Oh boy, it's certainly been a while since I last did a competitive TF2 blog post. But here we are, reunited together once again.
Today we are going to be looking at cp_sunshine, mainly because I was laying in bed one evening questioning my existence where a thought popped up "why don't people like sunshine?" "why don't I like sunshine?" "mids are shit on this map". And so I began musing on how to help people not be shit on sunshine mids...
The lack of surprise factor...
To first improve our sunshine game we must understand why it's difficult, one of the main factors for me is the vast amount of vision you are given on mids, please see my screenshot below...
As show above you can see how much info you are given just from one angle, assuming you can count to six, if a player is missing it's safe to assume they may very well be in cafe. Now, in your team you will have five others looking around and in different positions, this pretty much means any surprise jumping soldier, flanking scout etc. will only be a concern if two of your team mates timed out on their way to mid, one is currently sneezing, and the rest just walked to mid.
Now taking a look at process in comparison you have a large area by the crates where you have no vision, accompanied by a multitude of other factors it's easier to be surprised on this map by someone flanking or jumping. This also appears on all the other maps in their own ways, sunshine is unique in that having this surprise factor is only really present if your teams opening position is poor. If you fix that issue then the mid fight become a lot easier.
The issue here is that if a soldier does jump on you you can see the jump from the very start, this gives your players enough time to prepare for any aggression, also, taking into account the distance that needs to be traveled for that soldier as well means that it's going to be very hard to make up that distance with one jump and for the team to follow that up.
It can be done, but there's a lot more factors that can make it not work, you'd really have to be coordinated as a team to make it work as it's easy to just have the aggression kited and soaked up.
Due to this my thoughts are for newer teams that it's better to have control over the mid and win it by forcing your opponents into a mistake.
This is a setup that gives you vision from all angles and commits no players. Your objective is to mainly bait the enemy team in to moving into the two circled areas.
Your demos primary focus is the tower and the tetris to the right hand side, it's important that these areas are taken control of primarily to bully the other team out of both flowers and choke.
On the left side you need to have your roaming scout defensive just to prepare for any aggression coming from that side, both soldiers will be primarily looking to spam in those circled areas. If there is an opportunity to take some ground risk free then they can advance their positions to take more ground.
This position also means that none of your players are singled out, any incoming damage is kept within one to two players giving your medic a more manageable situation. If something is to go wrong and not enough is being done then it should be easy for every player to get out without a large congregation at your choke.
This set up is a little tighter and a bit more direct, you do still gain a lot of vision negating any surprise aggression. Here though you'd need to rotate your pocket and roamer on the tower to keep up any pressure. With this your demo can focus more on the main enemies ahead and hopefully your scouts on the left and right side and move forward and take further control of the mid. Your medic should then primarily be healing the demo and the soldier on the tetris getting ready to rotate to the tower again.
Using these setups as a foundation you can then start to experiment with your team on effectively taking control of middle quicker and more aggressively, a large amount of troubles I see teams have is that when they are being aggressed on by a couple of soldiers they are somehow able to do a lot more than they really should, you can see anyone jumping your team a mile away, just kiting the jump, moving back and taking out that player will easily get you back into the fight and with the position of your teammates hopefully being held, you can then target the rest.