What are the best weapons in the biggest eSports games on Xbox? Which rifles and shotguns have professional gamers turned to before entering battle in the big eSports tournaments. You’re about to find out as European Games League’s Joshua Nino De Guzman tells us about the greatest guns from the competitive scene.
Battle Rifle – Halo 2
Halo's old guard honour the original M6D pistol for its competitive influence but the battle rifle will forever be etched in history as the symbol of Halo on the eSports scene. Having superseded the challenging but slightly more efficient M6D sidearm from Halo: Combat Evolved (which required three head shots to kill), the battle rifle's full potential was realised with three bursts of fire before a final head shot to finish the job. This infamous 'four-shot' was a benchmark of precision for elite players striving to slay their opponents with maximum efficiency.
Subsequent versions of the battle rifle were refined in later sequels but Halo 2 featured a range of exploitable glitches, including the BXR, double shot and double melee. Those talented enough to master the most difficult exploits transformed their battle rifle into an arsenal, wielding a host of lethal and tactical options to their advantage in the arena.
Gnasher Shotgun – Gears of War
The king of close-quarter combat but rarely at centre stage in most eSports titles, the shotgun took a leading-role in competitive Gears of War. Combined with an exploitation of the movement system known as wall-bouncing (ironically inspired by the game's cover mechanics), the Gnasher's potential was limited only by the creativity of its user.
An advantage in numbers did not guarantee success without a calculated approach. However, just one player and a single clip of eight shells was enough to clinch victories from impossible situations. Unfortunately, its power was reduced and versatility restricted in the sequel. Since then, the series has never quite recaptured the magic that once attracted a thriving competitive community.
MP5 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty's armoury is stacked with options but making a few select choices is the way forward. Improved customisation of classes in Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare allowed gamers to fine-tune their loadouts with hand-picked weapons and Perks. Blending the most effective combinations proved key to a player's versatility so that they could adapt to different game modes and situations.
The MP5 offered close-range reliability in terms of damage, accuracy and an agile raise time after sprinting; a deadly advantage when split-second reactions are necessary. It flourished most in the hands of aggressive players confident enough to take heroic risks and reap the rewards. Strong recoil curbed its long-range ability but that did not detract pros bold enough to attempt difficult shots, either out of necessity or to boost momentum by humiliating their foes. A unanimous favourite in the competitive scene, the MP5 is regarded as a forefather of Call of Duty eSports' SMG class.
Sniper Rifle – Halo 3
It’s tough choosing between sniper rifles in the Halo series but the third model offered the most balance to date. One of the most influential power weapons to grace console eSports, its semi-automatic four round clip could take scalps in rapid succession from any visible distance on a map.
Bullets also passed through bodies causing collateral damage to unsuspecting players and, in rare situations, bounced off surfaces to strike the enemy. An entertaining weapon for flashy multi-kills, it attracted the bulk of attention during live broadcasts and propelled a number of players into Halo's top flight. Of course, the responsibility bestowed on a team's primary sniper was not without huge pressure to perform and matches were often won or lost on their ability to control the game.
M16A4 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The SMG and AR classes are by far the two most prominent to date in competitive Call of Duty. MP5 players usually sprinted into the fray but their AR team mates were expected to hold key areas with their M16, utilising its long-range prowess as well as influencing spawn positions of the opposing team. Eventually, the AR role expanded beyond its defensive origins and players moved in tandem with their SMG comrades to double up from two different angles of play - a common manoeuvre in CoD eSports encounters today. The M16 fired in bursts of three rounds, helping gamers to maintain a steadier aim and reducing the temptation to 'spray and pray' and waste ammunition. Its forte was also its weakness, though and close-quarter combat left players vulnerable to the swifter SMG class.
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