eco it up bois let's do it c'mon full save let's effin' go boys
"Aimpunch is literally Hitler."

Money Talks #1: Optimizing Your Counter-Terrorist Eco Rounds

May 18, 2016
"Aimpunch is literally Hitler."

Congratulations! You just lost your CT pistol round! What now?

Well, you’re going to have to eco. There are three different economic options available to you. You could do a full force-buy on your second round, purchasing upgraded pistols, Kevlar, and nades–of course, this means that your team will have a weakened buy on the first proper gun round of the half. You could opt to simply upgrade your pistol and potentially invest in some utility for the next two rounds, leaving you with enough for a healthy buy on the fourth round of the half. Or you can full eco on both rounds, leaving your team with enough cash to likely run a double AWP setup supported by three fully kitted out riflers sporting the full range of utility.

eco it up bois let's do it c'mon full save let's effin' go boys
“Aimpunch is literally Hitler.”

Eco rounds suck, of course–especially without kevlar, given that aimpunch almost entirely removes your ability to aim.

Yet eco rounds are a hallmark of the Counter-Strike experience–there’s something inexplicably motivational about getting the everliving crap pummeled out of you, knowing that you’ll finally be able to respond to the hail of enemy gunfire with rifle bullets of your own in mere minutes.

How to Fight Back on Eco

Of course, not all eco rounds are lost. Given the power of pistols in CS:GO, there are plenty of opportunities for you and your team to turn these rounds in your favor.

Before the CZ-75 auto was nerfed, these kinds of victories were incredibly common. The LDLC roster that won DreamHack Winter 2014 were notorious for their ability to use and abuse pistols to claim a truly unreasonable amount of eco round wins–to the point where fans and commentators affectionately referred to the French team as “LDLCZ-75.”

Today, we’re going to cover some advanced material about CT side eco rounds–if you follow these guidelines, I can give you the EsportsEdition Guarantee™ that you’ll see a marked improvement in your team’s ability to turn eco rounds in your favor.

Utility Purchases

There should always be at least ONE person on every eco round who buys a grenade. Whether it’s a flash, a smoke, an HE, or a molly, this is an essential purchase–when you’re outgunned and getting rekt by aimpunch, grenades are the only tool in the game that allow you to assume control over situations. If you’re hiding in Connector on Cobblestone, for example, and you hear two Terrorists in Drop pushing you, a well-timed flash could net you two kills and a free rifle–a find that’s well worth every cent of your investment.

Of course, you have to stay alive long enough to use your utility–don’t have any delusions of immortality. If you’re purchasing nades on an eco round, make sure you’re buying them with a specific purpose in mind, otherwise it’s not worth your time (or money).

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Site Stacks

Stacks can be an absurdly effective method of punishing careless Terrorists who wander into a bombsite without thoroughly clearing it out. You’ve got two options on most maps–either fully commit five players to defending a single bombsite, or send a single team member to hold the other site while your team waits for a potential push. It’s advisable to always purchase two smokes, regardless of which choice you make–you want to be able to deny any early information about your stack to the Terrorist side, and it’s easy to set up crossfires/bait setups before the smoke fades.

Nade Stacks

While a single HE grenade isn’t the most effective–or reliable–way of dealing damage to the opposing team, their usefulness increases exponentially with some basic coordination. When three to five players immediately run to a chokepoint on the map and toss their grenades simultaneously, that’s a “nade stack.” You’d be surprised how brutal these kinds of tactics can be when applied correctly–if you don’t score a kill, it’s common to heavily tag several members of the opposing team, making them easy pickings for the rest of your teammates.

Bait Setups

I’ve actually already written a couple guides on easy bait setups for MM/PUGs–the first is a detailed breakdown of a simple bait setup on Mirage’s A bombsite. The other is my favorite Counter-Strike strat of all-time: a psychological bait play for Inferno’s B bombsite.

Don’t Feed the SMGs

It’s ALWAYS better to be killed by a rifle than it is to die to a non-P90 SMG–the additional kill reward from all other SMGs ($600 instead of the standard $300) makes these weapons especially powerful tools for lining the coffers of the Terrorist side’s bank, allowing for early AWP purchases and plenty of economic wiggle room.

Let’s say you’re last alive, and trapped in Z on Cache with low HP and your upgraded pistol–there’s a Galil covering your exit into Mid, and your teammates have informed you that there’s a Mac-10 wielding Terrorist pushing Truck and preparing to flank you.

Your job in this situation is to make sure you die to the rifler instead of the SMG player. It might seem counter-intuitive to actively seek death, and there are always exceptions–especially if you’re in a play-making mood–but depriving the Terrorist side of that additional $300 might mean that the AWPer has to forego armor in the next round. In a game of the finest margins, it’s these details that matter.

We’ll be covering more eco round principles in the coming weeks–in the meantime, if you’re looking to make a little cash of your own, download our iOS app, Esports TV, and watch some gaming videos to earn Steam, Battlenet, and Riot Point scrilla cards. Click here to be taken to the App Store!

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J.P. Corner
J.P. Corner is Esports Edition's Executive Editor. He was introduced to the wonderful world of esports by his older brother in mid-2014, and has a degree in Literature from Bard College. You can contact him via Twitter at @jpcornerGG.
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