Organization and communication are what makes a team ‘a team.’ Success comes with the coordination of the team and the skills each player brings. Those split-second decisions usually are the burden of the player, but the consequences of those decisions are always the burden of the team. That’s how it is.
Now, both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty are big names in eSports. It could be argued that they stand at the core of competitive shooters. There are games like Overwatch and more recently Rainbow Six Siege, but they each are unique versions of the classic shooters.
The two games covered in this lesson are those that everybody tends to accept as the standards for the genre. They are classic shooters. So, let’s learn!
This game has been around since 2012. Many of the teams playing this eSport have been doing so for a long time. Their skills are sharp, they’ve got plenty of competitions under their belt. Newer teams might have to work harder to rise among so many greats.
But if the cooperation is there, if the shots are good, then accomplishments await. Each member of a CS:GO team needs to be able to make decisive actions on the fly. They have to be able to commit to their choices, and support their teammates’ choices.
The frontline soldier. The Entry Fragger is the member of the team tasked with opening the round with a kill. Any team will say, the first kill is very important, especially for the Terrorists. The Entry Fragger has to be the first one in and nail that first kill in order to gain an advantage.
Some traits that are associated with this role are (1) excellent crosshair placement, (2) great recoil control, and (3) high aggression. All of these are needed to charge in and score a kill in those crucial early moments of the match. The Entry Fragger also must be a better-than-average communicator because they are also a scout. They see the enemy first. So, even if they die, an Entry Fragger’s job is to call out where they saw enemies.
Like the name, this player is closely tied to the Entry Fragger. If the Entry Fragger goes in and goes down without getting a kill, the Refragger’s goal is to go in and get that trade kill. That said, a good Refragger is not going to refrain from helping the Entry Fragger.
The Refragger can be the temporary support and throw a flashbang ahead of the Entry Fragger to gain an edge. Some traits associated with this role are (1) consistent clutch player, (2) moderate aggression, and (3) creativity.
A creative Refragger can devise ways of assisting the Entry Fragger in the opening engagement. That could be providing cover fire from an unexpected angle, at the simplest.
Strategy ‘Strat’ Caller
The commander of the team, the Strat Caller lays out the strategy of the round and adjusts the positioning and rotations on the fly. This player has the heaviest burden of decision because one flawed call might cost the round and earn an earful of backlash. However, the Star Caller is not a physically assertive player on the team; they play support.
A Strat Caller will be (1) calm, (2) ready to use a pop flash or smoke to cover a teammate, and (3) confident to pick up trade kills.
Becoming a skilled Strat Caller requires thorough knowledge of the game. Understanding the timing, in particular, can be crucial to reading the match. Reading the match is almost useless without communicative skills, too. The Strat Caller has to inform their teammates as frequently as they breathe—that’s how do-or-die competitive matches become.
About as stealthy as can be in a game like CS:GO, the Lurker’s primary duty is to be the true scout. Reconnaissance is priority number one. They detach from the group and roam alone. They are completely vulnerable, but skilled Lurkers stalk in the shadows. Behind structures, in corners; the Lurker has to remain out of sight while relaying information about the enemy team to the Strat Caller.
Some traits associated with a Lurker are (1) excellent awareness, (2) predatory patience, and (3) advanced knowledge of positioning and rotations. Adept Lurkers might score a pivotal frag and highlight the enemy players for their team. Outstanding Lurkers will position themselves in a variety of places and masterfully use sound, a true stealth maestro. They’re surprise attacks are unpredictable and any team that can’t cope with them may find their morale dropping.
There can be variation between teams (there are no official roles), but the player with the role of AWPer is the one who primarily uses that weapon. So, it’s pretty clear that the job of the AWPer is to win firefights. They’re capable of devastating a team. The AWPer has to move through and score kills through tight angles, always at range.
Some traits associated with AWPers are (1) great reaction speed, (2) mobile precision, and (3) temperament. AWPers that get frustrated with misses and charge forward are almost always quickly put down. The better players will be able to remain calm and engaged, which sharpens their reflexes and allows for clearer, more concise communication. AWPers also have the ability to enter early like an Entry Fragger.
Call of Duty
Unlike CS:GO, Call of Duty has released many titles over the years. It’s gameplay has made significant changes in each rendition, evolving into more futuristic warfare similar to Halo. The game has many other mechanics that distinguish it from CS:GO, yet it still remains an archetypal shooter.
Competitively, there is less difference between the two. Call of Duty teams need the same amount of communication, information needs to flow constantly. Tactical verbal exchanges separate a team from a group.
This player must be driven to the objective. They are obsessed with capturing the flag, transporting and planting a bomb, holding the hill or zone, and anything else that earns the big points.
An Objective player is not a rigid position, none of these are. There is plenty of different configurations of positions within teams. They can pull back to assist a teammate or move out for a coordinated push. Adaptability is a huge strength for any player in any role.
Calling back to Halo, these are the Master Chief’s of the team. “I need a weapon,” is all they say, then they get to work. A Slayer’s job is to fill the opposing team with lead, volts, explosive energy, or flames. They are killers. The highly skilled Slayers seem to find a balance between aggression and rationality—they don’t go berserk yet don’t shy away from a fight.
Anything more to be said about Slayers? Stay out of their sights.
A more versatile player might take up this role because a Support should be able to help wherever, whenever. Period. They can substitute other positions because of their versatility. For example, if an Objective player is killed on a point, the Support can act as the Objective player till the former is back.
Similarly, a Support might keep close to a Slayer. If the Slayer dies, the Support will try to hold that position until the firepower comes back. It’s crucial that the team communicate so that the situation where the Slayer dies and the Support is on the other side of the map doesn’t happen.
Anchors can be called something like a ‘Last Stand’ sort of role. They’re a rallying point because they’re duty is to protect the spawn zone. It’s an imperative job, defending the spawn, especially when the opposing team is closing in. Anchors don’t have to be aggressive so much as they have to be responsive.
If an enemy treads close to the spawn, respond. If the Slayer and Objective are bickering due to frustration, respond. The Anchor is away from the action for enough time to be a regulator or moderator of the team’s communication. As said before, these are fast-paced, high-stress games where it’s easy to lash out at undeserving teammates. In order to keep everybody cool and performing at their best, the Anchor can facilitate communication and strategy.
That is, when they’re not repelling enemies from spawn-camping.