CS:GO Pro Strategies to Dominate Each Map in the Game

In the last pro play article we mentioned different roles in CS:GO. In this article we’ll go into those roles in a little more detail, and we’ll also tell you how to apply those roles in combinations in the different maps in Counter Strike. This article will also contain detailed strategies on how to dominate each of the popular maps in CS:GO.

What role a pro player takes depends upon the individual playing style of that particular player. While each role highlights the strengths and weaknesses of a particular player, these different styles of play are actually very beneficial to a team. Each role becomes part of a well-rounded strategy, and therefore makes the team much more effective.

Now let’s examine pro team roles in more detail

The Entry Fragger

The first man into any combat zone is the entry fragger. Entry fraggers are the first to engage the enemy, and are used to acquire positions on the map, or dominate areas. Often very aggressive in their style of play, entry fraggers are recognizable for both speed and accuracy. They must also have excellent reactions and think strategically in combat, because they must deal with Molotov, Flash and Frag Grenades.

Crucial actions for the Entry Fragger: Theirs is obviously the most high risk role, and they must always try to absorb as much information as they can, even as they make their entry, and relay this to their teammates, so their teammates know the relative positions and strategy of the enemy team. It goes without saying that a pro team can have more than one entry fragger, in which case the job of the second entry fragger is to complete the tasks of the front line fragger – if he is killed, for example; or to assist him in his role in entry situations.

Rain, suNny and Tarik have all played entry. Dupreeh was also an exceptional entry man, before he diversified into other roles to help his team. He can still play entry very effectively, as he recently showed when Astralis took DreamHack Marseille 2018.

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Another important pro team role is Support. A player who plays support has two important roles. Firstly, the support man has to make rushes alongside the entry fragger, as well as take counter kills in case the entry fragger dies. In addition, a player who plays support must be adept at throwing grenades, as well as be able to place those grenades strategically to help the entry fragger to fight optimally.

Crucial actions for the Support Man: A good support man allows the entry fragger to move faster and to concentrate upon combat and fighting, which in turn allows the entry fragger to dominate positions more easily. A support man must be excellent at aiming grenades, and at judging their trajectories. The support man must also know how to co-ordinate with his teammates in order to finish targets that may have been injured by the entry man. Good examples of support men are Xizt, STYKO and KRIMZ.

The Lurker

The lurker is a guerilla fighter who tends to bypass the main thrust of his team in order to take the enemy by surprise in the flank. A lurker needs perhaps the greatest instinct for strategy, as he must position himself correctly and know exactly when to engage the enemy. Lurkers are often the most experienced players on the team. Olofmeister, ropz and Magisk have been legendary as lurkers.

Riflers and AWPers

The terms riflers and AWPers, of course, refer to the weapons the players are using. Many pro teams rely on a combination of four riflers and one AWPer. Since the AWP is so expensive, using an AWPer can define a team’s economic strategy, with the team actually budgeting to ensure that the AWP is functional in certain rounds. While the role of AWPer is difficult for many people to play, the AWP can massively add to a team’s strategy, since it allows the AWPer to dominate positions over extreme ranges. Do note that even a player who specializes in the AWP must be extremely proficient with a rifle, as a team’s economy may not always allow them to buy an AWP. Oscar, GuardiaN and dev1ce are known AWPers. Flusha and Rush, as a counter example, tend to play solely with the rifle.

There are also pro players who specialize in AWPing as a secondary skill; which means they are essentially riflers, but can also be effective with an AWP. Many teams take on a second AWP if they manage to pick it up in combat, or if their economy is exceptionally good. This combination of two AWPs is actually not all that successful in combat, as we’ve seen in many pro matches. Nevertheless, examples of exceptional secondary AWPers are coldzera and Nico.

In Game Leader

This is obviously one of the most important roles in the game, yet a role that has very little power unless all the players on the team are competent in their own roles. The leader of a team knows all the strategies that the team is competent in, and chooses the strategy best suited to a particular situation. He needs to be versatile, and needs to be able to change strategies on the spur of the moment if necessary. The leader also tells the team when to rotate, when to buy, when to save, or even when to attack a bomb site. He needs to be able to assess what strategy the opposing team is using, and then to think about how best to counter it.

It goes without saying that the in game leader also needs to be able to play effectively while doing all this. Do note that having a coach in the background to enhance strategy can take a good amount of this pressure off an in game leader.

CSGO pro strategies to dominate individual maps

Team Combinations

Since there are five players on a team, these can be split into different combinations depending upon which strategy is being executed. A 1-1-3 combination means that three rifles on the team tend to move as a unit, with one lurker in the background and one AWPer providing long range fire support. A 2-3 combination is used on the rare occasion when there are two AWPers operating simultaneously on the team. In which case, there are three riflers with two AWPers in the background providing long range support. A 1-2-2 combination is mostly used in a defensive role for a slow game, and is more often used by counter terrorists than terrorists. Now let’s go on to the different maps, and discuss strategies that are optimal for each map.

