The SG-553 is slowly making a comeback in the professional meta of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with star player Nikola “Niko” Kovac spearheading the potential shift in rifle priority.
The SG-553, better known as the Krieg, is creeping back into the CSGO meta. The scoped rifle, which was considered to be the strongest gun in the game for a time, hadn’t seen much action since being nerved by Valve just under a year ago. But several pros started using the gun again in the first few tournaments of 2021.
The earliest adapter was Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. He started using the rifle to be more versatile while on the attack. But s1mple only used the gun occasionally. During IEM Katowice, he bought it 10 times. Most of the time, he stuck with the more traditional AK-47 and AWP.
s1mple’s Krieg usage didn’t have any impact on the larger scale. The gun did not become more popular overnight, and the meta remained the same. But that changed when G2 Esports decided to bench Kennys “kennyS” Schrub and make Niko the team’s main sniper.
Niko isn’t a traditional scoped weapon player. He played as a secondary AWPer on some maps in the past but rarely bore the responsibility of being the main AWPer. In his first game after being given his new role, Niko seemed uncomfortable wielding the AWP. While a powerful weapon, the AWP limits what a player can do and makes them vulnerable to facing multiple opponents in a fight.
The Krieg was the solution to his troubles. On the maps in which Niko wasn’t as comfortable with the AWP, he started using the Krieg instead. He used the gun and its scope as an alternative to the AWP and was still able to bring out his trademark taps when needed.
Niko had a good performance using the gun and may remain in a sniping role for G2 for the foreseeable future. Whether using the Krieg is a permanent part of his gameplan is yet to be seen. But he proved that the Krieg has the potential to return to CSGO’s meta.
Is the Krieg still strong in CSGO?
The SG-553 is not as strong as it was a year ago. Before being nerfed, the gun was the most-used rifle on the Terrorist side.
Valve nerved the Krieg by reducing its firing rate, which altered the weapon’s spray pattern. The gun is still a one-shot kill when hitting a headshot, and the accuracy on the first shot is still better than that of the AK-47. The Krieg is too weak to be used in place of a traditional rifle, but is still useful in certain situations. Thanks to its scope, it has a slight edge in long-range firefights.