Defending the A Site on Inferno has to do a lot with fine tuning the coordination between the Apps -> Balcony/Pit player and the second A player, with some help from the Arch/Library rotator.
Unlike on B where you can contest Banana, winning which can solve a lot of problems, A is wider and provides a lot of different options for the Ts to execute it.
In this article, we’ll talk about in-depth about how you should play as the Apps -> Balcony/Pit player and the strats and setups related to it.
Playing Apps and some early-round setups
Apartment is a key area, the control of which lies with the CTs primarily in the beginning since CTs reach there first. The player that will go on to play Balcony or Pit has to play Apps in the early round.
Your main goal as an Apps player early is to discourage any rushes from the Apartments side, especially early on in the round. Apps is at the periphery of the map, hence an Apps rush means it isolates you and your A player, and the rotator will likely be fumbling with his nades for Banana control over at B.
Also, it’s kind of a funnel. Once the Ts get out from Apps and into A, killing you in the process (since it’s early round, you were in the Apps area, not ready for the push in Pit), there’s no stopping them since they’ve already poured into the huge area of Mini Pit and Pit and that general area.
This is not a problem in Mid. Mid rushes can be stopped at any point in time, just molly or double molly A Short, and keep your Arch player/Library player attentive. Or the other way around, molly top of A Long so they can’t pour into CT Spawn, and maintain a bunch of safe angles for Short, like that from Pit.
Coming back to Apps, yeah, it’s convenient to discourage early rushes. Don’t let your teammates be caught off guard with their default nades in their hands. A simple way to do it is to molly or smoke off this hallway at roughly 1:40. I like to smoke that angle, not only because anyone walking through the smoke will be grayscreened with their body exposed, but also because it gives your Short A player leeway to hang out in Window room, keeping an eye out for Alt Mid.
If your team is doing a more time-consuming setup like boosting on the roof of Porch or climbing all the way to the plants above and between Balcony and Porch, then you need to buy them some time. Molly and then smoke is a good combo for that. If your team is playing 3B, then doing the molly+smoke combo is possible, but don’t do it all the time, or else it’ll become a tell-tale sign of your CT setup.
Here’s another smoke that you can use to create a one-way. I’ve seen Ax1Le use it to both success and demise. Your back is turned to Window Room, so there’s a chance that you can be shot in the back, or worse, stabbed.
You can play Apps from Boiler room as well. You can play alone at the bottom of Boiler room and throw a molly, or if the Ts have been overenthusiastic in Apps, boost over your Short A teammate. Hopefully, I just reminded you of the vintage CS:GO strats, with kennyS absolutely obliterating a boosted Guardian.
There are some good wallbangs that you should try out. Here’s one for the bottom of Stairs, at the far entrance of Apps.
If you’ve mollied or smoked off Halls, there’s a good chance someone might be waiting for it to clear at the bottom of Stairs. This wallbang will get some easy damage on the Ts.
Here’s another useful wallbang. Shooting this window will do damage to someone in the Window Room, hopefully.
Spamming here can also cover the sounds and buy you some time for your A players to set up, like a CT boosting another CT on top of Porch while you wallbang Window Room.
Next is the final important piece of playing Apps early solo. This is a nade lineup that you should throw at roughly 1:40, and it will damage anyone trying to boost into the Window Room.
Let’s talk about some double-man setups in Apps. If the Ts have consistently shown presence and activity in Apps, then you can bring your Short A player into Apps and do a two-player setup. One player can hold the Stairs angle of Apps, and the other player can hold the Window Room angle. This setup is useful if the Ts have done their own two-man double peek to trade off the Apps player.
There are some aggressive positions you two can hold as well. You can walk to the end of the Hall. One player can hold the bottom of Stairs and the other the entrance to Window Room. Trades become easier as well in this setup, unless the Ts know about it and are doing their own double peek. Supporting each other when the Ts double peek is impossible since you have your back turned to the other T. As for the Ts, both of them have the CTs in front of them. Hence, this aggressive setup should only be done once or twice in a half.
Playing Balcony and some standard mid-round setups
Balcony is a position you can play in the mid-round or late-round. If you have an advantage, you might wanna play a little bit safer in Pit, but with the right CT side A setup, playing Balcony can be very rewarding as well.
This is the best angle you can play on Balcony.
Not only will you have info of anyone Short (because your teammates will have first contact) but also, you can keep an eye on Long and make life pretty hard for the Ts when they want to clear their angles. In this position, you can avoid most of the Short flashes thrown, which is always great.
The Ts coming from Short have to make a choice whether they wanna clear the Site first or clear your Balcony angles first. A Pit player can complicate that process for the Ts.
