Passive and Aggressive Positioning

This article will go over the advantages and disadvantages of playing in certain types of positions. It will give examples on the 4 main maps I have covered so far (nuke/dust2/train/inferno), although it will be focused on positions for defending the bombsites, particularly from rushes.

Passive Positions

First up let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of playing in a really passive position:


  • Forces the enemy to commit more obviously when taking a site. They might not want to risk sending 1 or 2 players in alone, as you will likely have good positions set up and will be able to get the drop on them. They also have to use more grenades in an effort to stop you from dismantling their rush.
  • Related to this is the benefit that you will be able to call a fake more easily. If the enemy has to come to you in numbers then you will be in a better position to call for the rotate, if that is what’s required. If you were playing a really close, aggressive position, then you could get picked without the enemy even rushing.
  • Playing further back in the site allows you to set up better crossfires with your team, so you can get kills on the enemy as they are forced to check the many potential places you could be peeking from.
  • Usually a passive position is easier to rotate from.


  • That last point can also be a negative, however. The closer the enemy get to the bombsite, the more places they eliminate the need to check for, leaving perhaps only 2 or 3 spots to check when they rush the site.
  • Also, if you are playing passive then the enemy can get really close to the site before you even know you are there. If they then successfully take the site, then they will have bomb down and be in good positions before your team can rotate to retake.
  • If you play too far back then you reduce your options when/if you need to retreat.

As you can see, a lot of these points are related to each other; so you can call a fake more easily, however your call of a genuine rush will be quite late. The skill is in assessing the team you are playing, and choosing how aggressive or passive you need to play.

Now here are some examples of Passive positions you could play:

Train Upper B Passive – Avoiding a confrontation down the hall, simply waiting for a push.

Train Lower B Passive: Can just see the feet of the enemy as they push into site, from here you can flash / attack, or retreat further back into site.

Train Side Alley Retreat: From this passive position you can delay a rush, and then retreat further back.

Nuke Mid Passive: Avoiding confrontation with the T-side boxes, instead waiting to pick an unsuspecting T.

Nuke Hut Passive: Plenty of options for retreating. Could also quickly help Outside or Ramp.

Nuke B Passive: Hoping to get a surprise kill.

Inferno Back Box Passive: From here you can throw a flash and really defend well against a rush.

Inferno Spindles Passive: From here you can just see when a T enter’s site. They won’t see you until the last minute.

Inferno Pit Passive: No where to retreat to, but you are in a good position to pick any T’s pushing through Apartments.

Inferno Apartments Passive: From here can retreat into Pit. A good choice of position if you are on an eco.

Dust2 Long Passive: No where to retreat too, but if you have a teammate playing a good position on Long/Elevator, you might not need to. You can easily flash out from the bottom of pit, or simply stay hidden and wait for your teammate to flash the rush, then pop up and mow them down.

Dust 2 Short A Passive: A good position to defend from, though pretty at risk from nades. Useless if you have lost Long, however.

Dust 2 B Passive: You can just sit here occasionally peeking into tunnels. If you know for sure you won’t get picked by someone pushing Mid then this is a great position to defend B from.

Dust 2 Mid Passive: Avoiding confrontation with an AWP down Mid, this position instead focuses on calling a catwalk rush, and perhaps getting a pick or two.

Dust 2 B Passive 2: Play this position in unison with someone playing behind boxes on site.

Now I will show a couple of examples of (what I think) are good positions for two players defending an area.

First, in Nuke Ramp Room:

Nuke Ramp Crossfire

Here, one CT stays hidden behind the big box. His role is to surprise any enemies pushing down to ramp, and any rushing the other CT . The second CT player draws attention away from the box his teammate is hiding behind. Obviously the enemy will get wise if you use this setup every round, but it can really catch them off guard. It relies on the CT playing at Ladder Room to stay alive though, so he shouldn’t play to aggressive.

Second, at Inferno B Site:

One CT plays here.

The other plays at the corner of construction, right where this T is looking.

Here is the T looking towards where the CT is playing in Corner.

As you (hopefully) can see, as the T’s rush into the site, they will be visible to both players at around the same time. So the CT’s can take it in turns peeking out, and wipe out the T’s whilst their backs are turned. Some teams might smoke off CT Spawn / construction BEFORE they push into site, so that would render this setup kind of useless, unless the player at construction just sprays and nades into the smoke.

Aggressive Positions

Now for the benefits and drawbacks of Aggressive Positioning:


  • You could surprise the enemy with a really aggressive / unusual position.
  • If you have better weapons (if the enemy are on an eco) then you might be able to obliterate them, especially if you put some distance between them and you.
  • You will know where they are and what they are doing a lot sooner.
  • You will have more retreat options.


  • You may get picked before the enemy really start pushing the bombsite, which then means they could either quickly rush that site, overwhelming the remaining player, or wait to get another pick and really stretch your teams defences.
  • They enemy will not have to commit to a site to know where you are.

Now some examples of Aggressive Positions you could play:

Train Upper B Aggressive:  Revealing your position to get a better view.

Train Lower B Aggressive: You can get a few headshots, but its hard to retreat from this position.

Train Side Alley Aggressive: You can call a rush a lot quicker, however you could get picked.

Nuke Squeaky Aggressive: Quite a surprising place to sit, but very useful is they decide to rush vents from squeaky.

Nuke Mid Aggressive: A good position to play if they are on an eco, and there is no risk of you getting counter-awped.

Nuke B Aggressive: A really great place to defend B from, especially if you have a couple of guys watching vents for you (this is more for T’s after they have planted).

Inferno Spindles Aggressive: You risk getting shot for the chance to call a rush a bit early / get a pick yourself.

Inferno Banana Aggressive: A really aggressive position. Great if they are on an eco (even then a little crazy) but if they have good guns then you will just get picked.

Inferno Porch Aggressive: A great position to play in, you have cover from janitor cupboard and mid.Lots of places to retreat to.

Inferno Graveyard Surprise: A nice place to spray down an apartment rush.

Inferno Apartments Aggressive: Predictable, but if you’re quick you will get the first pick.

Dust2 Long Aggressive: Great if you have a guy playing passive in pit, you can flash for each other, and pin the enemy down.

Dust 2 Short A Aggressive Surprise: Hard to retreat from, but a good position.

Dust 2 Catwalk Aggressive: Even harder to retreat from, but the benefit is you can see what’s going on around the map.

Dust 2 B Aggressive: A good position if you have someone playing passive at car.

OK that’s enough examples for now. Different positions are an equation of a few different things:

  • how soon you will see the enemy / how soon they will see you
  • if you can surprise them
  • if you have retreat options
  • the amount of places you need to cover
  • if you can set up with a teammate

So with all that in mind, you should be able to pick more accurately when you need to play passive or aggressive. As a default I would say to always play passive, however it is always worth checking out how a team reacts to you playing aggressively. Aggressive positions tend to rely on raw fragging skill, where as a passive position is more about timing and teamwork.


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