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Operation Riptide Patch: A chance to upend the Pro meta?

On September 23rd, CS:GO released a new patch titled Operation Riptide in which, aside from the new game modes, it included multiple large updates to both weapons and even some map updates. These changes have been touted to have the potential to change the pro meta drastically, and it’s up to debate as to if these changes are even healthy to the esports community.

Droppable Grenades

Grenades are currently droppable, meaning that you can purchase grenades for your teammates. Many have hypothesized that this will allow players to fake a site rush with multiple smokes and flashes from a single person. As was pointed out in a talk show hosted by Thorin, a fake could easily be noticed by the delay in which the smokes or flashes come out, allowing players to decipher if it had come from a single source or multiple players. While this is true, you could easily fake sites now with delayed smokes, making the enemy guess if it’s one person or multiple, but either way, the speed at which a player can lob out flashbangs is quite surprising, as was noted in this clip of Apeks AcilioN.

One thing which droppable grenades solves is that teams will now more easily be able to consistently keep smokes and flashes at specific spots on the map by dropping them to the appropriate player at that position. This also allows for players to give utility to players with no armor or rifle, and simply support the player who has a rifle, which is particularly useful on force buy rounds, as was noted by coach and analyst Kassad.

The most awkward thing about this update is the fact that you can now fake flash by dropping your flash grenade instead of actually using it. This creates some awful mind games and is rather unhealthy for the game as it is largely a mind game that has very little counterplay.

Deagle Body Damage Nerf

The deagle’s body damage has been nerfed, while the headshot damage remains the same. This prevents players from being able to spam spray at short range, where the pistol could act like a rifle with the same power. Now it will largely require more than 2 body shots to kill someone.

The deagle is still an incredibly hard gun to use at medium to long range, so it will still be rewarding for players that are skilled with this gun, but it removes the almost guaranteed force buy potential that many players in competitive and pro play sought after. I think one can now safely say that the gun has moved far away from its previous version in 1.6, where it was a headshot machine in addition to its easy spray pattern. Currently the deagel is now nothing like the former version.

M4A1S packs a Punch

The M4A1S now does more damage to the body, which also makes it now more powerful than the M4A4. This means that four shots are all that’s necessary to kill a player. Now the only difference between these two guns is that the unsilenced version has a faster fire rate, meaning that it might be more suitable for short range combat in some instances.

Many analysts are thinking that the M4A1S will overtake the classic, as the benefits of a better spray pattern and less recoil are massive reasons to choose it. Back in 1.6, it was more of a stylistic choice as to whether you chose the silenced or unsilenced colt, especially considering you could twist off your silencer mid-round. The same was still true in 1.6, that the spray was easier to control, and the initial 2-3 bullets had a small spread.

Dust2 Changes to T Spawn view of Double Doors

Terrorists can no longer AWP from the safety of T Spawn. Now players will have to jump down into suicide in order to AWP down double doors.

This change might be the most controversial of the entire patch, as casual players often have enjoyed the sniper battles that can take place just over mid. Although the T side has been heavily advantaged through mid, now this may shift the advantage to the CT side. CT’s can now get into lower B tunnels without being spotted directly through T spawn, likewise, Terrorists will be able to run through spawn, going from B to A, or vice versa without being seen by CT’s.

Overall, the changes to Dust2 are better for the map given that CT’s don’t have to expend a smoke to cross over to B site. Essentially, this helps the already poor economy of the CT side as compared to the T side.

The new Operation Riptide patch is one of the largest updates in CS:GO history and it’s sure to bring about significant meta change to the pro circuit. 

Images courtesy: Valve | CS:GO

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