Learning To Use The SG553 with RandomRambo
Sat 27th Oct 2018 - 1:14pm
In the CS:GO update of the 9th of October, Valve adjusted a number of things, including the round loss bonus after a pistol round, the Tec9 and CZ75, and, maybe most importantly, the prices of the AUG and the SG553, decreasing their prices to $3150 and $2750 respectively, making them just $50 more expensive than the M4s and the AK, trying to force them into the weapon meta of CS:GO. Both guns are superior stat-wise, but also have been horribly underused until this update. I sat down with RandomRambo, a 28-year-old full-time streamer whose real name is Søren Jensen, who had his stint in semi-professional CS in a team called Asterion before. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for taking time out of his busy day to share his thoughts about the SG with us, I and Team Dignitas really appreciate it! Now to let the man introduce himself:
RandomRambo: "My name is RandomRambo and what am I? I am a Twitch streamer and a competitor in the FPL circuit (a PUG-queue for pro-level players), most famous probably for some Deagle hero accounts when I went global elite with pistols, back in the day when global elite mattered, probably 3-4 years ago I think. I've been in the FPL circuit for two years and been dabbling in some semi-professional CS and mainly just being a streamer is what I do."
More about RandomRambo and His History with the SG553
RandomRambo has played CS for years, but he didn't instantly pick up the SG553.
RandomRambo: "SG was like everybody else [...], once in a while you accidentally purchase it or you run onto it and I had a good couple of rounds with it and I was like this is actually a decent gun and I [...] started to understand it a bit more. Once in a while I just hit a few games where I just plain sucked with it and I got kinda pulled to the mentality of, well, rather than blaming my aim or my day or bad play or something and everyone else just blames the gun I kind of went 'it's probably just me playing badly with it'. So I took the time to learn the spray pattern and took the time to learn the single tap potential and I kind of slowly figured out how to entry with it and how to utilise the gun. It was more like the pistol heroes where I forced myself to play different pistols [...] and I kind of, by forcing me to play the SG in certain situations, learned how to use it and I felt like there was potential [at around 2015]."
However, his way to mastering the SG553 wasn't exactly as easy as it sounds. He, like all of us, experienced a string of bad games. But instead of giving up or just blaming the gun or his day, he sat down and tried to master the gun further, which probably explains why he was so adamant about using the SG on his way to qualifying for FPL back in the day.
RandomRambo: "I think the specific moment was the MM where I just one tapped the entire map [n..] and I was feeling it. [The day after] It felt awful [...] and it can't be that it was just a lucky game, it must be the person utilizing the gun that doesn't understand it or something."
As his RRBot will tell you in his Twitch chat, "Rambo placed 1st in the October 2015 FPL Qualifier. The others who made it into the FPL with him were plessen, mokeN, 16k, and maxaki", already using the SG553 to gain a slight advantage over the enemies who either had to use the AK/M4 or the AWP. Even though he has now qualified for FPL, one of the most prestigious things a PUG-player can accomplish in the modern CS:GO world, his days are still not filled with fluffy unicorns and rainbows only. If you tune in at the right time, you can catch banter between the players and if it is focused against Rambo, the chances are good that it also is about his SG553 usage, which leads Rambo to believe that he isn't exactly held in high regard by his fellow FPL players.
RandomRambo: "I don't think I am being taken seriously at all by the fellow FPL players, like both age-wise and being a streamer in Europe is not a good thing, like, from the professional CS standpoint they [look down upon streamers]. [...] There is a guy or two and like I am asking for a drop and they're sarcastically asking if I want the SG and it's different tones and different styles of doing it."
This, however, hasn't stopped him from playing more and more CS, pushing his numbers up to more than 16000 hours right now on his main steam account and placing first on the FPL scoreboard in August 2017, placing above famous names like GeT_RiGhT, JW, Krimz, and NBK, all while using the SG much more than anyone else in FPL or probably even in high level FaceIt in general.
A video from RandomRambos YouTube channel, including a clip of him using the SG553
RandomRambo on the Update
Up until today, we haven't seen a lot of SG usage, although the SG does bear a big advantage against other rifles like the AK or Galil and not just due to its scope. The SG has a higher fire-rate, easier spray (when scoped in), a scope that enhances your view of the angle you're watching, and better accuracy across the board, making it more reliable if you want to tap or spray down the opponent. It is clear that Valve is attempting to vitalise the SG and AUG with this update. However, Rambo, knowing that the pro scene sometimes is stagnant in their approach to utilising guns correctly, doubts that we will see a big shift.
