It is a good day for Counter-Strike, and it is an even better day for Brazilian Counter-Strike. Games Academy, the Brazilian team that has slowly been catching attention during their fellow countrymen Luminosity Gaming’s rise to fame, have been signed for North American organization Tempo Storm. Most recently, Games Academy have secured a spot at the MLG Columbus Main Qualifier.
It has been a long journey for the young ex-Games Academy players, and much of their story is intertwined with that of Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo. Fallen, now known to many as the tactical mastermind of Luminosity Gaming, has been running a Counter-Strike “school” in Brazil since 2012 dubbed Games Academy. What quickly became a passion project began with FalleN tutoring players in Counter-Strike 1.6, but Games Academy quickly picked up momentum. Soon, FalleN began organizing tournaments in Brazil. The inaugural class of fifteen students would swell rapidly, and there are now over a thousand active players enrolled in FalleN’s Games Academy. FalleN’s school would prove to be the grassroots platform from which the Brazilian Counter-Strike of today was built.
The “Golden Chance”
After the breakout performance of FalleN’s KaBuM team at MLG X-Games Aspen 2015, the team was picked up by Keyd Stars. Shortly thereafter, the team moved to North America to compete in the first season of the ESL ESEA Pro League. The move to the United States propelled the Brazilian team to new heights, and they were quickly signed by North American organization Luminosity Gaming.
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Two months after moving to the United States in May of 2015, FalleN announced the most ambitious Games Academy project yet: the “Golden Chance.” The idea was simple–through Games Academy, FalleN would host a tournament. The winner of this tournament would receive a prize better than money–the opportunity to move to the United States for six months, practice against North American teams and compete in North American competitions, as well as FalleN’s support with finding sponsorships.
You can watch FalleN’s player spotlight video from DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015 below. If you’re a complete sap like me, you might shed a heartfelt tear or two.
The winners of FalleN’s Golden Chance tournament were known as Dexterity, and the players eagerly arrived in North America and began competing under the rightfully earned name of Games Academy–although their initial appearances delivered lackluster results, Games Academy demonstrated remarkable improvement as the year came to a close.
But 2015 had one more surprise in store for Games Academy–after a string of disappointing results, Luminosity Gaming arranged an ambitious trade with their fellow countrymen. In exchange for Luminosity’s Ricardo “boltz” Prass, Games Academy would trade Tacio “TACO” Filho and Lincoln “fnx” Lau, arguably two of the team’s best performing players. The remaining spot on the Games Academy roster was filled by Joao “felps” Vasconcellos, a rising star in Brazil.
Games Academy might seem to have gotten the short end of the stick in their deal with Luminosity, but skeptics would quickly be proved wrong–the new roster arrived at the MLG Americas Last Chance Qualifier determined to progress onwards to the next qualifying event for the upcoming Columbus major. Games Academy did not disappoint, and easily dispatched of their opponents throughout the tournament. After a phenomenal overall tournament run, Games Academy claimed a 2 – 1 victory against Winterfox in the grand finals and guaranteed their place at the Columbus major qualifier.
Taking the World by Storm
This is not the first time that Tempo Storm has made a foray into the world of CS:GO–the organization’s previous roster, which included Shahzeb “ShahZam” Khan and rising North American star Daniel “roca” Gustaferri, was released in August of 2015 following underwhelming seasons in both the ESL Pro League and CEVO. The previous incarnation of Tempo Storm has mostly parted ways–ShahZam and Peter “Stanislaw” Jarguz are still playing together, however, after being picked up by Call of Duty organization OpTic Gaming at the beginning of January this year. Alongside their coach, Luiz “peacemaker” Tadeu, the Tempo Storm roster is currently:
- Henrique “hen1” Teles
- Lucas “lucas” Teles
- Ricardo “boltz” Prass
- Joao “felps” Vasconcellos
- Gustavo “SHOOWTiME” Gonçalves
In a statement published on the Tempo Storm website, team owner and CEO Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk described the former Games Academy players as “incredibly hardworking and hungry for success.” With the signing of Games Academy, FalleN’s “Golden Chance” project has lived up to its name–the players are now, as per FalleN’s design, full-time professionals with the backing of a large organization. Tempo Storm has arrived, and the Brazilian Counter-Strike scene has never been healthier.