ATK: Anubis Testing Kings
Despite not being in the map pool for most of the ongoing competitions in the Counter-Strike world, Anubis was available to play during the ESEA Autumn 2022 Cash Cup 4, and ATK took full advantage of it.
If you live under a rock, or if you came out of nowhere, you might not have seen that Valve has brought a big change to the Active Duty map pool, putting Dust2 to rest (not our website, thankfully) and adding Anubis to the competitive scene.
On November 27th, 2022, ATK and MIBR made history by being the first two teams to play an official match on the Egyptian map, and with that match came a lot of new utility usage, CT-side site management, T-side executes, and much more.
Starting off with the basic information that might not be that relevant, given the sample size, but the defending team won 15 rounds, two more than the attacking team. Pretty balanced, but that is expected from a map that hasn't seen too much tinkering going on.
But some tinkering was done from the ATK side. The international team started on the T-side, and in round four showcased a one-way smoke in Connector/Ebox, favoring those coming from Canal, thrown by Jonathan "b0denmaster" Bodenmalm straight from the spawn position. This smoke resulted in a kill for ATK and control in that part of the map, which ultimately led the team to the B-site after some trades happened.
For all the utility nerds out there, you probably have found out that Torbjørn "mithR" Nyborg, Apeks Rebels coach, started a document with links to all the grenades lineups found by the community, with video links to teach you how to use the utility to your advantage. The document already has 64 different uses for every kind of grenade, except HE. This is a good example of how the community is able to receive a totally new map and make the best of it.
In the first few rounds of the map, MIBR took a less aggressive approach towards Bridge, giving it up completely with Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian, the Brazilians' rifler, tucking all the way on the back of Middle, but ATK looked much more poised to take control of Canal and A Main. JOTA took full control of Bridge a few times after round six. Other than that, it was Raphael "exit" Lacerda who took care of that part of the map, being much more aggressive than JOTA but still not playing full contact, except in round 12, during which exit had a saved AWP in an eco from MIBR and got the spawn with the fastest route to Bridge. This resulted in an early kill and opened the way for a Brazil round win.
Matheus "Tuurtle" Anhaia certainly had fun during the Anubis match, as he got himself two Zeus' kills in the first half, both in the same Connector/Ebox position.
ATK on the CT-side were much more aggressive in taking control of Bridge, mainly because MIBR didn't use smokes to cover Connector/Ebox, leaving the player in that position vulnerable to any kind of drops from the opening in Bridge. This translated sometimes to total control of the lower part of the map, which can force the T-side team to the B-site.
MIBR on the T-side were also more aggressive toward Middle, in order to gain the advantage they gave ATK by not smoking Connector/Ebox. This would result in splits to the A-site most of the time. When the Brazilians wouldn't be able to take control of Mid, they would resort to attack the B-site most of the time.
From the many times Connector/Ebox was mentioned in this article, it seems that position has a lot of power in controlling what the T-side is doing down in Canal, but I was left with the impression that neither T-side explored the T-side Upper corridor above Boat to take control of A Main when Connector/Ebox has been lost.
As said before, it is a totally new map in the competitive rotation but Anubis has been around for more than three years. Despite this, it still needs some fixing, mainly in the clipping department, as some utilities can collide with invisible extensions of walls.
Only one official has been played in Anubis so these are just two examples of how to play both sides. As time goes on there's the expectation that the map will be exploited in many ways, favoring both sides. It looks like a fun T-side and a challenging CT-side, with many routes for lurks and plenty of air space to let those nades fly. Let's see what Anubis holds in the future.