The Negev light-machine gun has been re-added to competitive Counter-Strike with a significant change, and its implications are scary.
Valve removed the Negev (and also the R8 Revolver) from competitive Matchmaking for “substantial revision” about a month ago. In that same update, it gave the popular LMG “new attributes to promote suppressive fire.” This meant changing the spray pattern entirely. After the first 20 bullets, the pattern stabilizes into a 120-bullet laser beam that’s easily controlled with minimal effort. Buying a Negev in its current form is the equivalent of becoming a human turret. Thankfully, players didn’t have to suffer from the wrath of the newly buffed Negev in competitive play until now.
Valve’s update, called “Volver”, or “Return” in Spanish, brings the cost to almost a third of the adored weapons original cost “for a limited time”. The Negev cost $5,700 before the March 24 update. After that update, the price was reduced to $4,000. Now, the $4,000 cost has been halved to $2,000—a tremendously easy price point to reach. Valve’s Release Notes have justified the ludicrous price change as a way to “promote experimentation with the weapon” and “evaluate their impact.”
“Over the past few weeks we’ve watched players use the newly adjusted weapons in the casual game modes, and the next step is to try them out in a competitive environment. We expect that the Negev will be a situational weapon that will require experimentation on the part of teams to be effective, so as a starting point its price has been lowered significantly,” Valve said on the Counter-Strike blog.
The competitive meta will likely change from AK-47s and M4s to Negevs during this time of “experimentation.” It’s easy spray control and cheap price makes the LMG an economically viable option. Players can now buy the over-powered LMG during the second round regardless of the outcome of the pistol round (with some exceptions). If you win the pistol round with any buy, you can afford to buy a Negev with kevlar and a helmet without grenades. The only instance in which you wouldn’t be able to afford the Negev after a pistol round loss is if you spent more than $500 and didn’t get a kill.
This recent update is laughably reminiscent of the genesis of the R8 Revolver in December 2015—especially considering the blog post is titled “Volver.” The addition of the Revolver to CS:GO also broke the meta during that time, and infuriated professional players due to its one-shot kill capabilities from any range while moving. Similarly, the Negev has undergone meta-breaking changes that’ll temporarily disrupt the normality of gameplay.
On the bright side, Valve reduced the Revolver price from $800 to $700 and tweaked the HRTF audio system a bit. It also gave the community a brand-new set of chickens decorated as bunnies to commemorate the Easter holiday. The full patch notes can be found here.
Enjoy the five-on-five Negev meta while it lasts.