• Lukas DeWitt

Analyzing the Krieg Usage of HLTV's Top 20

2019 was dominated by the Krieg. The scoped rifle’s rise in relevance fundamentally changed the game of Counter-Strike. Its addition to the meta made waves throughout the pro scene. Some players adapted to the change and became better from it, some failed to adapt and some managed to get by without using it. Either way, the SG has affected each player in various ways. The SG had its price reduced at the same time as the AUG, but the AUG’s price was reverted five months later before being nerfed shortly after.

The SG is entering its second full year as a prominent rifle in the meta and there is no telling if it will be nerfed soon. With the Krieg drastically impacting the game right now, it is important to note who is being affected and how they are being affected, in case the weapon is removed from meta. So, I decided to put together the Krieg usage of each individual in the HLTV Top 20 for 2019:

There is widespread Krieg usage among the top 20 players, and the numbers only tell part of the story. To gauge how each player was or was not affected, let’s categorize the players and identify their impact with the SG:

Mostly Unaffected -

These players in the top 20 were rarely seen wielding a scoped rifle, and their individual form was not changed because of it. Players like Robin ‘ropz’ Kool and Jere ‘sergej’ Salo are riflers that took massive strides this year in their growth, but they literally stuck to their guns with the AK and M4 even while the SG was rising in popularity. Sergej made his top 20 debut at No. 13 while using the AK in over 900 more frags than the SG. Ropz rose to No. 10 using the SG more than anyone else in the category but still used the AK nearly three times as much. Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen used the weapon the least out of anyone on the list and is the only rifler in the top 20 to not amount 100 frags with it in 2019. AK-heavy offense from him and other players in the category prove you do not need to play according to the meta to be the world’s best.

AWPers -

Three of the four AWPers follow similar trends regarding the use of the Krieg. They used the scoped rifle third-most on the year behind the AK by a slight margin and AWP by a huge gap. As for Özgür ‘woxic’ Eker, he has not bothered implementing the weapon into his wheelhouse. It is his least used primary rifle and he fragged with it less than the scout and both starter pistols.

Secondary Users -

These four riflers have shown willingness to pick up the scoped rifle when the time calls, but that is as far as it goes. Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic’s numbers did not drastically improve from ‘18 to ‘19, but his variety of impact did. His increased usage with the AWP and SG helped him fill out the hybrid role for Liquid. Neither of the three others AWP, but as primary riflers, they had no issues implementing the SG into their game. Although none of their games saw massive improvements, they did not find themselves falling behind the meta. Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth is only one of three players on the top 20 that used the Krieg more than any other weapon last year but only had five fewer frags with the AK. These numbers do not suggest a dependence on the rifle but are an example of Xyp9x’s adaptability.

Winners of the Meta -

These five players saw incredible benefits as a result of the Krieg meta. Emil ‘Magisk’ Rief was a world-class player before the meta and showed proficiency with the weapon in pro matches long before anyone else was considering using it. Like Xyp9x, his numbers did not change much, but Magisk showed comfort with the rifle before, which made it perfect for him to thrive. North American riflers Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski and Vincent ‘Brehze’ Cayonte took massive strides in their progression last year, earning No. 4 and No. 8 rankings. Their Krieg usage was also some of the highest in the world, both placing in the top four. No doubt the SG played a role in their huge growth, but no individual benefitted from the Krieg price nerf more than Ludwig ‘Brollan’ Brolin. He had the highest usage percentage by far at nearly 33%, led with 905 Krieg frags and used it more than any other weapon. The rifle compliments his fearless aggression, and it boosted his growth as an entry rifler for fnatic.

The numbers tell a lot for the current meta, and if the Krieg is phased out of relevance, these numbers could tell a lot for the next meta. With a weapon as powerful as the SG is, pro players have to be careful not to become dependent on it. When the scoped rifle is nerfed, some of it’s more dedicated users could experience growing pains.

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All statistics used are from the HLTV database.

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Photo Credit: DreamHack