While Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s most famous machine gun doesn’t see much use, that’s not because pros are unable to use it.
In April 2017 Valve released an update to CSGO that buffed the Negev, one of CSGO’s least popular primary weapons. The buff was huge, lowering the weapons price by a whopping $1,700 and turning it into a laser beam of death. Soon after, word got around that professional teams had agreed not to use it in competitions. While many believe that the gentlemen’s agreement not to use the weapon in matches continues to this day, the fact is that the Negev has been an option since 2018.
A CSGO update in 2018 changed how the Negev worked by buffing its burst accuracy and lowering the movement speed of players that used the weapon. These changes were enough for both tournament organizers and CSGO pros to allow the machine gun back into the available pool. In fact, the weapon has actually been used in competitive play since, specifically in a match between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Vitality as recently as ESL’s Road to Rio league earlier this summer.
Seen recent comments about Negev being banned. This is not true and the gun has been unbanned since 2018.
— Michael (@Cynil_) September 26, 2020
But since its return, players have still been unwilling to use the weapon, mostly due to the fact that without its overpowered accuracy, other weapons in the tier are more effective in most situations. An additional problem is the Negev’s stream of bullets leaves a clear path directly back to where the shooter is, which is especially helpful for opposing teams when smoke grenades are in play. These two factors make it difficult to use against professional players, but the weapon still remains common in the lower tiers of CSGO. So while players might not see the weapon used in the upcoming IEM New York Online Regional Ranking tournament, they definitely might see it in their matchmaking games.
It could have been worse. Former CSGO pro Ryan “freakzoid” Abadir highlighted the last time a CSGO weapon was legitimately overpowered, and quite literally couldn’t stop laughing along the way.
It always seems to be freakazoid, doesn’t it?