Proper space control on bombsites is inherently hard to spot. Not only are the in-game spectators often focused on the Terrorists’ set up, it is impossible to see crossfire angles from dots on the minimap. What’s easy to spot, however, are those cases where space is not properly controlled. It is in those instances where a Snax can walk up and take duels one at a time.
That’s where the CT-support players come in. Their main job on a site is to help out the “star” player and let him take fights in favorable positions. Taco and his play with Coldzera springs to mind as an example of this. Taco perfectly understands his role on CT and thus will never take unnecessary risks. He understands that, should he die, the site is wide open because Cold will be out of position.
Looking at B-site on Mirage for Taco, there are some pretty clear examples. Cold has freedom on cat or upper-B to hold down the site or get a first pick. But he does this knowing that Taco can support him and enable a peek or fallback when needed. As a terrorist, Taco is dangerous because you know he's not going to give up a free kill. That's not his job and he knows it. This means that to enter B you will have to flush out Taco or go through one of the world's best with full support.
A way to summarize the play of a good support is that they control space around the site. This is naturally very important in a game like Counter-Strike where spacing is everything. When I talk about controlling space in this sense I mean that proper spacing will greatly lessen the chance of a untradeable kill. Or from the other perspective, a terrorist can exploit poor space control if he can move into a spot to take a 1v1 fight.
I'm sure everyone has seen this clip ten times by now but it is a perfect example of a player getting too much space. In this post-plant Na`Vi know where Snax is from the moment Seized goes down. With perfect information this should have been a won round.
The first problem in this round though is that GuardiaN is very isolated on stairs. Knowing this, s1mple attempts to peek together and fight together with GuardiaN. If Guardian was ready and peeked with s1mple then this could have worked, but a one tap later it is a 2v1. Snax is then able to deal with Guardian easily.
The other major problem with this round is that flamie is completely isolated near drop. A winning round from Na`Vi's side would have required them to simply let Guardian die and let flamie and simple play the crossfire from chicken and the right side of site. From there, both s1mple and flamie are in tedious places to clear and with bomb ticking time is all they need. The other route they could have went is for flamie to come over on their side and all of them peek Snax together.
This older clip shows the opposite in terms of giving shox too much space to work with and in part having all of the SK members really low on health. SK is a great team at implementing game theory so they know that with bomb down all they have to do is wait and not peek by themselves. Once Fallen goes down, shox is given complete control of the site and they needed to all peek together at once when he was out in the open.
Realistically, SK's winning lines in this round were to either all peek together or play contact and trade off the first kill. Shox killed the player at triple jiggle peeking, however, and then the two other players on the back right side of site were stuck there and really low on health.
So between these examples we need to find the happy medium. Admittedly, this is something we struggled with for a long time. The trick is simply to understand when you are in an advantageous position and no longer need to take risks. It seems easy but in the middle of a round this can be difficult.
This is also why playing contact in advantageous situations is so important. Force your opponent to walk into space that you and a teammate control and then trade. The best way to lose a game where you are ahead is to get aggressive and continue to drop or take 1v1s.
These days we're much better about this and nitr0 supports extremely well on CT sides. One of nitr0's underrated skills is just how well he understands teamplay. I play sites with him on CT-side and he always knows when and how to flash for his teammates. Beyond that he is very good at knowing when to go for a solo play alone for information and has a great sense for when to enable an information play for teammates by flashing for them or taking a part of the map together.
Most of these examples have naturally been from the CT-side since they are incentivized to control the sites. From the attacking side it's important for an entry fragger to make space and broaden chokes as you swarm a site. An entry fragger isn’t the same as a support player on T side, but they are similar in the way they enable other players to shine from what their job does.
The entry "supports" the team in the sense that it's a similarly unforgiving role but it opens up the map. If a professional level CT player is allowed to have good crosshair placement he will spray down your whole team. The entry player is forced, therefore, to run through or jump a corner to reset the CT's aim. Trying to headshot a jumping player is enough to make most people scream so it will probably take four or five chest shots to take down the first guy. In this time your second player should be able to get the kill as long as the spacing between him and the entry fragger was proper. And at the very worst, you know where the guy is so the rest of the team can go together and trade with each other. Just as a CT-support will use nades/positioning to control space around his star, a T-support or entry can use his body or nades to create space around his teammates.
Editor: Ryan Prager