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A janitor is a player who, in a multiplayer match, waits until other players are in the midst of fighting (or are otherwise weakened) before beginning an attack. Such players then proceed to "clean up" the weakened combatants. These opportunistic players may also be referred to as kill stealers,[note 1] trash-baggers, cherry-pickers, or "the cleanup crew."
The tactic is most effectively used in free-for-all Slayer games because the action is more chaotic, making such distractions occur more frequently, and in team games, a janitorial kill would be considered "team-shooting" and the original attacking player would get an "assist." The tactic also provides an easy means of scoring double and triple kills.
Although janitorial kills are not considered cheating, some consider them to be unfair. Such kills take advantage of distractions outside the attacker's control,[note 2] and that in without such distractions, the janitor would not be able to kill the target.
Others consider janitorial kills to be a legitimate strategy and smart play. Halo 3: The Official Strategy Guide states that "smart players survey the battle and choose the right time to strike."
- ↑ Kill stealing refers to one player (A) killing another player (B) who was already being attacked or weakened by a third player (C); A effectively takes advantage of the damage inflicted by C, killing B. B, however, would have died at the C's hand if not for the intervention of A. Typical usage of the term "kill stealing," however, would be precluded by C's death -- that is, if B were to kill and be weakened by C, then A would not, by killing B, be stealing C's kill. This exception occurs because even if A were not involved in the firefight, C still would not have been able to kill B (because C was killed). Referring to janitorial tactics as "kill stealing," then, may be a misuse of the term "kill stealing."
- ↑ This is in contrast to, for example, a distraction that was planned and set up by the attacker, such as the remote detonation of a fusion coil with the intent of diverting a target's attention.