Brazil’s Counter-Strike teams are on the rise
© ESL / Carlton Beener
Brazil is home to some of the top Counter-Strike teams in the world. We run through the current top squads.
The top flight of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has long been dominated by European players, but over the past few years, North and South American teams have been rising up the ranks, and Brazil in particular is home to some of the top teams on the planet.
With legendary players like Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo and Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David leading the charge, Brazil has spawned creative, energetic teams that have shaken up the CS:GO world stage, and you can learn more about them right here, as we dive into the top squads from around the region – then head over to watch the latest episode of Part Of The Game to meet some of São Paulo’s up and coming esports stars.
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When talking about Brazilian Counter-Strike in 2019, you can’t not talk about MIBR. The Brazilian squad is known for its stacked roster of sheer talent, and with the ridiculous skills of coldzera, Epitácio ‘TACO’ de Melo and FalleN, it’s hard not to be intimidated. It’s been a long road for the team, however, with the core of Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga, FalleN and coldzera starting their rise with Luminosity Gaming in 2015, before being snapped up by SK Gaming a year later.
After things went sour with the organisation, 2018 saw the return of the MIBR name from the Counter-Strike 1.6 glory days, and with it, a challenging year for the former SK squad. With second place finishes at the ECS Season 6 finals and BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul 2018, a 3rd-4th place finish at the Season 8 ESL Pro League finals and the London FACEIT Major, they’re still looking for true competition glory. Still, with 2019 here, it’s a new year for the current MIBR squad to rise up to the legacy of the trophy winning team, and prove that they can shut down any naysayers about their skill.
While the Luminosity name is largely known for its part in creating the modern MIBR squad, the current Brazilian team is still one of the top orgs in the region and have a squad that are on the rise. With two second place finishes in 2018 at DreamHack Open Atlanta and DreamHack Open Valencia, team captain Lucas ‘steel’ Lopes, twin brothers Henrique ‘HEN1’ Teles and Lucas ‘LUCAS1’ Teles, Gabriel ‘NEKIZ’ Schenato and Ricardo ‘boltz’ Prass – who's previously played with SK Gaming and MIBR – have proved that they can compete on the world stage and are looking to find their footing as they live up to the legacy set before them. Despite falling short during Season 8 of the ESL Pro League, Luminosity are aiming to bounce back in 2019, and prove they’re one of Brazil’s brightest teams.
The former Não Tem Como (and then later, NoTag) roster proved that they could compete in the top flight of CS:GO competition and have since joined up with INTZ eSports. Though the team managed a 6th place finish in the ESL Pro League Season 8, the squad have chalked up multiple appearances at various tournaments around North America, and are gaining plenty of experience along the way. With a 5th-8th place finish at the PLG Grand Slam at the end of 2018, the likes of Vito ‘kNgV-’ Giuseppe and Marcelo ‘chelo’ Cespedes are aiming to make 2019 their year.
When you pull together players from Santos e-Sports and YeaH Gaming, two of the top local teams in Brazil, you’re going to get a talented squad that can compete with the best of them. The Imperial e-Sports line-up, consisting of the likes of former Luminosity and Santos e-Sports rifler/AWPer Gustavo ‘SHOOWTiME’ Gonçalves, captain Caio ‘zqk’ Fonseca and rifler Denis ‘dzt’ Fischer, have only been together since September 2018, but have already impressed in the region, and are starting to make waves, taking first place at the WESG 2018 Brazil qualifiers. The team may be young, but they have plenty of experience under their belts and have the ambition to make it out onto the world stage – and with the WESG Global Finals coming up, they have the ideal opportunity to show just what they can do.
Sharks have been around since 2017, and have steadily risen to be one of the top teams in Brazil. Led by captain Renato ‘nak’ Nakano, who has plenty of experience having played for the likes of 1.6-era mibr, Keyd Stars and Luminosity Gaming, the Sharks are rising up in scene, and looking to realise their dreams for 2019.
They’ve beaten the likes of North in the ESL Pro League Season 8 finals, claiming a 9th-12th place finish in the process, placing ahead of the likes fellow countrymen INTZ eSports, and they finished in the top four at the PLG Grand Slam, losing out to G2 Esports in the semifinals. If they can improve on their form and continue to take on top teams around the world, you’ll be seeing a lot more of Sharks in the future.
FURIA are one of Brazil’s newest CS:GO teams. The CS:GO squad consists of a full Brazilian roster, even if they now play out of Miami, Florida, and they’re keen to prove themselves as one of the top teams to emerge from the Americas. Led by captain Andrei ‘arT’ Piovezan, and joined by AWPer Rinaldo ‘AbleJ’ Moda Júnior, riflers Vinicius ‘VINI’ Figueiredo, Kaike ‘kscerato’ Cerato and Yuri ‘Yuurih’ Santos, they’ve already come out on top of the ESL Brasil Premier League Season 5 and are aiming high for the future. FURIA have the resources to become one of the best teams from Brazil, but fingers crossed they’re aiming beyond even that.