Just like in any other multiplayer game, CS:GO requires some measure of skill to best your opponent. It is also a team-based shooter, meaning that victory depends not just on your skill, but also on your ability to communicate and play with your teammates.
If you’d ever get tired of playing solo and you’d try to create your own team or join one, you’ll have a particular role in that team. These roles may overlap in some things, but they have to compliment each other. Who should you invite to your team? Let’s find out.
Players' roles in a CS:GO team
Several years ago Counter-Strike didn’t have any strict division between roles. Of course, every team had a sniper and a captain, but that was it. As time went on, professional players understood that in a system like that, everyone ends up doing almost the same thing. It’s not really effective from the teamplay’s point of view. It’s much more convenient when everyone helps and compliments each other, right? So, let’s take a look at the most common roles in CS:GO.
Captain (IGL) in CS:GO
There can be no team without a captain, not only in cybersports, but in general. You might say that you and your friends are doing just fine without anyone calling the shots in matchmaking. In that case, here’s a question for you: have you ever tried playing with a single competent player making calls like where to go and what to do around the map? Just try that and you’ll immediately see a difference.
A shooting captain is a rare sight. We mean players that top the scoreboard at the end of a match despite also being the leader. Why? Because their brains are busy with entirely other things, like decision making, analysing movement of the opposing team and much much more.
Along with the ability to keep everything we’ve mentioned above in mind, the captain has to be charismatic and to be strategically competent, so his teammates would have absolute trust in him and his decisions. According to the information the team provides him with, the captain has to coordinate the others. He has to be able to radically change the tactics in case the previous ones failed. Only the most experienced player on a team can do that.
Sniper (AWPer) CS:GO role
Sniper is another key role in any team. As of now, teams stick to having a single sniper on their team. Why? Because a sniper's mobility is quite limited. With a heavy rifle such as AWP in hand, snipers can’t move as quickly around the map. If your team has two or even more snipers, you as a team will have more trouble getting to the key positions, making them easier for your opponent to hold on to.
A good sniper has to have an exceptional reaction time, accuracy and he has to find frags wherever his opponent doesn’t expect him to. That’s why snipers from the tier-1 teams are usually the most well known players on their team, even though his teammates might contribute to victory even more. You should also keep in mind that AWP isn’t the only weapon a sniper should be good with, but also with every main rifle and especially with pistols. He’ll have to use a pistol after missing with the AWP, but he won’t have any room for mistakes after that.
Entry Fragger role in CS:GO
The team’s hunter and a predator. While his team are busy doing fancy tactics around the map, the entry fragger has to get to the most dangerous positions on the map looking for a frag. If he manages to get a kill, he’ll significantly weaken his opponent’s positions around the map, forcing them to move. In that case, taking a position or defending for the rest of the round would be much easier for his team.
Entry fragger has to know the most common enemy positions around the map and to have nerves of steel along with accuracy on par that of a sniper.
Lurker CS:GO role
This is the most cunning person on a team. We won’t say he’s the smartest, so all his teammates wouldn’t hold a grudge. While the other four people are busy “space creating” - looking for the opportunities to attack or defend, lurker is the one quietly and discreetly feeding them all the necessary info. Think of him as some kind of ninja-spy, whose main responsibility is to intercept lone enemy players and prevent them from assisting in the hot zones.
Lurker is quite common in the attacking teams as it gives them more space to operate, although the defenders have some use for them too. The main difference between a usual player and a good lurker is while the player carefully waits for his opponent, the lurker actively presses for advantageous positions to give some intel and affect the outcome of the round.
Anchor CS:GO role
While lurker is more of an attacking team role, anchor is the prime example of the defending role. They are the iron curtain behind your plants, who’s responsible for inflicting as much damage as possible to the attackers. In addition to aim, the anchor's main skill is to determine using the indirect signs whether the attackers are going to target his plant or the other one. In both cases he has to immediately notify his team of the outcome.
Usually anchors aren’t the ones who survive till the end of the round, as they are the ones who stand alone against the enemy tide. Their task is to hold on the attackers as long as possible until the reinforcements arrive. Don’t forget to drop for these guys, they deserve it.
Support role in CS:GO
You might think that we’ve covered five roles and that’s it. In fact, there’s more. Just some players have to do several roles around the map. Let’s see what support in CS:GO is and what they are about. Usually their work is left unnoticed, nevertheless, they are probably the most important players in the team. Supports are the ones creating opportune moments for their teammates both in attack and defense.
