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Opinion

The FalleN/fer bait against oskar was planned. Here is why

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

I thought I’d explain the FalleN/Fer bait play from ESG Tours Mykonos. It’s something I researched a bit, and I’m unlikely to ever write about it, so here you go. In a post-match interview, FalleN said this to HLTV about the play in Round 29 where FalleN’s AWP is peaking out distracting oskar so that fer can kill oskar: “I don’t think anyone’s gonna believe us. If I say it’s lucky, they’re gonna think it’s planned. If I say it’s planned, they’re gonna say it’s lucky. It’s up to yourselves, you guys can think whatever you want, if it was planned or if it was lucky. It’s up to you. We are SK. You know the level we play at.”

So here is the question, do I think it was planned or luck? It almost entirely depends on how much belief you have in SK’s ability to scout and prep. Do I think FalleN and SK knew that oskar was going to be there before even the round started? If I had to give a straight answer, I think that they planned it. Going into the round, I think SK was thinking there was a 70 percent chance it was this specific setup and by the time time the round ticked to 1:37, they were 99 percent certain where oskar was and what they were doing. Let me explain:

First, this is all supposition in my part. I’ve never talked to SK players or staff or anyone about it. I’m just assuming they know what I know to a much higher and focused degree as I do it for fun, and they are pros at it.

So here is what I know: From when oskar joined the team to now, Mouz has played inferno on LAN five times. Mouz/SK at DreamHack Summer, Mouz/Cloud 9 at ESL One Cologne, Mouz/Gambit at the Major, and Mouz/SK at ESG. While the roster has since changed, the routes Oskar runs in every match are the same.

Here are oskar’s AWP routes, each connected to a different CT-side setup:

Go peek mid, rotate to long hall and hold.
Go to arch side and peek toward mid (Used the most in anti-eco/force setups).
Peek mid, go truck side and cover mid/boiler.
Go truckside and cover mid/boiler.
Cover mid while two mouz players run down mid to fight.
Triple stack B early as the solo AWPer to take B control early. From there, he can either stay and fight or rotate depending.
Smoke at mid, get boosted over the smoke and try to get a pick. Will then rotate to truck and later the back of arch side.
Flashes himself into mid.
In a double AWP setup, will be at A, while ChrisJ is at B.
In a double AWP setup, will go B, if mouz wants someone to aggro alt mid, in which case they have ChrisJ do it since he is more expendable. (lowest chance, seen it once).
Finally, when oskar is at A, he will rotate into the A site or at the back of arch side later into the round, usually.

Prior to round 29, here are the tendencies that SK should know. Round 18, oskar was in A site. Round 20, oskar peeked mid. Round 21, oskar was at B with a 3 stack at B. Round 22, they killed oskar in long halls. In round 24, they found oskar in A site. In round 27, oskar was spotted by fer at truck side covering mid/boiler. fer was then killed.

Here we are now in round 29 and here is information they know for sure. Mouz has lost five rounds and has just gone full eco. They have a full buy. Second, Mouz as a team will always go for a double AWP buy for ChrisJ and oskar when they can afford it. So they should be reasonably sure this is a double AWP setup. This means that among the various routes oskar runs, #6, the triple stack at B, is dead. SK knows that going in, and it’s confirmed later when no one attacks them in alt mid.

Second, there is no smoke at mid, so #7 is also crossed off. Finally, there was no early aggression. So this takes out #1, #3, #5, and #8.

This leaves routes 2 and 4 left. In a pure mathematical sense, this should be a 50 percent chance, but I think there was at least a 80 percent chance of oskar being at truck side. First, a majority of his routes have him play around truck side, meaning that is his more comfortable angle. On top of that, he has played there more often in recent LAN games. Finally, in the game itself, the information that SK has on hand tells says it’s very likely oskar was favoring truck side as they found him in the site twice, at long halls once, and truck side once. Playing in site isn’t rare for oskar if he was playing at arch, so that’s not as much of a tell. Playing in long halls once is a tell that oskar was playing at truck. Finally, oskar should have felt confident in his truck side as he killed fer there two rounds ago. Given his tendencies, psychological factors, and what has happened in the game, and what knowledge SK had on hand, I think it’s very likely that SK could have predicted that between the choices of oskar playing at arch and oskar playing at truck side, that SK would have predicted oskar to be at truck side.

So I assume SK decided to clear the less likely angle and have FalleN go the right side of mid peeking into arch side. Once that was clear, the only route left was #4. At which point SK is almost 100 percent certain oskar is at truck, especially as they had already cleared long halls. At that point, FalleN starts baiting with his AWP and fer gets the kill.

That’s my reasoning for why I think the bait was mostly pre-meditated and the steps I think SK took to come to the conclusion as to why oskar was at truckside.

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