Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is experiencing a new meta led by the Desert Eagle.
Flashpoint 3, the most recent Regional Major Rankings event in professional CSGO, featured the top teams in the world who collectively revealed a trend in the round following the pistol rounds. Seen in both the first and second halves’ opening rounds, the team that lost the pistol frequently opted for a force buy of Desert Eagles to compete against rifles in the following round. While the odds seemed to favor the team with greater firepower and utility, those advantaged teams fell short a surprising amount.
The tournament consisted of 91 maps played in total with 182 rounds following pistol rounds. Roughly 104 of those rounds were force buys with the majority of the weapons being Desert Eagles. Despite the disadvantage of using pistols, 36% of the Desert Eagle buys resulted in round wins.
This trend in CSGO could change the general value of pistol rounds in professional matches. In the past, teams that won the pistol round would confidently win the following round due to the other team choosing to save their money. As a result, a 2-0 lead was a common occurrence. The trend of buying Desert Eagles allows these second rounds to be more competitive as either team has a decent chance in the ensuing combat. This means the pistol round may become less important for teams to win. In addition to this, teams now have another option when they are low on money later in the game, as buying Desert Eagles can be fruitful in many low-economy situations.
The weapon’s impact in Flashpoint 3 sparked a discussion of whether it should be nerfed in some way. Erik “ztr” Gustafsson of Ninjas in Pyjamas shared his view of the weapon in an interview with James Bardolph at Flashpoint 3.
“I think the fix is not about the money, maybe just decreasing the damage so you can’t shoot two shots in the leg from close range and kill one dude”, ztr said.
We’ve seen overpowered pistols in the past with the R8 Revolver being the most prominent, but balancing weapons isn’t a frequent occurrence coming from the developers at Valve. A sudden change being made to the Desert Eagle is unlikely unless it proves to be a substantial issue for professional teams and casual players alike. For now, the Desert Eagle will continue to be the $700 ticket to winning against your fully kitted opponents.
IEM Summer 2021 starts on June 3, giving teams another chance to showcase the capability of the renowned pistol.