This article is co-written by CS:GO player Jeffrey “CuzDabz “ LeBouef (https://play.esea.net/users/1951232), who lent his expertise on the nuances of the game.
The last time we talked about the basics of callouts and general archetypes of bad callers in the Becoming a pro communicator article. We gave you some of the keys to communicating more effectively in most multiplayer competitive games. Now that you understand the concepts of giving precise information and not clogging up comms with how your day was, we will instead spend our time focusing on the things that will help you become a better communicator in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In CS:GO a callout is the best method of transfer of information about the enemy. It is more precise and can be quicker than a radio cues done on a keyboard. If you cannot give precise informed callouts you are putting your team at a major disadvantage. A basic callout on the map de_cache (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRpRzekQjLA) may go along the lines of “ One awping boost” This callout has the basic structure format of a number of IDed targets (one), what they are doing (AWPing), and where they are doing it (Boost). The key to this callout is that it didn’t overshare any non pertinent information. However, odds are if you’re reading this you may not even know what awping means or where boost is!
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CS:GO is a game with a lot of terminology, more than we have time to cover here. Most “action” callouts are either audio or visual related when it comes to relaying information. For the moment we’ll focus on some audio cue examples. “Scoping” for instance in a callout refers to hearing the opponents’ sniper scoping, so even though you don’t see the enemy they’re close enough to give audio clues to you. “Execute” means that the opponent has begun to use smoke and flash grenades in order to begin to enter the bombsite and informs your teammates that you could use some backup. “Pins pulled” is a call in the same vein as “Scoping” as it gives your teammates the info that you used audio,not visual, clues of the position of the enemy and that they’ve primed grenades. These are just a few of the basic terms you’ll need to form callouts and understand what information your teammates are giving you. For a starting list see the CS:GO Dictionary: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=239678197
Be an anchor, not an anchor. See Sandbag for more info.
Note that all of these above callouts are audio related, this is why a good pair of headphones and a good microphone are vital to the success of top tier players. You need to be able to hear the sound effect at any distance, judge how far and what direction, and relay that information clearly and cleanly to your teammate. This is what makes the ModMic so special, allowing the combination of a high quality mic with high end headphones for the best possible outcome.
As we see in the example above, the second part of a call refers to a location. CS:GO is a game where understanding the map and what elements on the map are important to your team is vital to your success. There are many resources to help you learn the maps and what each position is called, CuzDabz uses http://sothatwemaybefree.com. Make sure to do your homework before dropping new maps so you can continue to be effective on comms.
With that in mind let's do another quick example:“ Scoping and pins pulled top banana.” Using our earlier format we know this: No number was given so enemy count is unknown Scoping we defined as a sniper that has scoped in. Pins pulled, you recall, is that there’s also a grenade primed. Top banana is a map location. Odds are they’re about to lob a flash grenade, and a well organized team can now react to this situation by avoiding re-peaks or rotating.
Banana. It's fun to say.
On the flip side of this is a call like “many at b main.” This call gets across the information that there is quite a bit of the enemy going b however it doesn’t get across information like do they have bomb, are they all there, and do they have weapons? Without information like that it is very tough for the players on the other bombsite to commit to a full rotate to give support since if they leave site and the enemy had faked the b rush it would give them an open site to plant on the other side of the map. It doesn’t instantly make this a bad call, but it is less than ideal. A better player would have been able to collect more visual or audio data to make a more specific call.
No matter at what level, no team gives consistent perfect callouts. However, every single person can focus on trying to think about how they can improve their own personal callouts such as “Is this information going to help my teammates make the proper decision?” and “Is this information going to give the full picture to my teammates without misleading them?” The ability to hear, see, process, and report information that is both accurate and informative is a skill that can and should be developed as much as your aim and reflexes. Just as you’d research to buy the best mouse, you should also research to buy the best audio equipment to improve your game. Check out this list of the best headphones for some ideas!
Finally, it is of the utmost importance to be quiet when you’re no longer alive after 10 seconds, as after 15 seconds any callout or information is going to be completely useless. Allow the players still alive to give their focus to the game. Use the moments after your death to report one final piece of information rather than complaining about your death, then go radio silent until the match is complete.
Final report: One Deagle B Site.
So just remember when playing to stay calm, focus on giving precise info, and HFHF!