Patch analysis

CS:GO's latest update at the pro level

Michael 'axtremes' Harmse

The newest patch for CS:GO went live on 12 June. In contrast to the usual community negativity that surrounds updates to the game, this one has seemingly been well-received. Valve have clearly been listening to community and pro player feedback. While it’s been a long time coming, it’s finally here. Could this be the end of the CZ:GO meme? I’ll focus a bit more on the weapon changes in this article, but the Mirage tweaks are quite compelling as well.

Weapon changes

– Reduced base damage of the CZ75a from 33 to 31 (a single shot is no longer lethal against a helmeted opponent).

– Increased reserve ammo for the M4A1-S from 40 to 60, to provide some additional utility without impacting brief engagements.

– Reduced price of the MP7 from $1700 to $1500.

CZ-75: a nudge in the right direction

This $500 pistol has been the scourge of professional matches for quite some time now. It has been heavily nerfed since its halcyon days back in 2014 when it was massively overpowered. The CZ fell out of favour for a while, but has since settled back into its unofficial title as the pocket AK-47. The subtext here is that the CZ was still massively overpowered and presented a problem at the pro level. In certain close and medium range engagements it could often beat rifles in duels because of its superior accuracy while moving and high fire rate. It needed to be changed.

 

Rather than doing what Valve of yesteryear would have done in making large and possibly gamebreaking adjustments, they’ve taken a better approach. By lowering the damage output only slightly, the one shot kill headshot potential has been removed from the weapon. It will still be powerful undoubtedly, but it should cut down on the onslaught of seemingly random round-winning one tap kills the CZ usually gets. An eco weapon should not be as powerful as the CZ was, especially versus fully brought up players with rifles. This should go a long way towards redressing the balance. Definitely the most significant part of the the update for pro play and matchmaking alike.

M4A1-S

The silenced alternative to the CT’s M4A4 main assault rifle. It’s rarely used by the majority of players. The change seeks to add some extra potential for spamming the weapon compared to it’s normally severely limited ammo supply. The extra magazine helps, but doesn’t address the shortcomings of the weapon. Namely, it’s slower fire rate and therefore reduced damage per second compared to the M4A4. The change probably isn’t enough of an adjustment just yet to bring players back to using the weapon, but it shows that Valve are at least aware that the rifle needs a bit of work.

MP7

It’s cheaper. ChrisJ and Golz will be happy. Perhaps more players might turn to the criminally underused MP7 now that it is less dear.

Map Changes: Mirage

Valve have rung the changes on Mirage. Some work has been done to Canals too, but let’s face it. I don’t care and neither do you. Here’s a nice long list of the alterations to our beloved Mirage:

 

– Removed skybox limitations

– Updated some landmark art

– Lowered skill ceiling to get into apartments from T spawn

– Banked corner in hallway leading to A site scaffolding

– Removed ladder near entrance to apartments from T spawn, replaced with boxes

– Removed broken corner near van in bombsite B

– Improved visibility from T side of mid towards A connector (removed dark background door inside connector)

– Improved visibility from CT stairs towards T ramp in bombsite A (removed dark background door inside ramp)

– Disabled bullet collision on vertical fence columns in mid

– Removed wooden pillars at bottom of mid

– Fixed some player collision bugs

 

There’s plenty that’s been reshaped, removed and added to Mirage. Those will only have a relatively minor impact on gameplay overall. The big news is the removal of the sky\boxes around the map. This should equate to some innovating new strategies and possibilities for fakes that will certainly have a positive effect on the tactical possibilities on the map. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the map plays on the local and international pro scenes once teams have had some time to refine their smoke setups.

In conclusion

It’s encouraging to see Valve making well-considered, incremental changes to to the weapons within the game. This is a far cry from their caution to the wind, cavalier approach to the weapons in the game back in 2016. This is progress from the notoriously hands-off CS:GO developer. While not perhaps asked for by the community on the whole, the Mirage modifications are also most welcome. Good job Valve. Words none of us are used to saying with any regularity.