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Playbook: How to take Mirage A site on Pistol like Astralis

The Pistol Round is arguably the most important
round in CS. It sets the pace for the game and gets that
economic momentum rolling. That’s why it’s such a shame that so many
matchmaking games start the same way: “What do you guys want to do”
“I don’t know… Rush B.” You’d be surprised at how going into a MM
game with a simple and clear pistol round strat can help your winrate. Which is why we’re making playbook, a series
where we look at some basic strats pro teams are using and break them down so you can implement
them into your own game. For this first episode, let’s take a look
at the pistol round strat Astralis pulled out versus Liquid on Mirage at the ELEAGUE
Premiere. The basic idea is to use 2 smokes to block
off Stairs and Jungle, have 4 players push out of A ramp, take CT spawn control, and
plant the bomb so that it can be covered from CT and T ramp. While this is a simple strat, there are some
subtleties to it. First things first, let’s look at the two
smokes. You can see that Xyp9x and Gla1ve both buy
a smoke and 2 flashes. As soon as the round starts they get into
position and throw your standard Stairs and Jungle smokes. Note that once the smokes pop, Gla1ve flashes
over ramp and 4 Astralis players push out. They carefully clear every corner, making
sure not to expose themselves to a peek from Ticketbooth. Once they have moved up to Triple, Gla1ve
tosses his other flash into CT spawn, so that Dev1ce and Magisk can double peek and take
Ticket booth control. One subtle, yet important thing to note is
how Dupreeh plays in Palace. He doesn’t peek out until his teammates
have secured the site and Gla1ve flashes CT spawn. Dupreeh doesn’t want to peek too early and
give up an easy 1v1 duel to the Ticket Booth player. His job is to punish anyone who tries to push
through the smokes. With the site completely under Astralis’s
control, Xyp9x plants the bomb so that it can be covered from T Ramp and CT Spawn. This gives you 2 easy angles where you can
pick off the defuser if the CTs manage to retake the site. Once the bomb is down, Device, Dupreeh, and
Magisk all play from CT spawn, while Gla1ve safely plays from T ramp. Xyp9x tries to buy as much time as possible
on the site, using his two flashes to delay the CTs even further once the smokes fade. From here it’s as simple as holding off
the CT retake. Just make sure you play safe and don’t give
up any free kills by getting overly aggressive and peeking. Just hold the angles and listen for the defuse. So to recap the key points are:
Use 2 smokes to cover Jungle and Stairs Coordinate your peeks with your team’s flashbangs
The Palace player is only there to punish any CTs bold enough to push through the smokes
Push into CT spawn Plant the bomb so that it can be covered from
CT and ramp Don’t get too aggressive in the post plant. If you follow this simple playbook you should
be able to get your game started off on the right foot.

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