RandomRambo: "To be honest, I don't think anything is going to happen in the professional scene in regard to the SG or AUG. The difference in money is so small that I already justified buying the SG over the AK, so I am [...] not going to believe that people are going to use the SG more, [...] maybe there is going to be a small increase in percentage, but it will be so low [that it will be irrelevant]."
However, Rambo doesn't think that we should get all of our mindset and play style from the pro scene, believing that pros are not infallible and that they are inefficient from time to time.
RandomRambo: "When the CZ was at like the ultimate highest buff-level, there was a major where the percentage of people who used the CZ and the p250 was 50-50 and this was at the time where the CZ was the strongest [gun]. [...] But they didn't even use it when it was $300, more bullets, more mags, easier spray - like, it is incredible to think about people choosing p250 over CZ, just because people know what a p250 is. [...] It was insane! That just shows how narrow-minded you can be in CS to being stuck to the routine."
Understanding the SG553
Like every other gun, we can attempt to understand what the concept of the SG is.
RandomRambo: "I see the SG being like a 'we can't afford an AWP on T-side and we need to find an entry here or there' gun. [...] It's really good in postplant situations where you have to hold an entry point and you can just one-tap, one-tap, one-tap. You can also spray with it [compared to the AWP where] you're missing one AWP shot and you're screwed."
Rambo sees the gun not as an AK replacement, but much rather as a different, mixed category of rifle and sniper that allows for you to hold down angles when you play passively or in the afterplant, but also a gun that can help you get your entry with the use of the scope while being cheaper and more mobile than an AWP, so much so that you get more chances to kill your target compared to the AWP where you a lot of the time only get one shot off before you get run down or killed by the enemies.
RandomRambo: "SG is long range one-taps [...], you don't rely on RNG on like Pit to A-site on Dust 2 where the SG is 100% dead-on in the first shot . [The movement speed] does a huge difference in attacking since five people walking slower (than the AK) would [just make] easier targets."
The SG bears the same advantages and disadvantages the AWP has on the AK, but on a smaller scale. You are still slower with the SG, your scope will help you but at the same time, approaching with a scope limits your vision a bit while you can shoot more reliably. In short: It is a faster gun than the AWP and a more precise weapon than the AK, potentially suiting more accurate play styles more than the AK in everyday situations since it does have the same one-hit headshot potential.
Contextualising the SG553 by comparing it to the AK47(right click to view in full size)
Learning to Use the SG553
RandomRambo: "Matchmaking [helped me get the hang of the gun], but that's generally my belief, I don't think that [other game modes] are going to help you in an actual game, like, it's good for warmup [if you're good already], [...] but CS is a lot of things like outmanoeuvring, outthinking, outplaying and, of course, out-aiming [and in MM you will practice all of these things]. That's also the reason CS never gets boring, even though I've retaken the B bombsite a billion times it's never the same retake, really. [...] Just play the competitive map pool and start to learn different angles, try out things."
Everyone who wants to use the SG553 now should already know how to use the AK47, M4A4/A1-S, and knows how counter-strafing, aiming, pre-aiming, and all of the other aspects of using a gun work, generally speaking. It's not a question of completely relearning these things, but rather to adapt them to the SG. Find out how the movement speed affects real game scenarios where you have to be faster to take your shot compared to the enemy hiding behind the next corner. When do you scope? How do you use the scope? All of these are things you will find out in MM or PUGs, where you will find yourself in real game scenarios all the time. This might be the best preparation for your upcoming official or next PUGs since you have to know how to use the SG on the active duty maps.
If you really have problems understanding the basic principles of the SG, I would advise you to still seek out game modes that allow you to focus on one aspect of the gun first. You can practice the SG spray offline or download a prefire map to get to work on them in order to find out how to peek with and without the scope. However, the first thing you should do is to try the gun out in games.
RandomRambo: "[With the] slower movement speed and shift or something you have less to deal with counterstrafing. [...] The scope of course, by being closer and everything being easier to pinpoint enemies and [it's easier to headshot enemies]. In a spray, it's also easier to control the gun since the recoil becomes smaller and it makes it just easier to spray with it overall."
