Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a huge pro scene, with many guys playing for big prizes and many fans watching live or on Twitch. While it doesn’t really matter if you are a casual gamer, fields are very important for pro-gamers. There are currently seven active locations in the map pool, and these are the levels pro-teams use in the ban process.
For a best of three, the usual order is team 1 ban, team 2 ban, squad 1 pick, squad 2 pick, crew 1 ban, and crew 2 pick. This leads to three maps being selected, the picks and the one level left over. Because of this process, squads must be good at a variety of locations and those with a stronger playground pool are often considered better teams.
In this article we will go over all seven fields in the active pool, see whether they are T or CT sided, and what top tier crews are best at it. So let’s get started in no particular order.
First up is the classic playground. Dust 2 is probably the most played map by lower level players because of how little strategy it requires. The field lends itself to tons of aim duels and very little chance of a full site execution. Because of this, it is hard to come up with unique strats on Dust II and really master it.
This causes Dust II to often be either banned or left alone till it becomes the third location. One notable exception to this is the team Cloud9, who will gladly pick Dust II if you don’t ban it because of their aim stars. Dust 2 is considered the most even level in the pool, with a small edge being given to the T-side because of the economy and rifle advantages. The most popular strategy on this map is probably the “rush B don’t stop” pistol round tactics.
Next up, let’s discuss the newest location in the pool. Nuke is an extremely CT-sided level, with 12-3 and 11-4 halves in favor of the CT’s very common. Because of how new it is, many guys ban it right away because they have no idea how to play it. The best teams on this playground are Virtus.Pro, Dignitas, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. They are all top ten crews, who recognized that incorporating Nuke into their field pool would give them a huge boost in the map pick process.
Nuke requires elaborate strategies from the T-side to take bomb sites, with tons of powerful positions for CT’s to defend from. However, some innovative squads like NiP have already got so many T-side tactics that they can win T-side halves against crews stupid enough to leave it in against them. The most popular strategy here would probably be the A site execution through the sky vents.
It is another location in the active playground pool. Cobble is the only field that has a clear, strong, and powerful advantage for the T-side. 10-5 halves on the T-side are very common. Many guys such as EnVyUs, Dignitas, Virtus.Pro, etc. love to play it because it has a sweet balance between the strategic nature of Nuke and the puggy play style of Dust II.
Natus Vincere is probably the only top ten team who hates Cobblestone. They usually ban it right away, and when they don’t, it results in disaster. The most common strategy on Cobblestone is the B site execution, with many molotovs and smokes forcing one on one aim duels.
It is meant to be set in a city, with parks and public bathrooms some of the contested sites on the map. Overpass is pretty CT-sided, with 9-6 and 10-5 halves being common. Currently, the best teams on this field are SK, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Astralis. However, this location is referred to as Olofmeister’s playground because of all the famous plays he has made on the map back in Fnatic’s hay day. His 4 man boost to single handedly defeat the overpowered French squad LCDC is probably the most famous play in Counter-Strike history.
The most famous player on the map currently, however, is FalleN of SK gaming. He has some sick clutches on this field, and his awe-inspiring play has made SK the best Overpass team in the world. The most common strategy here is the A site take through bathrooms and long, smoking out the CT’s positions and then planting the bomb and playing after plant positions.
It is sort of like the high-tier players Dust II, with a lot of aim duels available and not too many executions possible. However there is some basic fundamental strategy you need to know to succeed here, and many lower level players just can’t understand the basics. The best guys on this playground are NiP, G2, and EnVyUs. These teams are all from the European region, in which Cache is extremely popular.
An interesting fact about Cache is that it is the only level in the map pool that is community made. The most famous play here would be Hiko, who defended a planted bomb on the A site in a 1v5 clutch by getting 5 nearly instant Tec-9 headshots against 5 opponents rushing him with rifles. Cache is fairly even, with a slight T-side advantage due to the rifle and economy advantage. The most common strategy on this location is the A site take with T’s coming in from both the middle of the field, and the T-side entrance to the A site.
A map that takes place amongst a bunch of trains. Train is pretty CT-sided, with nine, ten, or even eleven CT rounds very common. Train is an AWPers paradise, and crews with good AWPers love this level. There are a ton of long range fights here, in which AWPs reign supreme over the rifles.
The best teams on this location FaZe clan, SK gaming, and Cloud9. All three have dynamic AWPers, such as FalleN for SK, allu for FaZe, and Skadoodle for Cloud9. SK is the uncontested champion of this playground, posting dominant scorelines against top-tier squads. The most common Train strategy is the B site takes with smokes to block out the CT-AWPers. After the bomb is down, the T rifles are better than the CT AWPs.
It is a desert themed level, that is very execution based. The two strategies for taking its sites couldn’t be more different. For the A site, the T’s deploy many smokes and molotovs to take the site in elaborate executed. However, to take the B site, Terrorists must simply rush in and take aim duels. This leads to Mirage being a good map for both strategic and aim based crews, with it being especially potent for teams who have both.
The top-squads on this field are Immortals, Cloud9, and Virtus.Pro. They have both great in game leaders and a few aim stars. They are very potent on this level and usually banned from it by the other teams. The most famous play here would be S1mple winning by burning a defused alive with his Molotov even though he died in the process. This map is slightly CT-sided with nine or ten CT-side rounds acceptable. The most popular strategy is the wall of smokes on the A site. The goal is to plant the bomb and then play after plant positions.
Thank you for reading this article and sticking around till the end. Hopefully, this article gave you insight on Counter-Strike’s various maps as it can be quite confusing at first. It was written in December of 2016, so if there are locations in the active pool that are not described, I apologize. In addition, the most famous plays were opinion based and you may have a different opinion.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this reading and I hope to see you next time! Good luck!