Also, you can drop down into Mini Pit after getting a kill or at least doing a good deal of damage, and it’ll be very hard for them to trade you, especially if they take it slowly. If they try to rush you, having a player in Pit can do wonders to disrupt their attack. If Moto is not smoked, even your Library player, i.e. the rotator, can smoke off Long and support you from there.
If you feel like an exec is coming, you can throw this smoke at the entrance of Halls and hold an angle like this. You have the advantage in every situation here. The Ts coming from Short won’t expect you to be there and the Ts running through the Smoke are, well, at a clear disadvantage.
There are a lot of variations of playing Balcony. You can get on the railing to make it difficult for the Ts to headshot you, you can hold Apps, Short, and even Boiler, although the small gap can mostly be used to spot when someone’s getting out of Boiler.
When the Ts are pushing, going from Balcony to Mini Pit or Pit is a great play. You are repositioning constantly, which is smart CS. Let’s consider a bunch of possibilities.
Let’s talk about an A split from Porch and Arches. The Ts are coming from Short and someone throws a molly into Pit. That suggests that at least one player has crossed into Porch, so you can find a tight angle to catch the second or third player off-guard. There’s a good chance that these Ts will have nades in their hands, and hence you can get an easy kill. But since one player is already in Porch and knowing that the usual Pit player is on Balcony, he can push forward for a trade. You can drop into Mini Pit and smoke yourself off to give your B players time to rotate. Your Arch player can take some attention away from you, as well.
Another common situation is when the Ts throw a lurk smoke on Balcony. In this case, you can go towards the end of Balcony to dodge a couple of flashes and also be able to get a kill on the T coming through the smoke. You can drop down after making sure no one’s rushing from Short to trade you, and then play as you will, depending on the situation.
Your teammates can help you guide your immediate moves depending on where they are and what utility they have to support you.
In general, you are the most important A player, and keeping you alive is a huge priority and advantage.
Let’s talk about how you can play Pit, now.
Playing Pit and some standard setups around it
Pit is an essential position on the A site. It’s one of the strongest positions to get a multi frag from and is a key area to anchor the A site. It can be a constant nuisance for the Ts, and if the Pit player is not flushed out early on during the execute, it can get very difficult to properly clear all angles and cover all bases. In the Boombl4 era, electronic was one of the best Pit players in the world.
Pit is a position usually played in the mid and late round, not early. The Pit player is usually doing his thing on Apps early on so that the Ts cannot enter A through it. We’ve already discussed Apps strats earlier, so we can move on to the Pit strats now. As a Pit player, your main goal is to stay alive for as long as possible. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very annoying for the Ts to press their attack if there’s somone in Pit. You are more or less the final recipe of a strong A defense, and hence, staying alive is a priority, irrespective of how many kills you get.
As you can see, there are a bunch of possibilities to play Pit. There are a lot of different angles you can be playing from, and more importantly, a lot of nature of plays you can enact. You can be a support to your A Short player. Or you can combine with your Short Pit player and bait your enemies into him. You can take charge by holding Short all by yourself, or hold off-angles for Apps.
Let’s talk about this cute angle here.
It’s the safest option for playing Pit since you’re not exposed to any angle apart from the one you’re so adamantly holding. I don’t like this angle too much, though. It doesn’t accomplish a lot. As a defender, you are at a constant local disadvantage, since there are fewer CTs on a site than the Ts that try to break in (unless you’re playing against Heroic). Unless the Ts are a man down, I wouldn’t recommend playing this angle for more than a few seconds.
There is indeed an interesting play you can do from this angle, though. You can throw a flash onto the Apps door, and since the door is angled, the flash will bounce off and blind any Ts on Short. It’s almost a pop flash, and if you have confirmed that there are Ts in Short, you’ll almost definitely get one easy kill. After that kill, or at least confirming your Pit presence, you can hide and bait the Ts into your Short Pit player, if there is one. It’s also noteworthy that the Short Pit player can throw the Pit one way, essentially helping out the Pit player.
Next up, there’s this interesting angle.
It exposes you to Short, so either your Short A player will have to cover Short for you, or you’re taking a real risk holding that angle. If your opponents have caught you playing the earlier, safer angle, you should try this new angle as well to mix up your approaches to playing Pit. Remember, unpredictability is the key to local success in Counter-Strike.
Then there’s this angle that serves a larger purpose.
It can be used for a variety of roles, from supporting your Short A player for trades, or just holding down the fort more prominently. I had mentioned in my s1mple CT-side AWPing article that when he’s playing Short, he’ll need some support from the Balcony player or the Pit player since it’s easy to get flashed on A Short and get killed during the retreat. Holding this Short angle enables a backup plan for the A Short player, and is a nice supporting role.
