The Teams Leading the Brazilian Counter-Strike Comeback in 2022

January 11, 2022 | 0 | 351| |

The last couple of years have been rough for the Counter-Strike scene in Brazil. Sure, the game’s popularity still is huge in the South American country, but the glory days of Brazilian teams reaching the top of most premier tournaments are long gone.

While there are many reasons as to why this happened, these have been fully discussed by now. Instead, we’re going to focus on what’s next for Brazilian Counter-Strike heading into 2022, and for the first time in a while, there’s plenty of promising signs here.

So, let’s take this small break professional Counter-Strike is having to look at the four leading Brazilian rosters going into 2022. Let’s take a look at these rosters, their chances, and finally, why the scene finally have a chance of restabilising itself as real contenders in every tier of the competition.

FURIA – FINALLY, COMPLETE

For the better part of 2021, FURIA looked like an incomplete team. After Henrique “HEN1” Teles left the team back in January of that year, the squad led by Andrei “arT” Piovezan kept struggling to fill the hole left. After a disappointing stint with Paytyn “junior” Johnson, FURIA benched the North American player. Then, the team tried both Lucas “honda” Honda and later André “drop” Abreu from their Academy project, and while the latter still is on the main team, neither managed to fill the gap left by HEN1.

However, FURIA started 2022 by addressing its main issue, the lack of a proper AWPer. Just a few days ago, the organization unveiled Rafael “saffee” Costa to be the roster’s new AWPer. Rafael, who previously played for paiN, caught many eyes last year as the best performing player in his old team. The Brazilian averaged a 1.27 HLTV rating in 2021, and an impressive 1.18 rating during paiN’s short run at the PGL Major Stockholm.

Admittedly, paiN didn’t face the same level of opposition as FURIA, but considering saffee’s level of play, it’s fair to say that the 27-year-old deserve an opportunity to play in the best team of his country. Moreover, having a dedicated AWPer will finally give arT all the tools he needs to make his team a contender once again.

DOUBTS

Still, it’s not like bringing saffee in haven’t brought up some doubts by some. First, as mentioned above, saffee doesn’t have experience playing against the elite in Counter-Strike. Next, he’s replacing Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo on the roster. VINI was FURIA’s support player, and he was definitely a strong, reliable tool in arT’s arsenal. Drop is most certainly the one which will take on VINI’s role, and the 17-year-old have some major shoes to fill.

Even so, Brazilians fans should be excited with the prospect of what this team could accomplish. FURIA finally have a dedicated AWPer! This alone should be a major upgrade for this squad which managed to reach the Major playoffs while incomplete. It has been sometime so some may have forgotten, but FURIA has once reached a place among the best three teams in the world in HLTV’s World Rankings, and if their bet on saffee pays off, it’s fair to say that at the very least, this team could once again start breaking through the depths of the top 10.

However, until FURIA’s first matches, we can only speculate whether or not this team will work. Unfortunately, we will only see the Brazilians in action in February, although it might be a tad sooner than some may expect if FURIA attends BLAST Spring Groups. Until then, though, Brazilian fans have a lot to look forward to.

00 NATION – COLDZERA’S PROJECT

After rumors pointing to a reunion of the old SK Gaming crew that won two Majors back in 2016, it’s now clear that Marcelo “coldzera” David has other plans for his career going into 2022. The player has announced that he’s now with 00 Nation, and leakers in the scene have stated that he’s building a new project with pieces from the previous 00N roster, as well as other promising pieces from the South American scene.

So, rumor has it that coldzera will keep Leonardo “leo_drk” Oliveira and Vinicius “v$m” Moreira from the organization. The remaining players to complete the roster are the Argentinian Santino “try” Rigal, who just left 9z, and Mario “malbsMd” Samayoa, who currently plays as TeamOne’s star.

On paper, this team looks incredibly powerful. Both malbsMd and try are some of the strongest, most promising players in Latin American Counter-Strike. Then, you have v$m, who has been consistently ranked as one of the best Brazilian players in CSGO for the past years. Of course, there’s also leo_drk, which while not quite the prospect he once was years ago, still can be a vital piece for this roster as a role player.

Going by the rumors, coldzera is the man who will take the in-game leader role in this squad, and this come as no surprise as the player have experience in the role. Sure, his latest showing as a team captain is far from remarkable, but as Marcelo himself mentioned, he wasn’t comfortable calling in English in FaZe. It’s easy to see why this would hold him back as a captain, and going back to calling in Portuguese could be all he needs to become the leader this squad needs to succeed.

TAKE YOUR TIME

If the rumors prove to be true and this become 00 Nations roster for the 2022 season, then Brazilian fans have another promising project to cheer for. However, it’s fair to assume that this project won’t just hit the top immediately, especially considering that everyone will need some time to adapt. Leonardo and Vinicius have already been playing together for a while, but under Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe leadership. The rest of the players haven’t played together, so it’s fair to expect that they will need some time before really hitting their ceiling.

Once this 00 Nation roster gets momentum, though, it’s hard to see how far they can go. The potential to become a team in the top 15, perhaps even top 10 at time is there, especially if both malbsMd and try manage to keep their current levels against stronger opposition. As long as coldzera can do a good job as a leader, this team should become a real challenger.

On the same note, it’s also hard to see this squad breaking through the top 10 right now. While this 00 Nation could challenge squads like ENCE, ECSTATIC, or maybe even MOUZ, it’s hard to see them competing against the likes of FURIA, Heroic, Virtus.Pro and the teams on the bottom of the top 10. Again, breaking through the elite in Counter-Strike isn’t impossible, but it’ll definitely depend on everyone in this roster going above and beyond.

