Winning at Pro CSGO – Team Communication as a Path to Victory

Team communication can be the ‘make or break’ definitive in CSGO, ensuring either that a team does exceptionally well, working together as a cohesive unit, or that it fragments into individually-fighting hot-heads. Ideally speaking, good team communication should allow you to focus on your game instead of continually checking the radar.

There are several categories in team communication. There are requests and proposals, there is the information you give your teammates about the location of opponents, and of course there is information about your own actions or a change in battle tactics.

As a member of a team, you must respect the hierarchy

Except in exceptional cases, one does not contradict a call from the team leader in CSGO. One must wait for the end of the round, or even the end of the match if one wants to challenge the team leader’s strategy. The ideal time to talk strategy or to discuss what you think a team leader did wrong is during the debriefing at the end of the match.

If you challenge the team leader during the match, it could turn into an argument, distracting the whole team and actually causing you to lose the match. Doing this a few times is enough to get you booted from a pro team.

Briefing sessions

Any pro team should have a briefing and debriefing session before and after a match. The pre-match briefing can serve as a reminder of the tactics chosen by the team, and can also provide a boost to the team’s morale. The debriefing is done at the end of the game, and is a place for discussing what could have been done better in the match, and other possible strategies that could be applied in similar situations.

FaZe Clan at ESL Pro League Season 6

Image Credit: ESL

How you give information is crucially important in any scenario

For example, let’s say you’re a counter terrorist on Dust 2, stationed in the long area, and terrorists move into this area in strength. Your teammates will need to know a lot of details, all of which will help them to decide whether or not they should leave their positions. The right information could also let your team know where backup will do the most good.

The information you give your team should run something like this… “Mass flash in long. At least three opponents. A rush with the bomb”.

With information like that, one of your team members on site B knows that the terrorists are probably going to make an attempt to take site A. A player stationed this way can then provide backup by paying attention to the opposing team’s mid lurker.

If your information is too limited, for example, if you simply shout, “A rush in long,” this will  not have the same effect, and backup may not arrive  in the right place or it may arrive late.

You must always give the number of opponents seen

If you’re not sure as to the number of your opponents, it is important to specify at least how many opponents you have seen. This helps to prevent your teammates being hit by lurkers from the opposing team. It is also important to provide information as to the placement of the bomb, as the placement of the bomb guarantees that the attack is not a faint.

Try to read the attitude of the attackers

Does it look like a fake attack or a feint? Do you see a lurker? Does it look like an aggressive all out rush?

csgo maps overpass - using the AWP aggressively

It’s also very important to define your own position at regular intervals

If you’re part of a two men team in A, you must tell your teammates if you move from your position. You can speak in terms of, “I’m leaving A,” or “I’m pushing towards B,” and so on. You may think that your teammates can see your position for themselves. But the real fact is that a player focuses on his game and cannot keep checking the position of his teammates.

Having team members regularly call out their positions fixes a mental picture of where all the members of the team are located in each team member’s mind, and makes strategies that much easier to execute.

Other examples…

A CT sniper has to change his position regularly, and he must announce each position change to his team, and also request support and backup as and when he needs it.

If you’re playing terrorists, are taking apartment B in Mirage, you must tell a teammate you’re working with exactly what you’re doing in detail. This turns into a play by play description: “I’m taking the truck,” “I’m using a smoke,” “I’m flashing this area”, “Go,” and so on.

Talk before you move!

When making descriptions of this sort, you might actually describe an action a fraction of a second before you make it. This accounts for any slight delay in transmission, and improves the response time of your teammate. This is the way to set up the ideal timing while taking an area with a flash.

Contributing to strategy

Don’t hesitate to demand things from your teammates, and do not be afraid of making a mistake. A team is a composite unit, and your needs for support or backup may be crucial – of course, depending on the situation. While the hierarchy must be respected, and team leaders orders obeyed, in reality each member of the team must contribute to the team’s strategy. If you feel that an attack is headed for the location where you’re stationed, you can request a rotation or ask for backup.

It all depends upon what you see

If you see a clear opportunity to attack, or to take the map, or even to take out a few of the opposing team with little risk, you must tell your teammates about it, so that the team can set up an attack or an ambush.

This sort of attitude is especially important in tactical breaks

Remember that a team leader, no matter how competent, is still human and can make mistakes. The team leader by himself does not have as much information as the entire team combined, so combining your information and ideas can be crucial to an offensive strategy. In tactical breaks, the entire team gets together to analyze the opposition’s attack and defence strategies, and to find ways to counter them.

Astralis are back - defeat FaZe Clan. Astralis dupreeh

Image Credit: ELEAGUE

Any ideas or observations on your front can be important

If the enemy team seems to attack in a certain area consistently, or if they have any patterns of behaviour that your team can take advantage of, you must be sure to mention it. Similarly, observations about feints or fakes that the opposing team makes are also crucial to countering their strategy. Remember that the opposing team will also be analyzing your team’s strategy in tactical breaks, so it’s important to keep changing your strategies at regular intervals.