But here’s the catch. To play this angle, you’ll have to set up some backstory to your game. What I mean is that a T can just walk out from Apps and kill your Short player, since you’re holding Short, not Apps. To make sure that a T doesn’t just randomly walk out Apps, you need to make sure that you have set the precedent in the preceding rounds that you are an active Balcony player. If they have it in their short-term memory that you are ferocious in holding your angles, you can let them be free for a couple of rounds. Be unpredictable.
There’s this great angle you can play on the Bike.
Only the tip of your head will be visible so it’s hard for the Ts to kill you, and you can easily get info as well. It’s more or less an angle that you’ll have to give up sooner or later, especially since you’re exposed to Apps.
You can always hold off-angles like the following, but again, it doesn’t get a lot of stuff done except confuse the Ts if they happen to walk out Apps.
You can get flashed and you’ll have to run into Short Pit i.e. under Balcony or into the normal Pit. Even if you aren’t flashed, you aren’t accomplishing a lot in the ultimate goal of helping your A teammates hold down the site. This angle is rewarding, but can’t be held for an extended period of time. Only if your team is in a clear man advantage/weapon+util advantage should you be playing this angle for a long time.
There are a bunch of off angles you can play, if the circumstances are right. Let’s say the entrance to Balcony is smoked. In that case, you can jump on the top of the barrel or even the top of the wall to hold weird angles that can catch your opponents off-guard.
Back to Pit, one of the most important plays you need to have in your arsenal is the famous Pit one-way smoke. Here’s a clip of how you can throw it.
You should throw the smoke after getting any kind of visual contact. This is very important. Not only does it serve as a one-way, but it also helps ward off the mollies that the Ts can throw to flush you out of the annoying Pit position. You can always get nade stacked, but well, everything has its cons.
After throwing the smoke, you can get on top of the bicycle and get a bunch of easy kills from there. Even if you don’t get any kills, just the fact that you’re there, waiting to pounce on an opportunity to kill the Ts from the shadows will make their life extremely uncomfortable. All the more advantage to your A and Long A players, since it cuts down on a lot of possible positions the Ts can be in.
Talking about electronic, there are a few setups he has played in NaVi. He can hold the safe angle watching Apps, while b1t can either play on Balcony, watching Short and Long, or play safer in Small Pit, depending on the ongoing situation of the round. That, or he can hold the off-angle, while s1mple is in Pit, holding Short.
We talked about a player playing Small Pit while electronic plays Pit already. electronic can bait Ts into the Short Pit angle, and the Short Pit player can throw the one-way smoke for the Pit player (if he doesn’t have a smoke himself). A great setup if there’s a CT holding Long from Arch or Library. This is a quite famous setup. Ax1Le and interz is another duo that nails its execution. CIS bias clear.
We’ve talked about so many possible angles, but a key nuance to playing Pit is to time your fights. Since your first priority is to stay alive, you have to hide as much as possible so that your other teammates can initiate fights. Your second priority is to get kills, obviously, so you need to choose when to take those fights. If your A or A Long teammates have engaging with the Ts, that’s your cue to peek. If a T is firing in a direction that’s not Pit, you have to peek. No wide swings, unless you’re mollied and you don’t have a smoke. Play safe, and isolate your fights as much as you can. This is a CS:GO tip that doesn’t just apply to Pit, but in general. If you get a kill and have some info, hide. Pass that info to your teammates, and then time your next fight so as to maximize your team’s chances of winning the duels.
Playing Graveyard, for some reason
The Graveyard position is pretty aptly named since it’s practically a death sentence. You are destined to die unless you basically kill off all the Ts with the help of your A players. You have no cover once you’re spotted, and you have nowhere to fall back to, either. Your aim has to be crisp and sharp for you to play this angle.
If a T jumped out from Balcony, for some weird reason, the Graveyard player can catch him off-guard and add his name to the… graveyard.
Although not strict, you should really try to play Graveyard only when you are in advantage, by numbers, or by firepower. It just makes sense that way. If the Ts are not committing to A, but glancing and poking around, you can have a fight and sneak your way out of Grave and into Pit. Of course, you can’t do that against full buys, so this only reiterates my earlier point.
That concludes this long guide. I did not create a special section for Mini Pit because in one way or the other, it’s discussed in the existing sections. Check out my Mastering Banana Control guide if you liked this one, and of course, I hope you enjoyed the read and learned some stuff!
Here’s me burning a tree beyond the horizons of the playable area of what is the antonym of Dan Brown’s Inferno.
Until next time; cheers.