Supports are the ones throwing flashes for the decisive strike and they know lots of useful smokes and molotovs on every map. Not only that, they’re also responsible for trades. If the entry fragger failed his task, it’s up for his support to avenge him. Overall, support is an extremely valuable asset for any team and you should never underestimate his importance.
Coach in CS:GO
THIS is the most important role in every professional team. If it isn’t, the team is doing something wrong. Just like in any type of sports, a coach is the “head” of a team. This person has years of experience in CS:GO and he’ll always have a helpful piece of advice if his team ever needs one.
There are a lot of different approaches in teams about what coach needs to do. In several teams coaches are working as the brain of the team (making strats, doing all preparation between matches etc.), great example of that is b1ad3 in Natus Vincere - that makes the captain free so he can spend more time for his individual skill, as a result he will play slightly better.
The main factor is the communication between coach and his team, most important part of it is his communication with the captain. They need to work as a core and a unit, otherwise it will not work.
Valve forbids coaches from participating in most events, but they’re still the key to any successful match prep. Sometimes captains may forget about tactics in the heat of a battle and the coach has to make sure this never happens.
The best PRO players in CS:GO and their roles
Throughout the history of CS:GO we’ve seen a lot of talented players in every role. These guys have rightfully earned the recognition and fame around the community and have won lots of titles to prove their skill. So let’s take a look at some of the best among them.
The best support in 2022 should be Ilya "perfecto" Zalutskiy. It is not an easy task to choose the best one. We chose Ilya because of Natus Vincere recent results and his team (he has 3 star players in there), so he has to be a solid support for them, otherwise this firepower will not realise itself. Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth is surely up there too. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as a member of Astralis Andreas has won a huge amount of Majors and other tournaments. His team gave no chance to their opposition. But we have to admit that past 1.5 or maybe 2 years Xyp9x was not playing his best Counter Strike, so right now he is not the best.
The best lurker in CS:GO existence is Christopher “Get_RiGhT” Alesund. This is the veteran with an incredible amount of matches behind his back. On more than one occasion he saved his team from a tight spot by sneaking around the enemy and wrecking havoc there. Right now there are lots of players who might be better than GeT_RiGhT was, but they have to prove themselves. One of the best candidates is Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, who shows his level for last 2 years.
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski is considered to be one of the best entry fraggers. His aim is exceptional and he usually comes out on top of his opponents in the duels, even if they’re armed with a sniper rifle. His team is not doing great last year and it might affect EliGE position as the best entry fragger, but he is still decent.
Determining the best sniper is harder. Some people might remember the achievements of Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. Right not people prefer Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev for sure, because he was the best player in the world for last several years. Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut shows us an incredible skill as well and he was the key factor of Vitality. Mathieu is struggling a bit since his team was changed the language from French to English and his stats is not that great as it was before, but he is still one of the best AWPers in CS:GO. And don’t forget Kenny “kennyS” Schrub who is not playing anymore, but his career as a top sniper is very impressive.
The situation is a bit more complicated with the captains. How can we say that winning a tournament is the sole achievement of their captain? But if we were to say that, there are 2 names pop up in our minds - Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo. They are favourites here, since both of them lead their teams to a lot of victories and major winnings. We will not count NiP and fnatic eras and their captains here, since it was a long time ago and there was not such an opposition, as it was since 2016-2017 years.
And we’d nominate Danny “zonic” Sørensen as the best coach. He was a member of once the best team in the world - mTw. And now, Astralis are multiple times the world champions and winners of Majors under his leadership. Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy is definitely close, but Natus Vincere era was not last that long to beat Astralis legacy.
What is my role in CS:GO?
Well, lots of players are still thinking about their roles and changing it from time to time. To understand what is the best role for you, you have to answer some questions to yourself:
- What is my biggest advantage over others?
- What do I like the most?
- Am I strong in communication or I do not like to talk much?
- Am I agressive or passive?
After answering all these questions you will have an understanding about what is the best fit for you. For example, if you like to find space and you are an agressive player - entry fragger might be the best choice for you. If you like to talk and you have strong communication skills - you should be a support or IGL depending on your leadership.
Finding the role is not an easy thing to do and it is very important for you and your path in CS. Once you make your decision, you will need to watch a lot of demos to make yourself better than the others. Good luck!