Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionals are dialing back their use of the AUG.
The CT-side scoped assault rifle has experienced a steep drop in usage at the ESL One Cologne tournament. This suggests that the recent nerfs to the gun have had a serious impact on its viability in pro play.
The AUG has only been chosen around 20% of the time when it comes to CT assault rifle purchases, with the M4A4 standing tall as the go-to weapon for the side. This is a strong contrast from other recent tournaments including the ECS Season 7 Finals, which saw the AUG purchased 71% of the time among CT-exclusive rifles.
This meta shift follows the Anniversary Update that arrived in June. The AUG received a significant nerf in the patch in the form of reduced unscoped accuracy and rate of fire. Though the gun remains valuable for long-range engagements and locking down angles, its potency at mid-range was hampered.
That seems to have been a deal breaker with many pros as the M4A4 has taken back its spot as the standard assault rifle on the CT side, with the M4A1-S receiving a boost as well. The AUG has still gotten some use thus far in ESL One Cologne, but it hasn’t been nearly as popular as it was in the weeks before the Anniversary Update.
That doesn’t mean scoped rifles are gone, though.
In addition to the AUG, the SG 553 is looking like a stronger option than it ever has been. The gun has been purchased around 25% of the time among T-exclusive assault rifles. Though it doesn’t seem like it will receive a huge quantitative jump at ESL One Cologne relative to the 24% rate it enjoyed at the ECS Season 7 Finals, it gets a qualitative buff in terms of how it has grown legs outside just a handful of teams.
Team Vitality and Furia Esports were early adopters of the scoped assault rifles and both were among the eight teams at the ECS Season 7 Finals. While this may have inflated the popularity of the guns at that one event, they don’t have that same impact on the 16-team ESL One Cologne.
With only a few more prominent live tournaments between now and the StarLadder Berlin Major, odds are that this is a taste of what the game will look like come September.