Understanding your CS:GO roles can be tricky - using an AWP (AWPer) isn’t for everybody and neither is being the in-game leader. Over the years, CS:GO has developed a competitive community that has created primary roles within a competitive line up, and we are going to break down those roles in simple terms.
CS:GO roles: The basics
Competitive CS:GO roles have been defined as a style of play that an individual will use throughout a match. There are many different roles that players can choose to assume but we will highlight the most common.
A high level of communication is required regardless of what role is being played. Depending on which side (T-side or CT-side) is being assumed and the map being played, some teams may choose to have multiple players playing the same role - for example, two AWPers or two Entry Fraggers - whereas some situations may call for a more standard team composition with an individual player fulfilling each of the five unique primary roles.
While there are fixed roles for players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, these tend to only be seen at the highest level of professional competition. Casual players will find that the role they play may change as they play the game.
What are the different CS:GO roles?
An Entry Fragger, or simply Fragger, is typically the first character on the scene. They aren’t afraid to rush into situations or scenarios that might appear to be dangerous and they take on high-risk, high-reward battles with opponents to gain an advantage for their team.
Contrary to the name, the Fragger will not always be the highest on the scoreboard. They will assist the team in executing the overall strategy and will push faster than the rest of the team. They might be able to exchange a kill for a kill or leave the enemy weak enough that they can be picked off easily by a teammate.
Professional Entry Fraggers that are worth studying are: Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip, Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis, and Alexey “qikert” Golubev.
The Support is generally the person who is carrying the flashbangs, molotovs, and grenades (these are often known as ‘utility’ in-game). You might consider this as a staple task for more or less all roles, but as there are seven competitive maps in which you will need to remember every possible position a grenade can go in, having a designated team member covering this aspect of the game is useful.
A Support will know the vantage points on every map and they will be always looking for ways to hinder the enemy team, using grenades to assist teammates take control of contested areas. Normally, they rely on the In-game leader to make calls about what to expect from the enemy team. Due to the impact a Support can have on the performance of teammates, In-game Leaders often also play Support.
In-game Leader (IGL)
The IGL is responsible for devising and implementing the overall strategy within the match. They tend to call the strategy, push bomb sites or locations, and communicate to teammates the positions that they should be in.
The IGL isn’t expected to be a top performer on the scoreboard; their role is to properly communicate with and coordinate their teammates to execute their strategy and increase their chances of winning.
At a professional level, In-game Leaders have the responsibility of researching opponents and crafting specific strategies for each match. Some notable IGL players include Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, Finn “karrigan” Andersen, and Casper “cadiaN” Moller.
The AWP (Arctic Warfare Police) is a one-shot, one-kill sniper rifle that is the most expensive weapon to purchase in the game. A player with the AWP tends to battle opponents from long ranges and acute angles; however, some of the best players in the world use the weapon much more aggressively, sometimes also acting as an Entry Fragger for the team.
This role can be very dependent on the IGL. For example, the IGL might give certain orders to the AWP to move to a certain location, refrain from rushing in with the group in case the enemy team is flanking from behind, or to clear the bomb site from afar.Some of the most prolific players in CS:GO are AWPers - players such as Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, and Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz.
The Lurker, as the name would imply, is someone that waits patiently and uses the environment to their advantage. Slow with movement but fast with communication, the Lurker would be responsible for letting his team know about the enemy’s positions and flanking opponents.
They tend to take a different route from the rest of the team and they will be the ones that take a longer route to the bomb site, taking the longest in getting there due to their sneaky nature.
Some of the most infamous Lurkers include Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer Gustafsson, and Robin “ropz” Kool.
Other roles that might make an appearance
If you’ve watched a competitive CS:GO match, you probably would have seen the guy behind the team, walking backwards and forwards with a piece of paper in his hand.
Before the match, during tactical time-outs, and after the match is when the coach is at his best. He will be the primary source of the team’s research alongside the In-game Leader and will be there calming or hyping the team up and making strategy calls.
Notable coaches include Danny “zonic” Sorensen, Wilton “zews” Prado, and Fatih “gob b” Dayik.
Playmaker (Secondary Entry Fragger)
The Secondary Entry Fragger, unsurprisingly, is usually the second one in after the Fragger. Their role remains the same except they tend to work off of information provided by the Fragger. They normally get the return kill if the Fragger goes down. They are also good in situations where the odds might be against them, turning unlikely situations into clutch plays.
The AWPer role can be played by two players but not often - only if the map allows for more than one AWPer. The Secondary AWPer is the same role as the normal AWPer and most other roles can pick up an AWP and perform well. The majority of the time, a secondary AWP rifle isn’t bought but instead picked up from the losing team, because the cost of the AWP is very high.
However, having two one-shot, one-kill rifles in their armoury can lead to an early or tactical win for a team, or it can give the enemy team the upper hand if you lose it, as it will give the enemy a weapon worth $4,750.
A Rifler is a general-purpose player that doesn’t have a predefined role within a team and instead tends to adopt one of the other roles as the situation dictates. They are confident in using an Assault Rifle like the AK-47 or the M4A4 and are expected to provide a consistent level of performance.
Some notable Riflers include: Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, Dan "apEX" Madesclaire. and Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand.
Why the bomb site matters to CS:GO roles
The roles played all vary depending on which side you are on, the Terrorists (T) side or Counter-Terrorists (CT) side. Players tend to divide the roles between each other but many players have a ‘go-to’ role that they tend to stick with.
For example, a Lurker would tend to be more favoured on the Terrorists side as they have more potential to roam around the map and can see bigger results from sneaking up on the CTs, whereas the CTs don’t need to leave the bomb site areas unless they are trying to scout ahead.
Whilst CT’s might not have a dedicated Lurker, they tend to have two players that are dedicated to a specific role or function within the match.
A rotating/pivot rifler, the CT-side counterpart to the T-side Lurker, is usually floating around various parts of the map in order to provide a rapid response to different situations. They may also provide utility for the team once the fire fight starts and can flank the enemy team if they are in the correct position.
The other role is the defensive/static rifler. Essentially, this CT-side role is there to hold bomb sites and keep the enemy team back for as long as possible until the rest of the team turn up. They will not enter the fight expecting to come out alive but they can communicate crucial information to the team about how the enemy team has entered or is entering the bomb site and how many there are. They might even be able to gain a kill or in clutch plays, take down the majority of the opponent’s team.
It is important to note that the roles within this guide are not strict, and you may find that players will have multiple roles within a team, or may even switch roles mid-match to adapt to a situation.