Communication Breakdown: Why Team Comms Are Essential In CS:GO

Communication Breakdown: Why Team Comms Are Essential In CS:GO
Image courtesy of Starladder.It’s a high-pressure clutch situation. You and a teammate are in a two versus four with the bomb planted. You’ll need to hold off the Counter-Terrorists to steal the round win and narrowly clinch the match for your team. Your teammate gets a kill on one of the players retaking the site, but he says nothing. The tension is palpable. He suddenly shouts an expletive into the microphone as he falls to the retaking players. You can’t make sense of the dots on the radar as to where those players are. In a panic you swing your gun around wildly hoping to spot the encroaching enemy forces. All the while your teammate is loudly bemoaning how very unfairly he died. You need to cut through the noise. You start forming the words to ask him where the CTs are. No sooner have the first words escaped your mouth, before you receive a precise bullet to the side of the head from an unseen adversary. The match is lost.

A common occurrence

That last paragraph probably sounded rather more familiar than most of us would like. We’ve all been there in a game where little failures over the microphone can equal an infuriating loss in the end. There’s always that teammate that makes incorrect or incomplete calls that result in your death. Or the teammate that can’t help but vent his frustration over the mic instead of passing on the information you need to get the trade frag.Communicating effectively in a team setting is a critical aspect of any team-based sport or esports title. Whether you’re playing Valve’s Matchmaking or competing in a top tier team, your team’s success is often finely balanced upon the ability of your players to share information. Let’s take a closer look at how to do that well.

Getting the message across

A good place to start would be learning the map callouts for all the popular competitive maps. It’s very hard for your teammates to pinpoint the location of the enemy if you can’t accurately describe where they are. I would focus on the call outs for the maps within the current active duty map pool, including Dust II. Ignore Canals for now as it is unlikely to gain wider adoption at this point. Bear in mind that in different regions, the names of the call outs can vary quite a bit. Pay attention to your teammates and make sure you learn the names that are most commonly used in your region. Here are map callouts for the most popular maps.

[caption id="attachment_103296" align="alignnone" width="640"]Astralis' Gla1ve Astralis' Gla1ve. Image courtesy of StarLadder.[/caption] Once you know the map callouts, focus on efficiency. Make sure you call out only the information that is needed. Filling the airwaves with too much chatter means your teammates might miss hearing critical audio cues like footsteps that could get them killed and mean a round loss.

The Dos and Don’ts

Do call the location and number of enemies you might have spotted. Do pass on that you hear a lot of movement that could mean an imminent attack. Do let your fellow players know if an enemy is low on health. Do make your teammates aware that you intend to force buy or purchase unexpectedly so that you can buy together. Do call clearly and concisely without repeating yourself too much. Do call as soon as something has happened, without delay.Don’t curse and shout everytime you die - nobody wants to hear that. Don’t go quiet and fail to pass on critical information. Don’t talk more than you need to. Don’t do your own thing without making your team aware of it. Don’t repeatedly shout a call. Don’t mic spam!

Pass the microphone

CS:GO is a game built on teamwork. Be a good teammate. Learn to communicate well in-game and you’ll not only improve your own experience, but that of your fellow players as well. Happy calling!