The AWP, CS:GO’s most popular sniper rifle among professional players, was nerfed in the post-IEM Rio Major update earlier this month. Valve reduced its magazine size from 10 bullets to five, which could change how AWPers approach their game moving forward.
Since the update is so recent, the top-tier professional CS:GO players haven’t tried the new AWP yet in official matches. Thus, viewers don’t know if the weapon is still the strongest in the game. Lots of pros have said they don’t expect the reduced magazine size to play a big part in how the weapon is used.
Dev1ce, one of the greatest dedicated snipers of all time, thought that too, but he realized that AWPers will have to follow some different protocols moving forward.
“In the beginning, I didn’t think it would have a big impact, but I do actually think it requires some practice to master the rotations with reloading and not giving away too much info on that or losing time rotating with the AWP out,” dev1ce told Dot Esports. “But it’s gonna be exciting to see how the other snipers deal with the update.”
This is only the third time since CS:GO came out in 2012 that Valve has made changes to the AWP. The sniper rifle was heavily nerfed in 2015 after Valve reduced its movement speed while scoped. Flashy aggressive AWPers like JW and kennyS dominated the game back then and the meta shifted toward holding angles more often than going for aggro picks. The second nerf happened in 2020 when Valve removed the movement acceleration following shots fired while crouched.
Dev1ce will experience the new AWP with a reduced magazine size in officials for the first time in December in the $50,000 online tournament CCT North Europe Series two. It will also be his debut with Astralis after rejoining the organization in late October.