Dust 2

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s crucial that we discuss strategies for Dust 2 first, as this map has just been added to the active pool, taking the place of Cobblestone. If you’ve been playing Dust 2 regularly, you’ll be ready to take on your opponents in this map in pro play. But even if you haven’t, you’ll find applying the strategies below can be quite effective.

Counter Terrorist strategies for Dust 2

Dust 2 is a map that structurally favors terrorists, because all the zones are far too open to be completely defended by five players. This means that counter terrorists always have to sacrifice a zone. The sacrifice of a zone must be compensated for by a fast and intelligent rotation where needed. Remember that just because a map favors terrorists doesn’t mean that counter terrorists cannot win rounds in it. Even in a map that favors terrorists, counter terrorists can easily win at least sixty percent of the rounds. This is often the case in Dust 2, as is the inverse on Cobblestone.

When you are playing as counter terrorists in Dust 2, you need to use the advantage of distance that the USP or P2000 gives you. Avoid areas like the corners, and do not rush to take positions. Instead, let your opponents pass you, and retake zones from them after their strength has been depleted.

Here are team combinations that are effective for counter terrorists on Dust 2.

The classic 2-1-2 setup

This setup places two players in long, one player in mid, and two players on B. The advantages of this is that it provides for a good defense of site B, and allows for a rapid rotation to counter multiple possible strategies by your opponents. Its disadvantage is that the AWP in the middle is very vulnerable, and some teams will heavily rush one side, upsetting the balance on the map.

The 3-0-2 combination

This combination allows for three players to take the long area, with the pivot immediately departing to move on to the B side with the remaining two players. This combination has the advantage of a good defense, but it is vulnerable to a 3-2 attack on the B site. Nevertheless, in the hands of a pro game leader whose strategies are sufficiently flexible, it is an effective combination. It requires excellent timing, as well as small intermediate strategies such as a short attack to take the tunnel, and effective rotations.

CSGO pro moves for Dust2

Playing Dust 2 as Terrorists

When you play Dust 2 as terrorists you must almost always go for a 1-3-1 combination to control the map and then focus on a strategy. Remember when playing this map as terrorists that there are many zones on the map in which your opponents are weak, but especially the mid zone.

Throw your force in a 3-2 combination at the B site and that will force the counter terrorists to position themselves in a 2-1-2 combination. When they do this, immediately move through mid and you will have a free field to take bombsite A, which will allow you to effortlessly plant the bomb and take the map. Just remember when you plan your strategies on Dust 2, that the counter terrorists cannot possibly defend the entire map. An attack on one bombsite will force them to move to that site, leaving the other one wide open to your attack.

Attack bombsite A, for example with flashes and smokes. In the confusion, as the counter terrorists move to direct a defense of A, you can shift your force to bombsite B in a 3-2 combination and take the site. This is one of the best ways to play Dust 2 as terrorists.


Playing Cache as Counter Terrorists

The middle ground in Cache is really the heart of the map, and if you lose control of this as counter terrorists, you are at the mercy of your opponents, and will be unable to predict their attacks. In general, when playing Cache as counter terrorists, you must play a stealth game in a 2-2-1 combination, or with a 1-2-2 combination that uses a double pivot. You will need one player more or less permanently in mid, and he should preferably be a rifler. You will need another player on bombsite A, which could be either a rifler or an AWPer, and another rifler or AWPer covering bombsite B. It’s also a good combination to have one player who defends mid among the sandbags, with one player defending the surroundings of the conduit, and having the remaining players pivot between site A and the mid.

If the mid remains uncontested, you can then cease to defend it, and concentrate on the bomb sites in a 2-1-2 combination, or a 3-0-2 combination. Remember that Cache is a fairly big map, and that counter terrorists can win a lot of rounds with aggressive attacks and counter attacks that are timed carefully. For example, do not hesitate to advance to bombsite B if it is not disputed in the first twenty seconds, and to make occasional aggressive attacks towards site A or towards the mid.

Terrorists on Cache

When terrorists play Cache, they must always try to dominate the mid, because if you dominate the mid as terrorists you can do what you want on Cache. The first thing you need to do as a pro team is to define a strategy to take the mid area of Cache. Once that’s done, you can focus on subsidiary strategies to take the A or B bombsites, or even simply weaken the counter terrorists’ defenses and then go for a full A or full B rush.

