How To Use The SG553 Like A Pro In CSGO
Sun 1st Dec 2019 - 7:17pm
After Valve reduced the prices of the SG553 (SG from now on) and AUG, everyone started to realize the potential of the almost-forgotten guns. The AUG quickly overcame the M4A4/A1-S and the SG soon followed suit, rivalling the AK in its usage, which is why it didn't take too long for Valve to increase the price and then nerf the AUG, now followed by a price increase for the SG to $3000.
However, it is very unlikely that we will see the SG disappear again, and in this article, we will not only talk about what stats the SG has but also try to understand its place in CS:GO and how semi-pros from ESEA Advanced, as well as pros from MDL, view and use the SG.
The first thing we'll need to do when we want to use a gun to its fullest potential is understand said gun. This can be a bit tricky since a lot of people quickly summarize the SG as "a better AK," which isn't entirely correct and later we'll see why. However, we still start off with a comparison between the AK and the SG, since they are the guns most similar to each other in the T-Side arsenal.
As we can see, the "better" part of the faulty summarization isn't incorrect: The SG does have better stats almost across the board, including a higher fire rate, accuracy and armour penetration at 100%.
Although the SG isn't 100% accurate as is so often claimed, the accuracy of the SG on a standing first shot will always allow you to hit the head of the enemy even at ~90 metres if you aim at the centre of the head, which is the distance from the back of T-Spawn to Cross. That is the longest distance I could find in an Active Duty map and is longer than the distance from Pit to Goose at A on Dust 2 as well, meaning that, as long as you don't aim at the edge of the head of another player, you will always hit your shot with the SG in hand. Accuracy on your part will be rewarded with accurate hits by the SG, even more than with the AK or any other rifle.
If you lack said accuracy, I'd highly advise you to practice in deathmatch, against bots and so on - being able to fire accurate shots is a fundamental aspect of CS, not only of the SG. If you need help, feel free to check out my article about aiming in general or specifically tracking aim, an aspect of aiming that a lot of people forget.
With cl_weapon_debug_show_accuracy 2 you'll be able to see where your shots can land via a white circle drawn at the surface of impact.
I scoped back in on the left so you can compare the shots easier.
A thing a lot of players are struggling with is the spray of the SG. Some even think it's more complicated than the AK spray and this stems from the fact that the SG spray is significantly different than any other spray pattern in the game. However, since the SG spray is more accurate than the spray of the AK, it is worth learning the spray pattern which is pretty straightforward: It goes up and to the right after the first two shots, at a considerable pace before going down, to the right and then back to the left. A different difficulty for you will be to master two sprays for the SG, instead of one as it is the case with any other weapon except the AUG: The unscoped spray is much bigger than the spray of the scoped SG, which means that you will have to practice double the spray patterns to be able to reliably spray the SG compared to the AK.
For this, I advise you to use specialised workshop maps that will enable you to practice efficiently and effectively, like Yprac Aim Arena by Yesber or Recoil Master - Spray Training by uLLeticaL, which is the map I used in the following comparison picture. It makes sense to disable spread when practising the spray pattern, since this will give you better feedback on your progress - if you, due to luck, get a tighter spray you will feel like you'll have made much more progress than you really did and vice versa. After getting the spray down when the target is standing still, I'd advise you to practice against moving targets, jump into deathmatch or 1v1 aim arena to practice your skill against real opponents.
How to Actually Use the SG
Now, enough about mechanics and dry-practice - how do we actually use this scoped, one-shotting killing machine to its fullest potential? I could try to answer this question alone, but I think the answer will bear more weight when people at the top level of CS chime in. For this, I first asked ESEA Advanced player as well as the player that scored the top ADR and KDR in the ESL UK Premiership Winter Playoffs Swaggy.
When asked about the SG and how to play it, Swaggy started with a comparison to the AK, stating that, "You can use it in any situation and it's 10x better. Its accuracy for (the) first bullet is 100%(sic) so you can out peek an AWPer". However, he continued and highlighted a slight difficulty when using the SG and its scope by stating, "It's almost impossible to peek someone using an SG scoped," concluding that generally, "When using it, you don't always use the scope".
In the end, Swaggy told us that he uses the SG like an AK but, "You can take harder gunfights and win them more consistently so when entrying a site, or taking a fight over long distance, it's almost easy? And the ability to out peek an AWP is ridiculous," hinting that he views the SG as a bridge between the AK and AWP, being able to take a bite out of the cake that the AWP had for itself for a long time.
RoeJ said that on CT the gun "made me adapt to a lot of angels I could never hold with [the] M4," and that "as T, it made it easier to find duels/kills in rounds where you lose the man advantage." In regard to how, roeJ highlighted that "It's [...] important that you can spray with it without scoping for the midrange duels so you're not handicapped with it," alluding to the fact that the scope covers a lot of your screen and shouldn't be overused on every single duel. He continued about the two greatest strength he sees in the SG with, "[The two] biggest strengths with it is holding long/midrange angels and searching [for] duels/kills/clearing angels".
His fellow Tricked teammate acoR chimed in and made it clear where he sees the SG:
"I feel like the SG has its own spot on the tier list of weapons - between the AK and AWP, sometimes even better than the AWP depending on the situation" stressing that, compared to the AK, the SG "[is] a much more versatile weapon. For me, it works great on all distances." He also remarked how he sees a habit that other players developed quickly critically, similarly to his teammate roeJ, who also pointed out that scoping too much can give you a disadvantage, by saying, "I see lots of people use the scope as soon as they can. I feel like the spray is so easy and the gun shoots so fast that I usually don't get to use the scope unless they are really far away - Pit to A site on Dust2, etc."
Hinting back at the tier between the AK and AWP that the SG sits at according to him, acoR stated that, "You're also able to hold angles much tighter due to the scope. [Sometimes it feels that, with the SG, you have an advantage over the AWP] also because it is so cheap compared to the AWP, now the SG is $3000 and the AWP is $4750. That's a really significant difference in Counter-Strike. Let's say you have $5000 at the start of the round, I feel like most people are gonna choose the SG over the AWP because they get SG, armour, smoke, flash, flash and HE = $5000, compared to AWP + flash = $4950."
Overall, the pros and high-tier players are on the same page regarding the SG: It is not just better than the AK, it sits at its own tier of weapons and allows you to play differently than before: You can take riskier peeks, you can fight over longer distances more effectively, and you can even out peek an AWP. Tightening the angles you're holding will see great success together with the scope of the SG and after you're good on the mechanics of the SG, adapting your play according to the principles highlighted by the players, you should be able to maximise your SG-success.