Angles and perspectives are everything in CSGO. Has it ever happened to you that you’ve been killed without even seeing your opponent while you were quietly holding a line as a counter terrorist? The reason for this could just be that you chose a position where your perspective wasn’t good enough for you to be able to see the opponent before he saw you.

Important things for the pro player to remember…

In CSGO, positioning is everything

This especially applies to movement. When you move around a corner, you must be careful that you do so in a way that allows you to see an opponent around the corner before he sees you. It’s all about the distance you keep from the angle of the corner. This determines what advantage or disadvantage you will have with an opponent waiting around that corner. To do this, you need to have some distance between you and the corner as you move around it.

The greater this distance, the more easily you will see an opponent waiting around the corner before he sees you. Try not to take a short angle, but if for some reason you absolutely must do so, then you have to run out quickly so that as to have the advantage of surprise. This principle works for angles, but it also works for heights.

The In-Game Camera in CSGO

Remember that the size of the player camera in the game when you’re standing is 64 units. This is a fixed value, so depending upon the model of the character you’re using and the weapon you have equipped, the camera will or will not be at the level of the front or eyes of the character. It is usually at the level of the eyes for terrorist and slightly below the level of the eyes for counter terrorists, since they have the CT helmet on.

Progressing at CSGO

The speed in which in which you depend in CSGO depends upon a lot of factors. Rest assured that if you have a competitive streak and take a lot of time and effort with your training, this will improve both your reflexes and your concentration in play, and you will progress much faster than someone who takes the game more lightly.

Do bear in mind that some people have a genetic advantage

That is to say, they naturally have faster reflexes than others. But this is nothing that cannot be cancelled out by training. A normal person who trains three times as much as a person who has genetically faster reflexes will become faster than that person in CSGO. So the training is everything.

CSGO Teams that Dominated the World through the Last Year

Another thing that is important is to not be demoralized when you’re stuck in a rank. Don’t be troubled by this, as competitive games are pretty much the same thing in Global as in Nova. There is no need to be too eager to push forward in the rankings. Instead, concentrate on your play, and on refining your skills.

Avoid stress

Counter Strike is a stressful game. Many players have no problems with that, but this is not the case with everyone. Stress comes mainly from the fact that each player on the team feels the weight of their responsibility to do well. If one player is performing under par, the whole team suffers, and may easily lose a match.

It’s important to understand that some situations are unavoidable

For example, you might duel too long in a 1vs1, and get shot by a sniper. Another such situation is when two opponents converge on you from two different directions at the same time, leaving you with little or no chance of survival. These are all very normal situations in CSGO, and if something like bad luck is what stresses you out, then Counter Strike is not the game for you.

CSGO pro update audio occlusion

Image Credit: Valve

Counter Strike demands that a player train to be at his very optimal and then do his best, but not worry about the inevitable bad luck that can sometimes happen, when you’re placed in an impossible situation that you cannot survive.

Take it in the teeth, and move on…

It may happen in some of your initial matches that you throw a grenade at the feet of your own team, for example. That’s not a disaster that usually happens to a pro squad, but in the initial stages of gearing up for pro play it’s the sort of thing that can happen, and you must not let it stress you out.

From stress to aggression and alertness

You have to channel all this stress, or potential stress, into aggression and alertness. It’s good to know at the back of your mind that if you go down, the match may be lost, as this brings your reflexes to hair trigger levels. This is the sort of mindset, or good stress, that can be the difference between success and failure for your entire team.

So by all means maintain this awareness of the importance to succeed, without cursing yourself for a random disaster that may cause you to fail.

A good word for others reduces stress

Remember that motivation is important, so always have a nice word for one of your team members who performs well, and always include a little motivational phrase at the beginning of the match. It doesn’t have to be anything poetic, and can be something very simple and direct, but your teammates will appreciate it.

Learn to get past slumps

There will inevitably be days, or weeks, or even entire months when you will do terribly badly, when your timing will be off, and when you will not seem to be able to succeed in just about any situation in CSGO. Rest assured that while this is likely to happen at some point in your career, that it also happens to the greatest players.

Olofmeister, for example, has seen this happen. It can be due to injury, or psychological pressure, or just about anything. Dev1ce, for example, had a serious illness that was massively affecting his play until he took time off to have it seen to and came back better than ever before.

Astralis in trouble with dev1ce sick

Image Credit: Astralis

And that’s perhaps the ultimate lesson in CSGO

You must know when to take a break, when you’ve been working so hard that your reflexes are shot. It’s good to take the air sometimes during the day, to do a little exercise, to go for a small walk, or to take the weekend off. It’s also good to play other games sometimes, or travel a bit and see the world.

Your break does not have to be very long. The odd week off will not do you any harm, and neither will a regular weekend free of CSGO. Rest assured that you will return to your game better than you were before your break, rested and with a mind that is calm and alert, which is the best possible mind set in which to play good CSGO.


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