Whether well received or not, patches and updates will roll out every so often to clean up a game typically with designs of enhancing or balancing competitive play; over the course of CS:GO’s history, there’s been a number of updates that have played a pivotal role in today’s current competitive meta. On October 9, Valve developers rolled out a patch that will indefinitely impact the strategies of tomorrow. We’ll be taking a closer look at the updates and their implications in this week’s ESI Gambling Report, Powered by Thunderpick.
Taken down a peg
Known as being an up-close and personal automatic sidearm as well as a death-dealing weapon from distance in the right hands, the CZ75a has since been nerfed on Wednesday. The Official Counter-Strike blog states “increased recoil and fire inaccuracy” as well as “slightly improved accuracy recovery rate” – so what’s the breakdown?
As demonstrated in the graphic below, the CZ’s recoil pattern has been appreciably refashioned to possess a more erratic and vertical spread when firing in succession.
This update was brought on to encourage semi-automatic firing and reward precision shots rather than opting for the spray-and-pray. Fast-tapping accuracy will also suffer within this alteration – spacing shots properly will put more of an emphasis on where your reticle is if you plan on being on the winning side of a gunfight. Spraying remains relatively the same in terms of accuracy, so getting close with the CZ is still going to be its primary territory. Regardless, the auto-pistol will likely remain the weapon of choice for professionals opting for an eco round with a bit of added firepower.
Nothing to see here
Likely to stimulate a bit of variation between the CZ and Desert Eagle, the Tec-9 received a small buff – however, it’s nothing to write home about. The original patch notes state that the weapon will be “more forgiving at medium rates of fire” yet, improvements in accuracy wouldn’t necessarily make the Tec-9 competitively viable.
While this is undoubtedly a buff to the Tec-9’s preciseness, it still remains largely inaccurate in both tapping and spamming. Even with a slightly higher kill bonus than the CZ, the Tec-9 won’t see much screen time when there are much better options available when talking auto-pistols. We did see Gambit give the Tec-9 a chance at StarSeries Season 6 in Round 2 against Vega Squadron – the newly upgraded pistol didn’t live up to the hype, though.
A tale of two assault rifles
The AK47 and M4 have long been the competitive standards for automatic rifles – and that’s probably not going to change following the update. While these two rifles of choice remained unscathed, it was their coequals that have spent so long in the shadows that would be brought to light post-update; the AUG and SG553 that had their price reduced and ignited thoughts of these two entering the competitive conversation in one way or another. The price drop sets the AUG and SG553 only $50 more expensive than their AR counterparts with basis to consider them as viable substitutes.
Speaking of the AUG, the weapon is considered to be better on paper due to a higher damage output and its’ zoom ability; however, the AUG’s downsides are its weighty recoil, long reload time and formerly, dreadfully higher price tag. The painfully difficult recoil will remain a great damper on the AUG when stacked up against the M4 while the same goes for the SG553. In a world of moving targets and spray transfers that can change the pace of a round or map when pulled off successfully, the AK and M4 will still reign in this sector. Depending on an individual’s play style though, having a scope with that extra bit of stopping power could prove to be useful.
Economy of fail
Distinguishably the most noteworthy adjustment in the October update was the shift in the start-of-half economy. Essentially, at the start of each half, both sides will now start with a one-round loss bonus, increasing the cash pot for teams that lose the pistol round from $1,400 to $1,900 and $2,400 for a subsequent loss, etc. The economy patch has prompted a flood of theories attempting to pinpoint new opportunities for teams within this new ecosystem; while the update was designed to soften the blow of the pistol round, it erected a number of other possibilities for teams on the losing-end of opening rounds.
At face value, the patch gives a force buy in the second round quite a bit more strength; for the T-side, there is more capital distributed for utility and other means of executing a bomb plant while CT’s can armour themselves with defuse kits and Kevlar. Beneath the professional level, an extra smoke grenade or flashbang might not seem like much – but when in the right hands, this supplementary utility has potential to seriously open a round up.
Winning the second round force is easier than in later rounds as teams have assumedly more cash in the bank – now, with the increase in loss bonus, that force buy win scenario becomes a lot less narrow. If the team that loses the pistol round is able to clinch the following round, it’s important to note that the opposite side will be dealt $1,400 rather than the $1,900 loss bonus at the start of the half. This is where the economy patch becomes more controversial. Though implemented to reduce the emphasis of the pistol round, it fails to compensate for losing a force buy. Since CT’s place a heavier reliance on money to win rounds a successful force buy from the T-side could put their opposition up against the boards after having their economy reset.
Looking closer at T-side strategies, one recurring theme throughout this global discussion has been the opportunity for ecos in the opening two rounds. Kills and bomb plants aside, the swelling loss bonus by the third round would be enough for T’s to supply their members with AK’s, armour and a bit of utility. If the T-side is able to string together a few kills or a bomb plant in those first two rounds some T’s might be orbiting near a full buy at that point.
The list of possible strategies able to come to fruition from this update is far too meticulous to profile in-depth; though, you can expect to see more robust force buy tactics in the second and third rounds as well a slightly disadvantaged CT-side as a result of this patch.
How this all ultimately affects the current competitive meta is something we’ll just have to sit-back and watch unravel. In short, with more cash in hand at the beginning of each half there’s a set of new ways to attack each round and will only serve to raise the skill ceiling in professional CS:GO.