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Thinking about aggressive and passive stances

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

‘Chiu on this’ is a short and regular opinion piece

The first time theory I ever heard about the difference between aggressive and passive playstyles was when I was lurking through a Soul Calibur 2 competitive guide online. I do this every once in a while where I look at a guide of a game/media/history/art/whatever I’ve never played/experienced just to see what I can learn about it without having any prior knowledge. I can’t find the guide anymore but the gist of it was feined as this. There are two general types of play: aggressive and passive.

The Aggressor is static. The aggressor should be in one place on the screen attacking. The aggressor is committing to multiple light moves to probe your defense over and over as he tries to limit your options of movement.

The passive player is dynamic. They are constantly on the move, but never commit to any attack. Rather they get into positions and then punish aggressive players for overextensions.

For various reasons, this doesn’t translate over to other games and the definition itself was argued over ad finem in that forum, but the crux of the idea I took from it is this. The aggressor doesn’t need to read a situation since they are forcing a situation down a certain path. The passive player must pre-emptively read the other players and then take positions that naturally counter the attack before the action starts.

It’s not the greatest definition, but it’s something I’ve come to think more and more about as I’ve watched CS:GO teams/players who cross from one to the other on a given map or series. I haven’t thought of the perfect way to think of it (perhaps there isn’t any), but it’s something I roll around in my head often.


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