In reference to the recently held PGL 2017 Krakow Major Championship, let’s take a look on one of the greatest sinister AWP players to have ever graced the Counter Strike: Global Offensive – Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo of SK Gaming. With his accurate shot placements, calm AWPing demeanor in chaotic situations and off-the-chart reaction time, CS: GO professional players, critics, and enthusiasts all over the globe have always considered FalleN as the second best, only a tier under France’s Kenny “KennyS” Schrub.
Toledo’s first appearance in the Counter Strike competitive landscape dates back in 2005 when his former team called “crashers” decided to take their first bouts in multiple CS 1.6 tournaments in their Brazilian home soil. With not much success, the now-Brazilian pride proceeded to part ways and head to another team called playArt, which at that time was deemed as the country’s dream CS 1.6 roster. Comprised of Bruno “bit” Lima, Bruno “ellllll” Ono, Lincoln “fnx” Lau, Renato “nak” Nakano, and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, the dream team had their own great shares of victories in several local tournaments but playArt had not managed to secure their success in the international level, triggering “FalleN” to bid farewell and test the waters by considering college as Plan B in 2012 if his Counter Strike career wouldn’t go well.
FalleN, however, decisively followed back his dream of winning a Counter Strike championship, and tried his chances on the rapidly rising Counter Strike: Global Offensive in early 2013 by teaming up with the young and rising Brazilian twin stars Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles and Henrique “HEN1” Teles, and two other veterans, namely Fernando “fer” Alvarenga and former teammate Lincoln “fnx” Lau. As captain, FalleN urged a change in the roster due to disappointing results in international competitions against some of the best teams in the world, namely Cloud 9, Ninjas in Pyjamas, dignitas, etc.
Breakthrough followed in FalleN’s career as the tides have turned when the Brazilian team moved to the United States to look for major improvements and made a significant roster change involving another potential key player Marcelo “coldzera” David one month prior to one of the biggest CS: GO tournament in 2015. The change quickly boosted the team’s chemistry and allowed coldzera and FalleN to become major threats in the succeeding minor and major tournaments.
2016 proved to be the best year for FalleN as his team together with coldzera and other superstars, started to impose their redemption and dominance by winning a hard-fought comeback in the semifinals of ESL One: Cologne that included coldzera’s kangaroo AWPing play in an unwinnable position against Team Liquid which is deemed by several analysts as the greatest CS: GO play in history.
The success continued on in minor and major tournaments in 2017 such as cs_summit, IEM XII: Sydney, ESL Pro League Season 5: North America, Dreamhack Summer, ECS Season 3 and most recently, ESL: Cologne.
Throughout FalleN’s rollercoaster ride in his legendary 12-year professional Counter Strike career, persistence and consistency are the ones that stood out and made him an all-time Counter Strike great. Just as what FalleN had tweeted to Kjaerbye after Astralis won over Virtus.Pro in ELEAGUE last January, “It’s all about the mindset, buddy!” Truly a humble but tenacious legend of the CS: GO competitive scene!