The SG 556 has become the dominant force in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s meta, and with Valve seemingly otherwise occupied, it may stay that way for a while longer.
Ahead of Riot Game’s closed beta launch of their Counter-Strike and Overwatch hybrid Valorant, streamer Jared “summit1g” Lazar hopped onto CSGO to hone his FPS skills. He wasn’t impressed with what he found. summit was consistantly dominated by users of the Krieg, at one point lashing out against players on the opposing team including former pro player and current caster Roy “StrongLegs” Ahad.
The resulting drama on Twitter surrounding summit’s comments to players on the other team raged from there, but it was caused by a real issue: The Krieg is simply too powerful, and the statistics back up that claim.
Over the first months of the year, the AK-47 has lost an enormous amount of ground to the scoped rifle. Starting with DreamHack Leipzig and ending at IEM Katowice, teams ranked inside the top 20 bought 3,729 AK-47s compared to 3,727 SG 556s. That’s 51% AKs to 49% Kriegs.
For comparison, the gap was wider over the same the first six months of 2019, with players purchasing the AK a whopping 96% of the time. From September to December, however, 45% of players purchased an SG 556 instead of the reliable AK.
What’s more remarkable is just how much the Krieg has taken over. In 2018, the SG 556 didn’t make the top ten in terms of weapons pirchased. The weapon’s popularity has grown almost as much as players’ hate for it. It’s not just streamers like summit losing their cool. Pro players are too.
Former pro Jacob “Pimp” Winneche tweeted about the weapon, begging CSGO developers to tone down its obvious strengths:
With WIN.gg reporting on the upcoming port of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Valve’s Source 2 engine, the CSGO players will probably have to wait even longer to see any adjustment.
CSGO’s developers have a tendancy to make a change and then seemingly walk away, as fans of the game saw in April 2017. Developers working on Counter-Strike made a massive change to the Negev, one of CSGO’s light machine guns, lowering its price down to a very affordable $2,000 “to promote experimentation” with the underused heavy weapon.
Three years later, the Negev is still $2,000 and players haven’t heard anything from the developers about the machine gun since. That doesn’t bode well for pros who have simply had enough of the changes made to the Krieg.
Some teams, including Astralis, have decided to not purchase the weapon at all on their T sides. If a CT gets their hands on a Krieg, with its high armor penetration, scope, and one-shot capabilities, it becomes nearly impossible to take a site from them. Astralis’ head coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen said as much in an EPL interview, revealing that the possibility of handing the weapon to the CTs was too much of a risk to take.
Astralis has since taken to only buying the weapon on the final round of their T side, when the risk is no longer in play.
Team Liquid’s Nicholas “nitr0” Canella took the opposite approach in his interview the same day, saying that with a gun that overpowered, there wasn’t any way he wasn’t going to purchase it whenever possible.
To many, the most frustrating part has been the resulting swing in CSGO’s meta. Before the Krieg, the CT-exclusive AUG ruled CSGO’s maps. A nerf to its rate of fire and initial accuracy was actually what originally paved the way for the meta as it stands today.
You can find an in-depth look at just how the AUG nerf opened the door to Counter-Strike’s SG drama here.
For now, all CSGO fans can do is wait it out. Until Valve lets Steam Global out into the world and Counter-Strike gets its Source 2 upgrade, the developers seem pretty busy with other things.