Grenades can now be dropped. This is going to affect the game at the highest level and we will see its impact at PGL Stockholm Major.

Counter-Strike's 11th Operation - Operation Riptide, has been released bringing a much-needed breath of fresh air to the game. While it's 100+ new skins or the changes to matchmaking may be the flashiest updates, the gameplay changes are just as large. From Droppable Grenades to Dust2's Mid, let's talk about the latest CS: GO update and how it'll affect pro play.

Weapon Balance

M4A1-s' Higher Body Damage

The weapon balance changes in this patch are what the community has been demanding for a long time. The M4A1-s has been the weaker sidekick of the M4A4 for many years. Over the past few years, we have seen it get minor buffs, to bring it in line with the M4A4. But the non-silenced version has maintained its superiority with its faster fire rate and higher ammo capacity.

With the latest CS: GO update, the body damage of the M4A1-s has been buffed to make it viable compared to the A4. The A4 currently takes 5 body shots to kill an enemy, but with the recent changes the M4A1-s now only takes 4. In games, this should mean a quicker kill for the M4A1, but with the faster fire rate of the A4, both guns are now roughly equal in spraying. The tradeoff between the two now becomes the silencer compared to the higher ammo count. With the prevalence of smoke spamming, some players might actually start picking up the M4A1 again.

Deagle finally gets a nerf

The Deagle's two-shot kills have been a menace for a long time. The issue has been amplified by how frequently teams are forced onto the deagles in the current economy. With the latest set of nerfs, rounds like these should be much rarer and the gun will return to its original purpose of being a headshot-only hand cannon.

Dual Berettas become Viable

The Dualies had started off as a 500$ meme gun, but after the Tec-9, Five-Seven, and the P250 got nerfed, the Dualies on paper should have become the pistol round raid boss guns with their 400$ price tag. Yet teams continued to drop p250s over to their team-mates in pistol rounds because that extra 100$ meant an extra flashbang, now with the dualies being the same price as the p250, we may start seeing them used way more in pistol rounds as their fire-rate and ammo count is simply unmatched in the pistol class. Even on low buy rounds, if you know the enemies don't have head armor, rushing with dualies could be a viable strat as the guns are one hit to the head at close to medium range.

CS:GO Update Gameplay Changes

Grenades can be dropped

Before everyone starts panicking and all the CS purists have a collective heart attack, calm down. This change doesn't mean players can suddenly start carrying 5 smoke grenades, or a full belt of molotovs. This grenade dropping mechanic works similarly to how players drop their recent grenade upon death. Team-mates or enemies can only pick these grenades up if they don't already have a made of that type.

In practice this still has a decent impact on the game, but not a seismic shift to the meta as one would initially expect. On the Terrorist side, this will be difficult to use as the T-side attack is constantly moving, but with lineups being created from the B-site on mirage to execute onto A, this could be used to execute big fakes, without needing 3 players close to the fake site. For the defenders, they'll have to watch the timings between smokes to judge whether it's a fake or not. I expect teams to learn delay timings for smokes so they can make a real execute look like a fake. This also allows 4 players to peak early while smokes are still being thrown.

Over on the CT side, players can now go aggressive without risking their utility being lost. For example, a B-site inferno defender could drop his utility on the site before going aggressive, which his teammate could use to delay pushes even if he dies. But if the Ts push the site when the utility is dropped, they will gain extra grenades. They can then use this to hold off the retake.

Riot Shields added to the game

Riot Shields was a part of the classic CS 1.6, and when they got added to Danger Zone, many thought that the shield would eventually make its way to competitive too. That looks like it finally might happen, as the shield just got added to Casual matches. This should add to the fun of Casual games with the shield giving the option to play a sword and shield combination with a forward player wielding the shield and the player behind him shooting.

"Added the Riot Shield heavy weapon to buy menu, currently purchasable by CTs in casual hostage map groups."

With how this log is phrased, it looks like the shield might make it competitive in the future, but currently, it'll be limited to the Hostage maps in casual.

Map Changes in Latest CS: GO Update

Dust2 - No longer the AutoSniper Hell

"Slight visibility tweak from T spawn through mid"

This "slight" tweak to Dust2, makes it a completely different map, with the T side no longer having mid control from the beginning of the round. For the T side, this means they'll either have to take riskier fights down mid or forgo the mid control. For CTs, this is a huge change in many aspects. CTs will no longer have to expend a smoke, just to get across the mid doors. And now they can go for aggressive lower-tunnels pushes, without risk of being spotted by the T side AWP. These changes can potentially flip the meta of Dust2 completely.

Ancient - Bigger Plant spots, Consistent Wallbangs

Ancient has finally received an update alongside Operation Riptide after 4 months of waiting. This fixes some big issues on the map, with the broken wall bangs getting resolved. The plant spots are also much bigger. This will allow T-side to plant the bomb without being stopped by a single Molotov. Both sites will be able to accommodate better plants and new anti-retake setups for the T-side, hopefully making the map less CT-sided than it currently is.

The wall bangs will benefit both sides as areas like caves and cubby will no longer be completely safe. With the currently used Molotov execute onto the B-lane, players get trapped in the cubby. They can now be wall banged for a kill.

Minor Tweaks

  • Inferno and Ancient get updated 1v1 arenas.
  • Inferno's top-banana gate is now solid.
  • Grind, Mocha, Pitstop, Calavera, Frostbite get replaced by County, Basalt, Insertion II, Ravine and Extraction.

Stay tuned to for the latest CS: GO news and updates.