On May 23rd, Valve put in place a patch that nerfed the UMP-45. It was a long time coming. At the professional level, the UMP-45 has been overpowered for quite some time. When it was revealed that the UMP was going to be nerfed it seemed as though Valve finally listened to the experts in terms of game balance. The gun was nerfed, but not in the way we were all expecting.
How The UMP-45 Was Nerfed
The UMP-45’s damage at distance was reduced, making it less effective at long range. As an SMG, the UMP was never intended to be used at long distance anyway–all in all, this is a good nerf. In matchmaking and casual settings, the UMP was easily abused at longer ranges since player skill levels weren’t high enough to punish people who use it as a long-distance weapon. At the professional level, the UMP was rarely used at long range, although you can find enough clips of “lucky” long range UMP kills to make the 1.6 fan inside of you roll over in your grave. The damage at long distance was certainly a problem, but it wasn’t the main problem with the gun.
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Recently, at the pro level, there has been an increase in the use of the FAMAS instead of the UMP during second round buys and forcebuys. But this is a bit of an overreaction to the nerf. While the FAMAS and Galil are better at a distance, they perform similarly to the UMP at medium to close-range. Being so much cheaper than those two rifles and offering double the kill reward, the UMP is still the better option. Teams are quickly finding out that the UMP is still better than the FAMAS and turning back.
Does The UMP Still Need Nerfs?
Before the most recent nerf to the damage at distance, the UMP was incredibly overpowered. Now, it’s just very overpowered. The gun only costs $1200 and still has a kill reward of $600, and the damage output is still comparable to much more expensive rifles. The UMP-45 remains too cost effective and it has too much of an impact on the game’s economy.
It’s worth noting that grabbing an UMP with full armor is cheaper than buying a FAMAS without any armor. The UMP-45, as we’ve seen and experienced over the past couple months, encourages forcebuys partially because it is so cheap. And if you win a forcebuy or quasi-eco on the back of an UMP, it will catapults your economy forward because of the large kill reward.
Of course, the UMP-45 is also very accurate while moving. If you opt for the UMP over a rifle, you’ll move faster and be more accurate than you would if you had bought a Galil or a FAMAS. than you would with a rifle and be more accurate than when using a rifle. It’s not effective at long range, but if you are an entry fragger emerging onto a bombsite, you’re a fast-moving target that can still shoot accurately. You can close the distance between yourself and the CTs faster with a gun that also performs admirably at close range.
Even if a team has enough money for a full buy, you’ll sometimes see them hold on to their UMPs. Why? Well, it’s effective and helps line the coffers of your team’s bank account.
What’s Next For the UMP?
The UMP-45 is still in need of some major nerfs to balance out the game, especially at the pro level.The gun is too cheap, does too much damage, rewards too much money, and is too accurate while moving. The damage nerf was fine, but was not what the gun needed. I am not suggesting for all of these things to be done at once, since that would take the gun completely out of the meta. But at least one of these things should be changed.
A nerf to any one of these overpowered aspects would work to balance out the game and reduce the heavy-forcebuy meta that the game is currently in. It’s bad enough that so many of the pistols are overpowered in the game. We don’t need SMGs to be overpowered as well. Even a buff to the FAMAS and Galil could diminish the over-reliance on the UMP-45.
Is the UMP-45 still OP after the recent nerfs, or is it in a good place? Tell us what you think on Twitter or just yell really loudly. (We’ll keep our ears perked up.)