CS: GO’s Weapon Balance Is (Once Again) Out Of Control

When Valve released the Negev and R8 update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive earlier this month, many players had no expectation that its changes would last. Like the many times Valve has altered weapon mechanics for the game in the past, its efforts made sense to some degree, but changed the landscape in a negative way.

The update specifically made alterations to the Negev and R8 that made them ridiculous, to a point of being arcade-like. The Negev in particular could be sprayed in a straight line like a laser, even when moving.

Instead of taking a step back, Valve has doubled down by making both weapons in their updated form available in matchmaking. Even crazier, their cost has been reduced.

Players who queue up for matchmaking right now are sure to see the effects. It's common for entire teams to invest in the Negev instead of assault rifles after the initial pistol round due to its $2000 cost. With a magazine the size of a barrel of oil, and noise levels that rattle apartment complexes, the result is equal parts imbalanced and pandemonious.

Similar to when the R8 was first introduced, these weapons now dominate the landscape. And really, that was the point to begin with, with the patch notes stating that the changes were done to "promote experimentation".

The changes are so wild that ESL, in cooperation with the WESA Players Council, has outright banned the use of the Negev, a first in CS: GO's history.

It's almost comical how outrageous things are right now, with more players than not purchasing the Negev and spraying it around every corner they approach. As seen in the video above, after a short wind up time not too dissimilar to miniguns in many games, the Negev becomes an unstoppable force that excels at accuracy and mobility.

It's mind blowing that results like this happen so often to a game that is so finely crafted, and excellent at providing a high value eSports environment. Valve clearly wants to shake things up and get away from the pistol, AK-47, and M4 dominated meta game that Counter-Strike has followed since its inception. However, there must be a better way to do it than to make a weapon like the Negev better than almost every other firearm.

On the plus side, the update also added "holiday cheer", in this case adding easter eggs to some maps, and placing bunny ears on chickens. Happy Easter.