No Money, No Problem: Eco Strats for your Cache Terrorist Side
Fri 17th Jul 2015 - 10:01pm
I have to make one quick note before we begin: it’s important to remember that your goals for an eco round on T-side aren’t the same as they are during gun rounds -- you’re trying to cause economic damage to the enemy team to prevent them from establishing their economy, while simultaneously building your own economy through bomb plants.
In an eco round, you need to adjust your definition of “winning” -- if your team kills 2-3 CTs and/or gets a bomb plant during an eco round, then it’s a success.
It's tempting to call for a rush into a random site, hoping you'll score a lucky frag or two and potentially be able to get a plant. Part of what makes the eco round such a fascinating gameplay mechanic is that it allows you to adjust your playstyle and discover new and exciting ways to play rounds -- you can do things that you would never risk doing during an actual gun round, because you haven't made a massive economic investment in the outcome. If you play an eco round well, it can mean the difference between losing a game and winning a game.
So, let's start off by looking at a strategy that seems to lack much in the way of depth or finesse and figure out how to turn it into a viable and potentially round-winning strategy.
Strat #1: Rush Z Connector
“ALL MID, ALL MID, ALL MID!"
Your team is going to fully commit to rushing mid with glocks/P250s and no kevlar. There is a single goal at the start of this round: to get as many Terrorists into the Z connector as possible. The difference between most “eco rush” strats for the Terrorist side and this one is that you’re not attacking a bombsite, you’re focusing your offensive efforts on a single isolated member of the Counter-Terrorist team and gaining control of a dynamic and powerful position on the map. If the Terrorist team has full control of both Z and Mid, they are able to attack either bombsite easily, and, furthermore, are now equipped to deny the fastest and safest rotation route for CTs between the two sites.
Recommended Utility Grenades:
- 1 player with two flashes and a smoke grenade
- 2 players each with one flash of their own
However! I would like to point out that this strategy is highly situational, and is best used under the following conditions:
- You lost a bunch of rounds in a row, won one, and then lost the next one, so you have to full eco in the middle of the half.
- You know the enemy team has an AWP that likes to play Mid from Z connector or White Box.
- If the CTs have been using a 2-1-2 setup for their defense (2 players on A, 1 player Mid, and 2 players B).
- You understand that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Your entire team goes into Garage on your side of Mid. If the exit to Mid is smoked off, wait it out. One player should be preparing to throw two flashes into Mid -- once the flashes are announced and thrown, the charge begins immediately.
Your primary focus needs to be on getting into Z, so it’s important that you don’t get distracted or killed by a CT on highway. Throw one smoke onto Highway, followed by a flash or two, if they’re still available.
Once the AWPer calls that 5 players are rushing Mid, the fastest place that the CT side can offer support to the AWPer from is Highway. Thus, the line of sight towards Mid through Highway is obscured, and the Counter-Terrorist in Z is fully isolated, meaning that your team is now able to safely close the distance without having to worry about being attacked from another angle.
Once your team has moved into Z, you have a free AWP. Congratulations! However, if the AWPer falls back from Z after seeing you (which is the smart play in this situation), follow them and keep shooting until they’re dead. This goes back to some Counter-Strike fundamentals -- the easiest way to counter an AWPer is to rush them down. Even if they pull out a pistol as you get closer, a lone Counter-Terrorist will be decimated by four close-range Glock spamming Terrorists nine times out of ten.
Now, let’s say that three of your team members survived your journey across Mid. Although there’s no set play for how to handle the rest of the round, here are the two options that I’ve found work fairly well.
- Attack B through Tree Room and Heaven, and secure a fast plant. Depending on how well the other team is communicating, you might be able to catch one of the CTs that are holding B by surprise and score another free kill. If you have enough teammates alive, one should hold a defensive position in CT Spawn to cut off or delay the rotation from A.
- Throw away the AWP. I know, you really want to hold onto it, but if you lost 3 teammates while crossing Mid, you’re almost certainly not going to win the round, which means that the CTs will get their AWP back as soon as you die. Find a place to throw the sniper rifle where it can’t be retrieved before the end of the round (such as deep in CT spawn or on top of one of the props in tree room), and the enemy team will have to re-invest $4750 if they want an AWP. Again, this is situational. If you're in a 5 v 3 (your favor) after crossing Mid, then it's a good idea to hang onto the AWP and see how the round plays out. But if you're in, say, a 2 v 4, then it's time to cut your losses and toss the AWP away.
