Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s high-explosive grenades can turn the tide in the defender’s favor, so here are the best times and places to toss them to inflict maximum damage on Mirage.
While the game’s molotovs and smokes are used often in CSGO’s matchmaking games, HE grenades are much more difficult to use correctly. But while these grenades rarely come with complicated lineups, they require defenders to know much more in-depth concepts. The first is obviously a general idea about the attacking team’s overall strategy. There isn’t any point stacking HE grenades on A ramp if a teammate is calling out a B rush. But timing grenades properly is much more important to how effective HEs can be in the right situations.
On Mirage, two are found on the bombsites while the final common area is the top middle area. All three are common places attackers find themselves trying to gain control of at the beginnings of rounds, but learning them in order of impact is the best way to start.
The simple answer is CTs should throw their grenades with 1:50 left on the clock for a middle mirage grenade stack.
There are few matchmaking rounds where an attacker doesn’t try to take a duel from the top of middle. More often than not, CT players will see two or more players come out top mid, so a grenade from whoever is playing sniper along with another from either the connector player or the defender on B catwalk can do serious damage. The timings for this aren’t too hard either. It takes around eight to ten seconds for an attacker to reach the top mid peak. Throwing the HEs with around 1:50 left on the clock gives the HEs enough time to fly their way to top mid and will explode just as the first Ts are rounding the corner.
Stacking A ramp is often done defensively, simply because it is much more difficult to predict than the attackers will rush the ramp outright and fast enough for this stack to actually work. That said, it’s always worth a shot on eco rounds, but we’d suggest stacking top mid as an alternative. That way, CTs are more likely to grab a weapon that they can then use thanks to matchmaking’s frequent solo T player top mid.
Regardless, if players choose the A stack, common suggestions are to throw at 1:48. That’s actually only slightly too late than the average time suggests. CTs want their grenades to land at 1:48 so players should throw them between 1:51 and 1:50 every time. Either the grenades will catch the rush or they will simple alert Ts setting up A site smokes. Either way, A ramp is often the most common stack, but it can also be the most useless.
B is the easiest way to land grenade stacks and inflict massive damage on rushing Ts, and it’s also a great way to get some chip damage onto an enemy player who has simply decided to hold the push. HEs thrown from both the van deep into the kitchen and from catwalk short into appartments can slow down rushes, or at least do enough damage to a player holding the flank that it makes future engagements easier to take.
When do CTs throw these? Well, most cat players will be able to tell when an apps rush is incoming and will call it out, but even with the fastest T spawn position, it takes almost 15 seconds for an attacker to make it to B’s window. With that in mind, players should throw right on 1:42 at the earliest for deeps grenades from van, while 1:41 or 1:40 is best for HEs thrown from the close catwalk.
HE grenades can even the playing field between CTs and Ts, causing both the M4A1-S and M4-A5 to kill in a single headshot like the T’s AK, so use them well, as Astralis did against G2 Esports at the PGL Major.
Although it’s not Mirage, the clip demonstrates the power of the one CSGO grenade that relies more on timing to be effective than it does on a slick lineup.