As of the writing of this article, the Negev and R8 Revolver have been removed from the Competitive game mode as they undergo significant changes to make them more viable weapons. Before the changes, both of these weapons were not very useful in a competitive setting. The Negev’s fire rate and damage were good, but not good enough to justify its high price tag of $5,700. The R8 Revolver was ridiculously overpowered on release (being able to one-shot a player in the stomach), but after the nerf proved not worth using due to the removal of its one-shot capabilities and the difficulty of timing a long “charge up” time.
But Valve seems determined to make these weapons usable again, and their learning from past mistakes. Instead of just making the changes and risking dissatisfaction with players, the weapons have been put into some sort of weird beta but not beta state, where they can’t be used in the Competitive game mode but can be used everywhere else.
This approach let’s all players try out the weapons before they are added into Competitive, not just those that opt into the beta. Valve have always been mindful of its more casual side of the CSGO player base, and this is a great way of seeing how it would affect all segments of the CSGO Community. But enough about that.
What did they actually change and are the weapons actually better?
Initially, the Negev’s changes seem rather strange. In Counter-Strike, we are used to seeing weapon accuracy decrease the longer we spray with a weapon. The Negev now has a unique mechanic of doing just the opposite. It is extremely inaccurate at the start of the spray, and becomes more accurate the longer you hold down mouse one. Your movement speed is slower, and its price has also been reduced…a lot. From its original price-tag of $5,700, the Negev is now just $4,000; $900 more than an M4.
That extra $900 is very important for purchasing utility or body armor, and currently the Negev still doesn’t seem like a good purchase. It’s weird accuracy mechanic encourages you to start spraying before you see an enemy. The tracers from the Negev make it fairly obvious where your position is, if you couldn’t already tell where someone was from the sound of hundreds of bullets going off. Your first twenty or so bullets go nowhere near where you’re aiming, but after that the Negev is pretty accurate, almost like a turret.
In the update notes they refer to the changes regarding its new firing mechanic as “new attributes to promote suppressive fire.” I guess in that sense the Negev fulfills its purpose. It’s not very good at hitting players initially, but would definitely discourage someone from peeking a corner when fully accurate.
In its current state, I don’t think the Negev would be that useful in professional level play. Theoretically, a player could use it to delay a team from pushing a site, but it’s almost impossible to reposition with it and the amount of time it takes for it to become accurate again is just too long, especially in the middle of a push. The Negev currently looks like a very situational weapon, one that is not that great when compared to the universal applications of an AK or an M4.
The R8 Revolver
The one change in the revolver is probably the most important out of all the changes that came with this update. The firing delay of the revolver has been significantly reduced, and dare I say usable again. After the nerf, the R8 was hardly used by anyone. When compared to the lower price and instant fire of a deagle, the R8 just seemed outclassed. With its decreased firing delay, it has become much easier to hit targets, with a little bit of practice. The damage still isn’t what it used to be (thank god) but does almost as much as a scout.
No armor R8 + Scout second round buys could be making its way into the professional scene. If you really got the timing down, you could pre-fire the most common positions and (as long as you hit them) do as much damage as a Scout for half the cost. I’m excited to see whether professional players will try out new strategies with this updated weapon after it is released, or if the deagle will maintain its position as the go-to force buy weapon.