Comparison of the sprays: Unscoped on the left, scoped on the right
What to Prevent
However good you might be as a CS player, people tend to fall into traps that it's hard to get out of. To prevent this, I've asked RandomRambo what some traps are that people could fall into with playing the SG now.
RandomRambo: "Spray too much, [sometimes if I have a lazy game] I just spray too much. [...] You should practice both [scoped and unscoped engagements, since] it's very situation-dependent in a game. [...] The scope makes noise, so you have an active decision whenever you scope, do you want to reveal your position [...]? So, is it worth to scope or not in this specific situation? Maybe [the enemy] is not seeing you and you're behind him and you scope and he hears it [...]. [I wouldn't scope] when I need to be quiet."
Although the spray is more accurate with the SG compared to the AK, you also shouldn't forget that you have bigger one-tap potential with the higher accuracy of the gun as well as the scope that helps you to aim at the head of the enemy, too. On top of this, you shouldn't forget that your scope makes a noise and, just because you have a scope, you should not use it everywhere at every time since it can give away your positions or it might just take too long to scope, given the actual situation in-game. You should always ask yourself if you are not in an engagement yet and you want to get a better position or clear out an area if it's worth it to potentially give away your position. Otherwise, scoping can cause you to lose rounds very easily.
RandomRambo: "Playing fast doesn't suit the SG553."
The strength of the SG lies in it's scoping mechanic and the one-tap potential, not, however, in fast-paced action in close or medium ranges. Although you do move faster with the SG than an AWP, you will still be an easier target than the AKs, moving five units slower per second, not allowing you to fully keep pace with the teammates that play AK or even an SMG. Be sure to listen to the plan for the current round and don't force the SG everywhere: At the end of the day, different calls call for different weaponry.
Correctly Utilising the SG
Let's expand a bit more on one of the most obvious plus for using the SG, the scope. First of all, mastering the scope:
RandomRambo: "[The wobble of the scope] is just the same as playing no-scope Scout and AWP and stuff, [just] practice, practice, practice. [Getting used to the wobble of the scope] is just organically learning."
Although the scope does wobble when you move, this shouldn't make it impossible for you to go for entries around the corner. If you want to be as fluent as you can be when using your SG, you need to know where the centre of the screen is in order to not to be too confused by the wobble of the scope of the SG. The best way, again, would be to jump into MM or any other PUG and learn the angles organically, knowing how to move around them in order to as efficient with the scope and the SG as possible.
Zoom comparison between the AWP (stage 1) and the SG553
RandomRambo: "[There will be no SG-only positions] because CS is just such a fluent game and I play the SG and AUG between the AWP and the M4 or AK. So every job in CS can be either done by the AWP or the AK and by far is the AWP 10x better [in AWPing positions] than the SG. It's very individual, it's economics [...]."
Rambo never forces the use of the SG, either if he doesn't feel it right now or if the situation calls for something different. The best example of a situation suited for the SG would be a Mid peek by the Ts on Mirage, but no one being able to afford an AWP. This is where, if the Mid peek is necessary, the SG comes into play and is, let's just say "good enough" to take over the AWP for this round while also not limiting you later in the round like a glass-cannon AWP would be.
A direct comparison to the AK isn't exactly fair. The SG is "stronger", yes, but it's also situation-dependant if you want to decide what weapon to use. The SG is slower than the AK, does give you a scope and higher accuracy but at the end of the day will never replace the AWP fully. Also, due to how strong it is in afterplants, it is obvious that the CTs can be very strong with this weapon, so be wary of using the SG if you find out that the CTs like to pick it up: It may just be your doom!
It is important to note that it looks like, to RandomRambo at least, learning to use the SG lies on understanding the gun and adapting to it in real games. You should already have decent aim from your general aim training - that has nothing to do with the SG as a gun, but from you wanting to get good in CS:GO. To help you with your aim, I've written a different article called "The Ultimate Guide To Getting Good Aim" and if you struggle with counter-strafing, I've also written this one to help you with your movement.
Once again would I like to take the chance to thank RandomRambo for taking his time to answer my questions about the SG. Here you can find his twitter and here his stream. Also, RandomRambo had something more to say:
"[The] Negev is hugely under-used, most under-appreciated gun in-game at the moment."
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