For a very long time, the SG 553 lived in the shadow of the AK-47, despite being a better value for the money. Back in my early days of CS:GO, people would always question my decision to buy the SG when the AK was a “better” alternative.
Then something changed. As far back as June, according to CS:GO stats website Stay In Pit, the SG started to gain some traction with the pros. At the ECS7 Finals, the SG 553 was purchased more often than both the AWP and M4A4, with the AUG still reigning over it.
This trend continued for a while, but the gap was getting smaller and smaller between the two scoped rifles. It continued to shrink until day 1 of ESL One Cologne in July, when the SG was bought more than twice the number of times than the AUG. At the end of ESL One Cologne, the SG continued to reign supreme over the AUG and the AWP, with only the AK-47 and M4A4 taking spots above it.
The reign of the SG continued with no signs of stopping. At the Berlin Major, the purchase numbers of the SG were more than triple of that of the AUG, with 1880 SG purchases vs 490 AUG purchases.
Fast-forward to StarSeries Season 8 in October of this year, and SG purchases surpassed those of the AK-47 by 103! At Blast Pro Series Copenhagen and IEM Beijing 2019, both of which took place this month, pro players bought more SGs than AK-47s and M4A4s. This insane growth in popularity led to some pros asking Valve to nerf the SG and make the AK-47 a viable purchase again, as the price and statistical disparities made the SG a more worthwhile purchase than the AK.
As much as I love using the SG 553 (Kreig) it’s honestly ruining the game to some degree. It’s costs $50 more then an AK and shoots faster, has a scope and is easier to spray. Either buff the AUG again or nerf the gun, please @CSGO 🤞— daps (@daps) October 16, 2019
Buff TEC-9— Adam Friberg (@fribergCS) September 10, 2019
Patch tonight? @CSGO 😘
SG SG NERF THE FAK'ING SG! 😭— Keith Markovic (@NAFFLY) November 5, 2019
Ask and you shall receive. On November 18th, Valve released Operation Shattered Web, which brought new skins, knives, agents and maps...and also introduced some weapon changes. The price of the beloved SG 553 was increased from $2,750 to $3,000, making it $300 more expensive than the AK-47. In addition, the FAMAS and Galil had their price reduced to $2,050 and $1,800, respectively, and received a spray buff to make them more accurate.
These changes seem to have taken their toll on the SG. Stay In Pit reported that during the CS:GO Asia Championships 2019, which began two days after the nerf, the SG had fallen from its throne to third place, below the M4A4 and AK-47.
So ends the SG’s reign of terror. Even though the AK-47 has taken its throne back, the SG remains a very viable rifle to buy for certain situations, even if it is no longer the AK killer of yore. For now, things are balanced once more--until another gun finds a way to reign supreme and take over the meta. When it does, Valve will be there to ensure that order is established.