And yet, there’s no issue if this squad doesn’t do so. As long as they can reach their predictable potential as one of the teams in the bridge between the best and the 2nd tier scene, this should be more than enough. However, 00 Nation won’t be the only Brazilians fighting to break into the top this year.

GODSENT – THE GRINDING GOES ON

GODSENT had one incredible year in 2021. From a second-tier team in the North American scene to breaking through the top 15 in the world rankings, it has been one great journey for Epitácio “TACO” de Melo and his teammates.

But in the last months of 2021, GODSENT showed us that they just started to tap on their potential. After qualifying to ESL Pro League Season 15 and then their final run of 2021, where they finished in 5 – 6th place in IEM Winter with wins over Heroic, BIG and even taking a map off NiP, GODSENT proved that their grind paid off. Now, they are looking to 2022 with high expectations.

Yet, it won’t be so easy for Taco and company to break through the best teams in the world. Instead, it’s fair to say that they will first have to get a grip on their position as one of the teams in-between the first and second tier as teams like BIG and MOUZ bring changes to their rosters. GODSENT is seemingly planning to stick together for this half of the year, and while this is definitely the right choice, it also makes some question if this team can really go much further.

Don’t get me wrong: GODSENT is a strong squad when you classify then as a team competing in the second tier, but when you start evaluating it as a team aiming to keep a position in the top 15, things start changing. For example, Bruno “b4rtiN” Câmara performance have been slowly going down as GODSENT opposition becomes stronger. Can he be the one to hold this team from now on?

FIGHT HARDER

While b4rtiN is the only player that had his individual level fall enough to see him finishing the last three months with a negative HLTV rating, every other player from this team had a dip in performance.

The reason behind this fall in individual levels is obviously caused by the higher level of opponents, but it’s worrisome nonetheless. TACO has shown enough that he can be a good in-game leader, but as good as he might be, João “felps” Vasconcellos and Eduardo “dumau” Wolkmer still need to improve on an individual level for this squad to keep their position.

Still, the good news here is that it seems more than likely that the organization will give them time to work out, and this might be everything this team needs. Maybe we see these two players bouncing back right after the player breaks ends in February, or maybe they take some time but still improve in the long run. In any case, we’ll have to wait until IEM Katowice before GODSENT returns to the server. Until then, let’s hope this team is ready to continue the grind from where they left off.

THE LAST DANCE – HOW FAR HAVE YOU FALLEN

While FURIA, 00 Nation and GODSENT should be the teams leading Brazil’s comeback in Counter-Strike, we can’t ignore the rumors surrounding Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s next project after leaving Team Liquid. Nicknamed ‘The Last Dance’ by the community, this project will supposedly bring back FalleN, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga and Lincoln “fnx” Lau together. Coldzera was rumored to be part of this reunion before the player himself denied it. Still, the rumors about FalleN, fer and fnx are still going strong.

As for the remaining of the team, it’s rumored that the trio’s old teammate Ricardo “boltz” Prass will once again play alongside them. To round-up the roster then, it’s now rumored that ex-FURIA Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo will be brought in. While there are some popular names here, it’s hard to be excited for this team.

NO POWER

First, the immediate question which will pop-up is who will be the one bringing the frags? Fer has shown in his time at 00 Nation that his rushes aren’t as unpredictable as they once were. Then, while fnx might end up working as he was always a slower player, he alone won’t save this team. FalleN has also given some good showing in his last days in Team Liquid, but he just isn’t consistent enough. As for boltz and VINI, neither player have shown to have potential to be star players in recent times.

When you take all of that in consideration, it’s easy to understand why this line-up certainly will be frustrating to some dedicated fans. FalleN, for example, could be an incredible piece to have in a team with some youngsters, helping build the future of the Brazilian scene, but instead he is here. It’s also understandably why this roster would be interesting financially-wise, though. Both FalleN and fnx carry strong names in their country after all.

In any case, it’s hard to see this roster breaking through the second-tier scene, especially with teams like K23, forZe and others around. It just seems like a project which won’t last long, or if it does, it won’t be doing anything truly remarkably.

THERE’S MORE TO IT

When the Brazilian scene crumbled years ago after MiBR went their own ways and FURIA remained as the only team from the country playing in the top level, it was hard to see any other team coming up to bring some competition. Last year, GODSENT finally broke through and become another challenger, but Brazilian Counter-Strike was far from recovering up.

Going into 2022, though, Brazilian CS is in a much better place. First, there are three interesting projects, with FURIA competing among the best teams in the world, GODSENT fighting to break through the top 10, and 00 Nation with potential enough to also reach GODSENT’s level. Then, we’ve the lower-rated scene, which seems to be slowly developing together as paiN is starting to break through the 30 best teams in the world. There’s MiBR, Sharks and TeamOne and while these teams are still among the second-tier level of competition in North America, they still have some interesting pieces. Most importantly, they are slowly developing, and who knows, there’s a chance to see them breaking into the top 30 this year.

Furthermore, both FURIA and GODSENT are fielding academy teams that will be key for the growth of the Brazilian scene going forward. FURIA Academy team is currently playing in WePlay Academy League Season 3. While they haven’t been doing very well, it still is a very important initiative from these orgs to keep pumping out talent.

So, with everything being considered, it’s fair to say that Brazilian Counter-Strike is in a much better place now. It has been a couple of rough years, but it’s time to look forward, and for these teams, it’s all about beating expectations and keep their momentum going.

CSGO RETURNS TO ACTION SOON

While we’ll have to wait until February to see the likes of FURIA and the best teams in the world returning to action, CSGO will return to the servers shortly. For the teams playing in the lower-tier of the Brazilian scene, it has already returned with the Liga GC 2021, which started this Tuesday.

In any case, make sure you won’t miss a beat about anything esports by following us here!

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

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