CS:GO Alternative Options For Low Economy Rounds

by Lomiei

When looking at Low economy rounds, a lot teams make the mistake of only considering the weapon buys and giving very little thought to the actual goals of the round. This piece will highlight some of the many options you have regarding the content of low economy rounds as well as the equipment you buy.

Comparing & Contrasting Ecos/Force buys
In most cases, these low economy rounds are usually played out in a fast paced style on the T side with most to all of the players in a group, often running a contact or Rush strategy. This is most likely due to the fact that the lesser equipment will consistently lose against an enemy in most given 1v1 aim duels.

Eco Rounds
In most eco rounds, players will either have upgraded pistols, some utility (1 to 3 grenades depending on the playstyle of each individual player), and sometimes a set of kevlar; however not all of these will be equipped on 1 player. Regarding playstyle, more mechanically skilled players will buy or get dropped the pistols while buying armor, while the supportive players will have more utility.

Force-Buy Rounds
As opposed to an eco round, which is a simple process of preserving the team economy and damaging the enemy economy, force buy rounds are by nature more desperate attempts at winning an important round when all of the odds are against you. Because of this, the plays that the teams run are less risky and usually slower paced. Since there’s no set definition or formula of a force buy, it can be generally recognized as a buy where your team has as much equipment as possible without having the total potential of a full buy. As previously mentioned, an eco round can be easily seen by just pistols and/or minimal utility; force buys on the other hand are more easily recognized by the money you have after you buy (ranging from $0 to around $300) as opposed to just the equipment you have. As such, a force buy can consist of pistols, smgs, rifles, and even an Awp, and in any combination with utility and armor depending on the money of each individual player.

Gather information
On the T side, being able to read the CT setups is a huge tactical advantage. Even if your team doesn’t have the firepower or utility to take map control in that round, taking note of the preferred setup of the CTs can help your team adjust the plays for the future rounds to take advantage of the weaknesses of enemy team. In a round where your team cant do very much, this information gathering can be very valuable in the long term. This concept can even be applied to how easy it is to force CT rotations or utility usage. The reason I mention this exclusively for the T side is because on CT, low economy buys normally wont affect your positioning. CTs will usually be in default formations whether they have pistols, smgs, or rifles (Except for gamble-stacks on a bombsite which don’t happen very often).

Have some fun
In CSGO, mentality each players’ mentality is just as important as anything else, and sometimes it can also be a bit stressful as well. While CSGO must be played seriously at the higher levels, the vast majority of non-professional players can get a large mood boost from some comedic or relaxed environment where everyone’s brain has the opportunity to reset and take a break before having to return to the serious game. The perfect opportunity for this would of course be the lower pressure rounds where success is a surprising or unlikely event as opposed to the 50%-50% chance of winning a round when both teams are on a full buy. For example, having a strat-roulette play ready for when you need to let loose can be good for the whole team.

Experimentation
This one is kind of self explanatory. If there’s something that a team wants to try out in a live game that could surprise the enemy team or just be an interesting tactic to run (that doesn’t require a full buy of course), this is the time to experiment. For example, i’ve always wanted to try a play where my team gets all the way from the T spawn of any map to the CT spawn by just using utility. Also I think it would be funny to get all of my team in a position where each player gets a knife kill and that’s how we win the round. These plays are not meant to be serious or game-breaking, they’re just to stretch the boundaries of whats possible in the server. And if there’s even a small tactical possibility to whatever crazy idea you have, then you’ll have the upper hand if you ever want to show your team or league opponent something crazy.

Titan Pause
The ‘titan pause’ serves as a tactical timeout if the team runs out of allowed tactical pauses. To be honest, I don’t know the true origin of this T side tactic, but it can be assumed that this was used by the french professional team ‘Titan’. The base of it is an eco where all 5 players buy nothing and stack into 1 position, with each possible angle being covered by multiple players. For the duration of the round, the team talks about the game plan for the following rounds or just general reminders of the default team play. If the CT side decides to push the position you’re staked in, it becomes a 5v1 in your teams favor, although you still might not win the fight because of the low firepower. If the CTs do not push your position, you can surprise them at the end of the round by pushing either site with the advantage of the CT side not having any information. This play isn’t used very much for obvious reasons, but it is still an option for low economy rounds and not as ridiculous as it might sound at first. I’ve used this multiple times and it does help me get my team in order if the game is getting too chaotic or I need time assess everything i’ve read from the game so far.

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