So I was messing around on the official Valve maps - trying rollouts for demoknights - and I noticed a peculiar and helpful coincidence. When using the Ali-Baba's Wee Booties, the Splendid Screen and the Claidheamh Mòr (ctrl-c from wiki, ctrl-v...) I repeatedly ended up with the following: Charge out of the spawn door The charge ends as you finish covering the first region Walk to the front lines By the time the Splendid Screen has recharged, you will have reached the front lines But more importantly, this works regardless of which spawn you come out of - main, forward or far-forward. If you start at last, the charge covers the base area, and the recharge brings you up to the chokepoint at mid. If you start at second, the charge brings you to the chokepoint at mid, and the recharge takes you to the exit of the chokepoint at the other side. If you start at mid, then the charge takes you to the chokepoint to second, and the recharge finishes up in their lobby to last. Let me show you some images to demonstrate. On these pictures, the green circle represents the start of the charge, which itself forms a gentle curved red line. The blue line is the walky part of the journey, and each route ends at a yellow circle. Ah, the old Badlands. Here, we're gonna call the houses either side of mid part of the area, and the lobbies between second and last are part of last. Here, the Claidheamh Mòr tactic works out almost perfectly for all 3 points, but it requires technically missing out the second point. Wonder why a lot of famous competitive maps have a shortcut that skips second? This is why: to make that last-to-mid journey happen in the right amount of time. Now on to fan favourite, Process. This map has really well defined chokepoints around mid, and the main and far-forward spawn hit that choke bang-on perfectly . Unfortunately, I was able to wander a little too far into last before my shield recharged. I'd like to take that as an outlier. But now let's have a map that forces the players through mid. Granary. Phhewwwey, main spawn and forward are fine and fit the trend, but I'll really need some confirmation bias to explain that extremely far forward final spawn. Luckily, I have some. It's there to counteract the extremely chokey second point area. It's at this point that I'd like to remind everyone that my word is not the Bible, and that sometimes spawns and routes need to deviate from the standard simply to improve play. Here, if the forward spawn were moved back to the more "standard" position behind the health kit at mid, the attacking team would have huge difficulty defending second given that their enemies have more space and even a height advantage. That doesn't mean that this forward spawn still doesn't cause issues, however. Competitive players have commented that it's extremely difficult for a wiped team to hold last, and I bet you that that forward spawn does no favours for them. On top of that, its positioning makes it a great spot to wait for the defending team to push out after they've taken back second - something a spawn at mid would have no issue with. Makes me wanna test with a rejigged spawn one day. But speaking of forward spawns that are too far ahead: Poor old 5Gorge is an example of a map whose spawns went all over the place after its conversion from an attack/defend map to a 5cp. This explains why it has never seen use in competitive - one of the few Valve 5cp maps to acclaim that accolade - and why it's rarely popular in pub play as well. One of the common complaints levelled against it is the "too large criticism" - and here you can see exactly what those scale issues are. Or rather, you could if the roof of mid wasn't entirely in the way. The black rectangle represents that area and the two doors either side. Note that the rollout charge stops a full 1000 units from the door, and that area you certainly wouldn't call the choke area. The forward spawn suffers from the exact same problem on the other side, with the recharge stopping 1000 short of getting out the the front door on the other side. Effectively, the lobby area between 2nd and mid is just too large for this configuration of map. In order to counteract this, Valve pushed the far-forward spawn close like they did on Granary - but unlike Granary, second is much easier to defend, leaving the defending team destined to lose once they are pushed back to last. I chose Fastlane as an example of a map that has issues that make it played rarely, but size is not really one of them. The Claidheamh Mòr test agrees - this map hits every single point when it's supposed to. I'd just like to indicate that even if your map is the right size, doesn't mean you have hit all the other requirements for a great map. I wanted another map that bypassed 2nd, and Gullywash certainly fits the bill. When it comes to my diagram, it's also all over the place. The main pathway splits in two towards the end, as both teams usually divide their forces to attack each side of the point. Whilst the shortcut ensures that the route from main spawn hits the point in time, it causes all sorts of issues for far-forward spawn, which finishes outside of the other team's spawn by the time the shield has recharged. Coincidentally, the major complaint about Gullywash from competitive players: stalematey. Why? Well this is my theory: The short route from the spawn to last means the attackers push in and hold lobby, which they often do. This means the defenders sit back at their spawn, leaving most of the last point as a no man's land. The attackers have to push through narrow chokepoints to attack. On the other hand, if the route was longer, the defenders would be inclined to hold further forward, inside the lobby. Then they'd become flankable and would themselves become stuck in a chokepoint, creating a resolution to the stalemate far faster. At the very least, if the spawn wasn't so far forward the defenders would push out much more, as the attackers wouldn't be able to block their path as well, so it'd be less stalematey from that point of view. This might be a bit of a contentious opinion, so I'd love to hear your speculation. Good old croissant. Look at that unique, croissant like shape. You'd have thought this oddball map would fail my test right? Nope. Perfect result. Now if only the area around last wasn't so confusing... Well, that's been quite a post, and I plan to update it further with pictures from maps. Also, if you want to post your own 5cp maps on here to be used as an example - either to show how great a mapper you are or what mistakes should not be made - I'd be happy to bring out the demoknight and put them in the OP. Thanks for reading.