov does not entirely cover this position, as there is a chance it might not spread far enough to burn an opponent that has crawled onto the bricks.
Using a combination of these grenades will increase the odds of successfully clutching a round or might protect teammates that would otherwise have pushed an open site. Proper utility usage can make or break a round, so it is essential to have a few tricks like these up your sleeve to maximize your chances of victory. Don't be scared to use some of these even when your whole team is alive either, as many of these grenades will be useful no matter what situation in which you find yourself.
As you are taking over the site, be careful of possible enemy hiding spots. On the A-Site, enemies can be tucked away in four positions: 'Dark,' 'Sandwich,' 'Ninja,' and 'Firebox.' It is unbelievable how many rounds are lost because an enemy managed to stay hidden in one of these spots while the Terrorists ran around liked chickens with their heads cut off. It is much better to lose a little time checking these spots, than finally planting the bomb only to end up looking at a grinning Counter-Terrorist like a deer caught in the headlights.
Once you have cleared the site, it is time to plant the bomb. Relying on the intel on your enemies' positions, you will have to find a spot where you can plant without being shot to pieces by a determined Counter-Terrorist. Without sufficient utility, any such decision is a calculated risk. However, there are a few spots on A-Site which have the best chance of shielding you from your pesky enemies.
First of all, there is the default plant. Planting on default will cover you from Jungle and Stairs, but will leave you open for CT-Spawn. The smoke you threw earlier might protect you from being spotted by an enemy in CT-spawn, but because this plant is very often used, there is a chance that the CT will spray or even push through the smoke. In case you pull off this plant, you have the perfect opportunity to climb up the ladder into Palace for an excellent after-plant position. From Palace, you can easily bait your opponents into having to defuse the bomb as you wiggle-peek and release some shots. You can even throw a Molotov without being exposed that burns anyone close to the bomb. This strategy works best if there is only one opponent left, as climbing into Palace leaves you very exposed from many angles and, if the enemy team knows where you are, they can have one player defuse while the other holds your angle.
Plant for Short
If you are feeling a little friskier, you might try and plant for Short. This way, your opponents will not be able to defuse the bomb until they kill you on Short. If you play things right, this can make them lose a lot of valuable time, which might win you the round if you would bite the dust. However, this is a hazardous plant and usually only worth it if you know the remaining players are rotating from B through CT. If there are multiple enemies alive, you might want the Jungle/Connector smoke to protect you, as planting in this spot leaves you very exposed to Jungle, Connector, Stairs, and even CT-Spawn if that player decides to push.
Once the bomb is planted, run towards Mid through Connector and run all the way to Short until you have a perfect view on the bomb. From this position, just wait until an enemy defuses, check if he fakes the defuse and if not, unleash a storm of bullets on him. However, be careful of any enemies that might be rotating through Middle or T-Spawn. If you want to trick your enemies, you can also retreat to Ramp.
Plant for Ramp
An equally useful but risky bomb-plant is on the right side of default. This plant allows you to hide in Ramp and fire away at anyone that dares to touch the bomb. However, just like the previous one, you will be left out in the open when you're at your most vulnerable. This plant is usually only worth it if you know your enemies' rotation will take sufficiently long so you can safely withdraw to the comforts of your hiding spot. Moreover, this plant will allow you to throw the pop-flash mentioned earlier, which can delay the CT's bomb disposal even more.
Plant for Sandwich
Finally, if you want to mix things up, you can also plant for Sandwich. This position should protect you from CT-Spawn, but you will want a smoke for Connector and preferably one on Stairs too. Once again, the Sandwich after-plant position is better if only one or two enemies are still alive. Otherwise, once your location is known, your enemies will swarm you, and you will be trapped like a rat in a cage.
Once you are hidden in your after-plant position, it is time to play smart rather than using brute force. First of all, force the Counter-Terrorists to face you one by one. Having multiple enemies unload their clips on you at once is a guaranteed death sentence. Secondly, once you are discovered, use all of your utility to stay alive for as long as possible. Every second of delay can be enough to save the round. Finally, if you hear the sound of the bomb being dismantled, be careful for fake defuses. Shoulder-peek to confirm whether the Counter-Terrorist is still defusing the bomb and react accordingly. If multiple enemies are alive and you know there is no time for another CT to start defusing again, you should try to kill the one defusing the bomb even if it means sacrificing yourself.
These survival tips should help you win some rounds. However, keep in mind that the most essential skills to consistently win rounds are adaptability and variety. If your enemies throw a fire grenade onto the spot you were planning to plant the bomb, be ready to switch over to another strategy immediately. In the same vein, don't use the same approach over and over again, but switch up your plans of action. For example, try to trick your enemies by planting the bomb in the same spot, but hiding in another, unexpected position.