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CS:GO 101 – Tips for playing Mirage

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Today we take a look at Mirage, the map that has been part of the Active Duty Group the longest, being one of the classic and often played maps in the catalogue.

History of Mirage

Mirage has been with us for an exceptionally long time. It has been in the Active Duty Group since the first of July, 2014. In that time it has been through a lot of changes to eventually become one of the go-to maps in the competitive rotation. Nowadays it is often scrutinised as a map that should no longer be part of the Active Duty Group, and recently many had expected it to make way for Ancient instead of Train.

The A site

Playing defence, you might feel as if there are too many places to look to, but do not worry. With some good communication and knowing the right places, this site is completely manageable.You can expect your enemies from two main spots: T Ramp and Palace. T Ramp is the spot in the far left corner of the site, where terrorists have to cross a slight ramp to get onto the bombsite. A solid way to handle this is, you guessed it, utility. As always an incendiary will be critical, but do not underestimate the strength of a teammate positioned on stairs either. The main focus is stopping the onslaught of terrorists if they do decide to push via T Ramp. There will be many of them, and you need to hold down the fort to stop them.

Palace is a far narrower funnel point, leaving the terrorists with much less wiggle room and forcing them to play it slower. If they do decide to push out via Palace, expect them to throw out utility first and perhaps have an AWPer peek. A Palace execute can be spotted early by the player on stairs keeping his eyes out.

On the offence, you will want to move as one unit: strong utility line-ups are the norm, a vital piece being a smoke on ticket box (that little booth next to the CT entrance to the site) and ideally another on stairs, connector or perhaps Jungle. You want to be able to take away as many possibilities for the CTs as possible and make sure they do not receive any backup.

Do not forget the strength of mid control. If you manage to take out the player in window, allowing you to get to connector, you might just have found your golden ticket. This is not a tip exclusively for the A site, but a tip for the entire terrorist half. Middle is your stepping stone to both sides, and will get you far closer to the enemy than they would like.

The B Site

A strong CT side for B comes from quickly adapting to the terrorist movements. Get that intel to your teammates early: you need to know straight away if the enemy is rotating through middle or if they have been spotted or heard coming through the apartments. Those are the two spots to watch. If a teammate sees them rushing through the heightened apartments, keep that incendiary close and look out for flashes. Terrorists find their strength from high-paced play and overwhelming their enemy.

You can usually know when the Ts push through middle to try to take the site via Short. Remember that smokes can work in favour of the defence as well. Take away their vision so that they are walking into the B site blind, or to delay, giving you more time to deal with their teammates or line up your shots.

The T side requires a more thought out approach: the classic B rush tactic is as always tempting, but it will merely turn apartments into a slaughterhouse. The hallway you rush out of is far too narrow, and the only way of succeeding here is an arguably lucky pick on a counter-terrorist jumping the van. A good strategy to try is putting pressure on middle and attempting to break through there, whilst committing a lurker or two on the apartments. They can totally take the enemy by surprise.

If you really are adamant about going through apartments, do not stop and move with speed. Struggling or getting caught up in apartments gives counter-terrorists those vital extra seconds to line up their sights with the windows and shoot you down one by one.

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