Last time I described the role of the cover person. This time we take a closer look at the role of “tank“. In my opinion, this team member is most often misunderstood in the game CS:GO.
What does a “tank” do?
First of all, I want to say that my description may differ from how other people see roles in CS:GO. But first things first.
I think the single most important job of a “tank” is to play aggressively to create more opportunities for the team’s players to implement the strategy of the game. Thus, “tank” is a team-oriented role. Contrary to what most people think, especially the rookies I’ve talked to, tanking won’t score much most of the time. The exception will be only if he plays against a smaller team.
The “tank”, however, is the player who gets the weapon with the biggest hit. When your team is attacking a lot with four players and you’re going head-to-head with two players, it’s too hard to get a starting weapon and turn it into a four-on-one situation.
Most often, the “tank” is not the one who starts the attack (except if the counter-terrorists decide to “go scouting”). They need to better assess the situation and listen to their team members. It is very important that they have time to use the flashbang grenades that other players support them with.
It is also very important that the “tank” is waiting for other players. Passing through very narrow areas, there is a chance of being seen by the enemy. Then there will almost certainly be shooting. This means that members of the “tank” team (often snipers) should sneak up to pick up the starting weapon or sell it before the counter-terrorists have a chance to reload. In most scenarios, it is more profitable for the terrorists to sell weapons, because it will be easier to plant a bomb on the site.
Who should be the “tank”?
As you form your team, you try to determine who is best suited for that role. Who should be looked for?
You expect it to be someone who has a quick reaction time and is able to act quickly. You also need those who communicate well, as they will be the only ones who get the information first. When you find those who live up to your expectations, you will have more opportunities to work, and you will know roughly where the enemies are located.
Your “tank” shouldn’t have trust issues as it won’t be able to check every section. All of them have their own characteristics. “Tank” needs the confidence that the second and third players are ready to help him where he is not able to reach.
Apart from all this, the important point is that your “tank” listens to what the key players are saying. He must trust the leaders, because when players in this role are in doubt at a crucial moment, luck will not be on your side.
In short, your “tank” should be a submissive but fearless player who is not afraid to take charge of the entire team. One of the advantages of the role lies in some of the crazy moments of the game. One of these comes when you manage to collect two or three initial weapons in order to protect the site on your own.
An example from a promotional game
This example is taken from the Dreamhack Masters Malmo quarter-finals held in Sweden in April 2016. The player in the video is Jonas ‘Lekr0’ Olofsson from the GODSENT team he co-created with Markus ‘pronax’ Wallsten, former Major champion. This round came right after they had lost the previous one against the German team Mousesports. GODSENT decided to speed up the purchase of weapons, namely tec-9s, armor and several grenades.
Lekr0 gets into a vantage point while his team members plant grenades. As soon as smoke appears, Lekr0 runs through it. Andreas ‘znajder’ Lindberg (another former Major champion) throws his Molotov right next to the van to clear the area of any terrorists. Immediately after that, Lekr0 manages to kill Timo ‘Spiidi’ Richter, and more importantly, take the plot. At the same time, there is no danger from counter-terrorists.
The colorful smoke placed on both sides gives Lekr0 the ability to defend the position he has won and prevent the counter-terrorists from trying to take it back again. Otherwise, one could continue to take advantage of the situation to create more chaos for the defenders. But even now, Lekr0 was able to collect additional weapons and grenades.
Additionally, the smoke gave Lekr0 the ability to save his weapon before the situation changed, as well as give him, hypothetically, other options as well.
At the end, Pronax managed to consolidate the results of the round and show the strength of their team. The strategy was great. Lekr0 was able to convince the team members that no one could attack through the smoke, so there were a lot of GODSENT players in the area. Note that Jonas did not continue to play aggressively after he took the initial weapon: instead, he slowed down and helped his team. No matter what role you play, you still need to make the most of any situation.
How to practice
As with other roles, there are things to practice outside of the main game. You can go to an empty server and look for other methods that can be used when attacking different areas. There are 14 bomb sites in total, and you can work with them in a variety of ways.
Of course, there is a lot of work to be done. Depending on what strategy your team is pursuing, you will need to learn how to enter areas in different ways to make yourself less predictable. The more often you play, the more convenient it will be for you, as the most common places will become familiar to you. This way you can prioritize.
Try to find time to practice with your support players by implementing certain situations. For example, this may involve the use of a stun grenade. Can it happen that she will blind you when she is thrown by a member of your team? If yes, what can be done to prevent this? Maybe throw a grenade a fraction of a second earlier or later, or maybe do it when you’re sure you’ll have your back to it?
It is also very important to make sure that the sensitivity of your computer mouse is comfortable for you. There are many moments in the game where this is important, including in situations where you find the enemy in an area where you did not expect.
Luckily, CS:GO has plenty of customizable maps built for all sorts of practice purposes. The map I particularly like is called training_aim_csgo2. After subscribing to the map, you can then find it in the game menu by selecting “play”, then – “offline with bots”, where you can go to the Workshop tab. Here are all the cards to which you are subscribed.
It might all look like this.
There is a shield on one of the walls where you can change your settings. You can choose values that are convenient for you. Remember to change the distance often to get more comfortable with the sensitivity on different bands. This way of practice became very popular after Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg from the NiP team showed it on his channel in 2014. He tried to get close to 80% of his shots, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed. Even the pros fail to show the absolute result.
Remember that everything you learn in training, you will naturally show in the game. Count each practice session.
Try to play aggressively when you are on a DeathMatch server. Thus, you will get used to always going forward, even when the chances are very small. The more fights you have that you have completed, the better you will cope in the future.
Watch how the pros play
I don’t know if you need it or not, but you can download some demos from HLTV.org and learn the best ones. Look closely at how and why the pros take certain actions. Obviously, when you play on your own, things will be a little different (unless you’re already a professional), but it will be useful to you anyway.
There are many good examples of how the role of a “tank” is played. I would recommend you take a look at some of the games that Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire of the EnVyUs team is making. Admittedly, his team has gotten worse, but I still consider him one of the best tank players in the world.
You should also look at Pawel ‘byali’ Bielinski, who played for the Polish team Virtus.Pro. When he is in shape, I would say that he is the number one contender in the world when he plays the role of a “tank”. He is the only one who can deal with the strongest counter-terrorist settings that you can see in CS:GO on his own.
For the most typical example of a tank, I would definitely recommend watching Ryan ‘freakazoid’ Abadir, a former member of Team Cloud9. Maybe he is not the most skillful player in this team, but he made his career as a “tank” in CS:GO.
You shouldn’t underestimate your demos. View them. It’s tempting to see your wins again. Do it. This will boost your self-confidence and will work for you.
On the other hand, look at your bad games as well. It may not be as fun, but you will learn more by discovering your own mistakes. Try to figure out what you could do differently and try something new the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.
And another quick tip that was helpful to me when I was playing the role of a “tank”: before you attack, imagine how you will do it, try to make a plan. Of course, any situation will take some getting used to, but it’s always good to know what your next move will be. The fewer decisions you have to make on the fly, the easier it will be to focus on achieving your goals.
How to play as a “tank” in CS:GO