The Difference Between Hero-Play and Raid-Boss in CS:GO

by Lomiei

Over time when playing CSGO there are inevitably points when a team is on low economy (including pistol rounds for this piece). At these points there are a couple of tactics that teams can run to even the odds by making their economy better or making the enemy economy worse. In this piece I will highlight 2 tactics that are seen at both the ammeter and professional level of play. These are the “Raid-Boss” and “Hero-Play” which are often confusedly mixed together. Both of these tactics are often restricted to the T side due to their closer proximity on low economy rounds as opposed to the spread out nature of the CTs across most economic situations.

Raid Boss: Not often used, but a viable pistol round tactic where the main player buys armor and is dropped an upgraded pistol by another player. This can be done for 2 players but is usually only done for 1 because of the fragile status of the economy as well as the limited amount of total gear available.

– Strengths: Assuming that the chosen Raid Boss (RB) is a mechanically skilled player, it gives your team an opportunity to have a high damage output as well as a higher defense rating. Which, against a CT side that has either 1 or the other at any given point, is a massive advantage. This is aided by the support of the other 4 players which have the usual loadout for the situation, excluding the player that dropped the pistol for the RB, who will have only the default pistol, maybe with some utility, but no armour.

– Weaknesses: Given that CSGO is a game where anything can happen there is a possibility where the RB gets killed right at the beginning of the round either because of a fault of his own or because of an enemy play with utility and coordination. For example on Dust-2; If a Raid Boss with armor and a Deagle were to push long and run into a flash and a pit player, he would be at a disadvantage and liable to be killed without trading. This puts the hypothetical team in a 4v5 with very little firepower and defense. Even less so if some of the players buy utility instead of guns or armor. Of course other players can pickup the dropped weapon, but at that point the team loses some of the total firepower rating and therefore some of the win potential.

Hero Play: Usually done on eco rounds but can work on force buy rounds; The main player buys armor with an AK/AWP (AWP is not recommended but still often done) and everyone else has just armor (sometimes) and a pistol, this you will often see in professional matches more so than Raid Bosses.

– Strengths: This type of round is pretty much a variation of an eco round and as such is a lower pressure situation, giving the players a more calm mindset. The main benefit of this tactic is the ability of getting a kill on a full buying CT with very little investment; since the Ak has 5 chances to be used and get a frag, it is very unlikely that it will not do so. The average cost of a CT full buy is around $6,300 (Armour + Aug + 4 Utility + kit), spending about $5,700k (AK + 3 Armour) to take away $6,300 (per kill) and potentially bring the weapon into the next round is undoubtedly a positive in the long run. This is the 2nd objective of every eco round; first to boost your economy by planting the bomb, secondly to damage the enemy economy by getting kills and baiting out utility.

– Weaknesses: The weaknesses of this tactic are the same as that of the raid boss, but the pressure is lower in the pistol. The risk of the team losing $5,700 is still there however; a much bigger economy drop-off from the $800 per player of the pistol round. Differently from the pistol round, that much economy damage without any return is detrimental to the team economy and into the next round can result in having to eco or force buy where they would usually have a full buy with utility.

In Sum, the main goals of these tactics are the same; put the bulk of the teams resources onto 1 player in order to have an advantage over the enemy in certain spots with support from the lesser equipped players. The main difference is in the risk and reward ratio, and the goals of the round. Firstly, Pistol rounds have an emphasis on buying whatever you can and preforming with it as both sides should be going all out to win and secure the starting economy. Eco and force buy rounds are played more carefully, thoroughly considering the economic situation of both teams as the flow of the economy is already established and the economy of the latter team can be either fully destroyed or brought closer to that of the enemy team. The second difference is that in the pistol round, both teams are focusing on their own economy and the best combination of upgraded guns, armor, and utility that would result in a win. In the situation of a hero play, the lower economy team is focusing less on how to manipulate their economy to win, but more on how to spend as little as possible in order to damage the better economy of the enemy team.

Check out this piece and more upcoming work on Reddit. My username is ‘Lomiei

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