One possible variant is to have one player on your team lurking in B halls while the rest of you run towards Z. That way, after you make it through Z and start attacking the B bombsite, you’re able to attack through three different angles; Heaven, Tree Room, and B Main (or Checkers). If you choose to go with this variation, the smokes and flashes for Highway are a requirement for limiting the amount of damage you sustain while attacking Z.
The short-lived NA mix team Torqued used this strat to great effect in several games played during early 2015. In this POV video from Joshua “steel” Nissan’s Twitch stream, Torqued, who were now on match point (15 - 12), originally planned to rush highway from mid, but he made a call for the team to all go Z. Once they had secured control of Z, one of the Ts set up a lurking position in Mid, and managed to pick off two rotating CTs. One of the A defenders tried to attack the Terrorists in CT spawn from Truck, and met his demise. Another teammate, who had made his way up to Heaven on B site, was able to score another kill, meaning that Torqued was left in a 4 v 1 and managed to not only win the round, but the game itself.
I would, however, point out, that this is an incredibly easy strat for the CT defense to counter without even meaning to -- if there are two CTs defending Mid, or if the CT guarding Z has an M4 instead of an AWP, or, even worse, if the CTs are defending Mid with three players, then your army of Glocks will meet a very quick demise.
Strat #2: Rush B, Please Stop
“B B B B B B B -- wait, it’s planted A?”
This one is a simple fake, but it works almost every time. 4 brave Terrorists push into B halls, spamming Tec-9s, Glocks, or P250s at B Main and hopefully baiting a CT into peeking them. Meanwhile, the other terrorist (who has been given the bomb), slowly walks into the Squeaky door hallway and waits. The players in B halls need to let themselves be spotted by one of the CTs on B -- their goal is to make it look like they’re messing up a B rush and draw out an overrotation off of A, thereby letting the player in Squeaky sneak out onto the site and get a free bomb plant.
This eco strat is a good choice for when you’re on a full save and the enemy knows it. An overrotation off of the A bombsite is much more likely when the enemy team knows that the Ts are going to be lacking rifles and/or armor, partially because almost everyone gets hungry for eco-frags, and partially because there’s nothing particularly suspicious about Ts opting for a B rush when they’re eco-ing.
Things to consider:
- This strat relies on your teammates in B halls to be spotted by the CTs on site AND stay alive long enough for the other team to either partially or fully rotate off of the A bombsite. If everyone dies in B halls immediately to the CTs that are holding the site, then you’re less likely to pull a full rotation off of A.
- The sound cue from opening Squeaky will alert CTs to your presence if they’re still hanging around on site, so you’ll have to plant fast -- check Quad/Forklift and go for the fastest and safest plant you can. Commit to the plant, even if you hear the footsteps of a rabid mob of CTs approaching.
- There’s always a chance that one of the CTs will decide to rotate through Squeaky over to B after your teammates have been spotted--most people would go through A main for this rotation, but people (especially in MM) are unpredictable. There isn’t a whole lot the bomb carrier can do to counter this, other than hope you manage to catch the CT with their guard down and take them out with your pistol before running to the site and planting immediately.
- Following your team’s initial aggression towards the site, and after you’ve been spotted, falling back to sun room or the part of B halls that connects to the Mid warehouse is a great way to convince the enemy that you really just suck at B rushes - which is the play that you’re trying to convince them you’re doing. Teammates should occasionally peek out and fire off shots towards the site. Don’t give them any reason to think that you have a presence anywhere else on the map.
- If you’re playing against a disciplined CT team, it’s common for one player to remain watching A site from a position like Truck while the rest of the team rotates. But even if this lone defender hears the sound cue from the door opening, there’s a very small window of time in which they’re able to stop you from planting. Yes, you will probably die immediately afterwards, but you got the plant, and that was the whole point.
Na’Vi actually pulled this one off in their ESL ESEA Pro League game against EnVyUs on June 11th, 2015. It worked perfectly, and you can watch the full round play out here if you're interested.
Both of these strats are incredibly simple, and are easy to do in a PUG or MM if your team is communicating-- there aren’t any complicated timings, no complicated smokes to line up and coordinate, or anything of that sort, so they’re perfect for playing with a group of strangers. And, as both Na’Vi and Torqued have proved, they can also work in higher level CS. Happy fragging!
Got comments, ideas, or feedback? I’d love to hear what you have to say. You can find me on twitter (@jpcorner) or just drop a comment below and I'll read it.
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