Feint attacks are very effective on Cache, so don’t hesitate to use them from time to time. For example, you can take the mid area and then feint towards A while actually moving immediately afterwards to take bombsite B.

CSGO pro overview


Mirage is a more closed map than Dust 2 and Cache, and while mid is not quite the heart of the battle here, it still remains essential to take it.

Counter Terrorists on Mirage

When you play Mirage as counter terrorists, you will almost always use the 2-1-2 combination, usually with the AWP in a window. Mirage require that counter terrorists be very flexible. For example, if you notice that your enemy is dominating mid in Mirage, you need to shift your combination to a 1-3-1 for a short period. Timing is important, and a pro team playing Mirage must time their strategies very precisely. For example, if you notice that your opponents are smoking site A in order to go for an all-out rush, it may be wise to flash them, and then to go for a carefully-timed counter rush.

The same goes for the mid. If it is not disputed in the beginning of the round, a rifler can advance through it with AWP support, and a support man with flash grenades.

Playing Mirage as Terrorists

Mirage is large, and as terrorists you will never be able to control the entire map, so you must prioritize and make decisions as to which areas you wish to control. One of the ideal pro combinations for terrorists in Mirage is a mid 1-3-1 combination that fights passively, and advances gradually in any direction in which the enemy shows weakness. Mirage requires very calm decision making and strategy from terrorists, and no decision must be made lightly or in the heat of the moment. The main pro strategies that you will use on this map are a combined rush to bombsites A or B, or an advance on the bombsites from a strong position in mid.

CSGO pro gameplay

The importance of a good economy in Counter Strike

Counter Strike really hinges upon its economy, and you must execute those actions that makes you the most money if you are to dominate a match or a match series. Here are the actions that will grant you rewards.

If you kill all the members of the enemy team, you can net around 3,250 dollars. Similarly, if you manage to time out the map as counter terrorists, you get the same amount, that is to say 3,250 dollars. Conversely, if you time out as terrorists, you get nothing.

If the terrorists manage to detonate the bomb, they get 3,500 dollars, while if the counter terrorists manage to defuse the bomb they get same amount of money. If you plant the bomb, and still lose as terrorists, you nevertheless get 800 dollars.

There are also individual rewards

For example, if you make a kill with a gun, a rifle or a P90, you get 300 dollars. If you make a kill with any sub-machine gun except the P90, you get 600 dollars. A kill with a shotgun will net you 900 dollars, while setting or defusing the bomb nets you another 900 dollars.

As you can see, the goal in pro Counter Strike is to win rounds while reaching these individual and team goals. Winning or losing rounds also defines how much money you earn, and the end of a round reward varies depending upon the number of rounds won or lost in a row. On a winning streak, for example, the first round will earn you 1,400 dollars, the second 1,900 dollars and subsequent wins 2,400 dollars, 2,900 dollars and finally 3,400 dollars respectively.

The pistol round is especially important as it tends to define the economy for the next four rounds.

Economic Strategies in CS:GO

The Pistol round

In the pistol round you only have 800 dollars for your equipment, so you’re advised to either buy Kevlar, or to buy grenades, or, in the case of counter terrorists, a bomb defusal kit. Remember that in the pistol round weapons can usually take a kill with one or two head-shots, so basic weapons like the Glock, USP or P2000 are perfectly acceptable. The Kevlar allows you to take more damage, giving you an edge in duels.

Eco round

Eco rounds occur when the team is so low on funds that one or more members cannot afford the basic Kevlar and rifle. Teams going eco will usually only buy a P250. Even in an eco round, if you can afford a helmet, you should go for it, as it increases your chances of survival.

Armed rounds

These are rounds in which you are able to buy the weapons of your choice, and it goes without saying that Kevlar, and a helmet and rifle combination mark the bare minimum of what you’ll need here. Armed rounds cost you at least 3,700 dollars as a terrorist, and 4,100 dollars if you are a counter terrorist. You can opt for a Famas as a counter terrorist, or a Galil as a terrorist to reduce this cost to some extent. You must keep a careful eye upon how much money your teammates have.

CSGO Tips for Going Pro – Buys, Peeking, Survival, and much more

Do not make your buys as individuals, but as a team

This is because if you buy as individuals it can break the economics of the team. If you happen to have more money, it goes without saying that you must purchase a weapon for your teammates, that is to say, without forcing yourself to go eco in subsequent rounds. A good economic tip is to take a shotgun along on maps with lots of interior spaces, such as Inferno or Nuke, because it gives you 900 dollars for each kill, and these kills are easy in enclosed places. Always try for the better paying kill, if it is – of course – feasible within the overall strategy of your team. Economics really does define victory to a considerable extent in Counter Strike and must not be ignored.

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