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CS:GO
CS:GO
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CS:GO - Is there really such a thing as player roles?

Unlike other popular esports titles, CS:GO doesn’t have player roles that are defined by the game itself. Think of MOBA games like DOTA 2 or League of Legends. In those games, a player’s role within the team is characterized by the position on the map they chose for themselves. An Offlaner is both the position on the map he assumes and the role that automatically comes with that position. In CS:GO, there aren’t predefined player roles to nearly the same extent because of the nature of the game. Instead, the roles players have taken up over time have been dictated by what evolved in competitive play at the highest levels through necessity.

So... Player Roles! Explain them!

Most of the roles I will explain below have generally come to be accepted by the wider professional CS:GO community through their use by journalists and writers in the space. Bear in mind that when discussing player roles, I am only referring to the Terrorist (T) side. Counter-Terrorist play certainly has some well-defined roles that have developed, but I won’t go into those in this piece. Perhaps a future article might cover those. Another thing to take into account is that player roles can be extremely fluid within a match. For instance, the In Game Leader might very well also be the Entry Fragger during certain strategies. The same player could also act as the lurker during other set plays. There are of course players that are completely dedicated to a given role, but there are just as many players that wear multiple hats on the T side.

Entry Fragger

This is the player tasked with the unenviable job of going into the bombsite first. While getting a frag is certainly an important part of his job, it is actually secondary to gathering information on the enemies’ positions in the site and relating that to the team. This player runs into the site and draws the enemy team’s fire so that the defenders positions can be identified and dealt with. More often than not, the Entry will die to set up his teammates to trade kill. An Entry Fragger in modern CS:GO is often a more supportive player, willing to make the self-sacrifice of potentially unflattering stats to benefit the team on the T side. The classic dedicated Entry like G2 Esports’ “Apex” seem to be a rarer breed than they used to be. The Entry that has the skill and ability to completely take over the game and bang off heads with impunity is less common in current day CS:GO.

Second Entry

This player is the one following closely behind the Entry Fragger to get those all important trade kills to unlock the bombsite defence. The Second Entry is often one of the most highly skilled players on the team. The Entry-Fragger is the distraction that allows the Second Entry to live longer and have the most impact possible on the game with his prodigious aim. You don’t want one of your most skilled players to die cheaply.

Mid Round Player

Typically the third player into the bombsite. This player is there to clean up the last remaining enemies that are not eliminated by the Entry and Second Entry. Often this player is also the In Game Leader or a Support Player.

In Game Leader (IGL)

The brain of the team. The IGL calls the strategies and pulls the strings that hopefully lead to round wins. An IGL often also plays the role of a Support Player or Entry Fragger, but can really be just about any player in the team regardless of role.

Sniper

Also known as the AWPer. Usually one of the most skilled players on the lineup by virtue of both the power and sheer expense of the weapon. This player might be the fourth man into the site to preserve the AWP. That being said there are also players like Na`Vi’s “s1mple” that use the AWP to gain entry kills. In some extreme cases, players might even use the AWP as the Lurker.

Lurker

The Lurker can also be called the backstabber. This player’s job is to get in behind the opponents’ lines and cause chaos. The Lurker will try to cause distraction to force rotations from the defence. From there, the Lurker might attempt to kill the rotating players by being in an unexpected position. He needs to be unpredictable and incredibly sneaky to be effective. Additionally, this player will often be required to link up with the site take late in the round and might be required to clutch out the round. In current CS:GO, there are not many players that exclusively lurk as players like NIP’s “GeT_RiGhT” did in the past. Usually nowadays it varies within the context of the strategy being employed. Different players might lurk from round to round. In some rounds, there might not be a lurker at all.

Support player

The player throwing flashes and other utility for his teammates. The Support Player strives to set up his teammates to succeed. This player still needs to get frags, but that is not this player’s primary function. A Support Player will usually have a dual role as the Entry Fragger or Lurker.