In the same way I assume the sun rises in the morning, CS:GO players load into matches assuming the AWP, the iconic sniper rifle that has broken hearts and made legends for the past 20 years, is the same 1-shot will be -kill god gun it always has been. Well, it’s still a bit today, but the AWP just got seriously nerfed. I hope the sun is good.
Specifically, the magazine size of the AWP has been cut in half, from 10 to 5. Valve announced the news along with the release of CS:GO’s latest patch (opens in new tab) that also lowers the effectiveness of the M4A1-S at range and removes Dust 2 from the current Active Duty map pool.
“The AWP has reduced its magazine size to five bullets (so make them count!),” the post reads.
“Make ’em count” indeed – that’s a full 50% reduction in ready ammo, and it’s sure to have a big impact on the number of players (and probably some pros) who deploy this powerful $4,750 weapon. An AWP in the right hands can completely change the course of a match, and most professional teams field one or more designated AWPers. It’s not unusual for an experienced AWPer to string together two, three, or four kills in a row, win the round, and use the same AWP in the next round to do it again. There’s a reason this is the most expensive weapon in the CS:GO arsenal, but with a slimmer magazine, players will have to consider whether the AWP investment is still worth it.
In most cases? Probably. The AWP is already a risky weapon as it is. You only need to miss once to give enemies an opening to shoot you down. That’s still the case with a 5-round magazine, but having to reload more often knocks out the potential for a single player to spam, noscope in tight spaces, and possibly take out an entire team of five even if they miss a few shots . The CS:GO community is responding to the AWP nerd with a mix of panic, confusion, and cautious optimism.
“People will actually reload now,” Redditor wrote Sossen (opens in new tab).
“Even those who aren’t sick AWP players need to be more passive right now. They can’t peep forever,” added user mcucsgo.
Some commentators also laughed at the fact that just three days after the famous French AWPer kennyS (opens in new tab) Returning to the game after an 18-month absence, Valve has narrowed down its weapon of choice.
It’s true that Valve rarely makes dramatic tweaks to CS:GO’s gun meta, and when it makes a change to a nuclear weapon, it tends to stick. The last major change to the AWP was seven years ago. That patch from 2015 caused great commotion (opens in new tab) with AWPers discovering a nerf to target movement speed meant they could no longer quickly look corners for instant kills as they had been for years. The MEWP also got a small nerf for its movement acceleration in February 2020, but that adjustment was so small that it didn’t even get into the blog post.
Oddly enough, the 5-round mag change brings the AWP more in line with its counterpart in CS:GO’s closest competitor, Valorant. Riot’s version of the AWP rifle, with the cute name operator (opens in new tab) (“Op” for short) also has a 5-round magazine. Before today, magazine size was one of the main differentiators between these two dominant rifles – in every other way that matters, the guns are essentially identical.
Maybe Valve is taking some notes from Riot’s tactical shooter, which would only be fair after the League of Legends studio did one big Ctrl+C+V on Counter-Strike’s whole deal.