FalleN: "It's sad to see North American CS getting smaller"
Dust2.us' Dafydd Gwynn had the opportunity to chat to Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo after their first victory of the PGL Americas RMR, he offered some great insight into the current state of Imperial, their competition, and how the Brazilian scene has over-taken North America.
You just had quite a close game in the first half, and this is a former Imperial team. Was there a little bit of a rivalry going on?
There isn't any rivalry between us because of the org itself but we have known those players for so long. I have played with zqkS a lot of times even in CS:GO in 2014. We have played together and we started our own project in North America. He was in the first team with Boltz. It was Boltz, me, Fer, and steel. steel is actually playing for the Casemiro organization right now. So we've known those players for a long time, so there's always a little bit of a rivalry, but not feel special in regards to the organization itself.
There are a lot of SA teams here. Some have come up through the North American qualifier, some through the South American, how do you feel about the quality of the teams that are playing? Especially with Isurus just beating Party Astronauts.
Yeah, I was pretty surprised when we played the competitions in Brazil coming up to this tournament. I think the average level in Brazil has raised up a lot compared to the years we used to go back there to play a couple of tournaments. So it's quite interesting, I think this tournament is going to say who has the median higher average for the Brazilian teams and North American teams. So of course you have to take off the best teams from each country from the equation, but this tournament is going to prove and give a statement on which region has the median average teams at the best level.
Do you classify yourselves as underdogs?
So it really depends on the point of view of the team. We have a large amount of experience coming through those tournaments, it's my twelfth participation in a major. That's the same for the other players from my team as well, three of us are double times major champions. But all those things are in the past, so if we look into the past, with our experience, we're definitely underdogs. But if we take into account that we only have been together for a month and a half and that we need to grow a lot to get to the point where we want to be then yeah, probably in some of the matchups we would be considered underdogs.
As you said this is a team filled with veterans, you also have VINI, what does he bring as the youngest guy on the roster?
VINI meshes really well with the team from an out-of-game perspective and in-game as well. He's a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more fast-forward than us when it comes to thinking about the game. It definitely helps to have someone who has a different school of mind and a different vision for the game. He puts some input in here and there, he finds answers for things that sometimes we might approach in a slower way, and he's a little bit more straightforward with the actions in-game and definitely helps us, he's a great guy and it's been awesome to play with him.
Would you say this is a different kind of VINI than we saw on FURIA?
I think VINI played so many roles at FURIA during that time, they kept changing some roles and players. We have seen VINI lurking, we have seen VINI entrying there. Even though, of course, arT did the most entry roles you could see VINI taking a lot of initiative as well. So here on this team he's more like a pack player, he's not playing on the edge too much, so it's a little bit of a different VINI for sure in some regards, but nothing special that he has never done before.
What is your mentality and your goal coming into this event?
Our goal is definitely to qualify for the major, and the legend spot will be brilliant for sure. If we can take the 3-0 spot it will be the dream scenario for any team here but if we, if we manage to go 3-2 or 3-1, it is already a big accomplishment. We just created the team and our focus is definitely on getting to the level where we can play at the Brazilian major. This is the first step to getting there and it would be great to achieve something already.
This is a new roster as you said, what is the right longevity of this team?
We're planning to play for at least two years, that is the goal. Like I said, in the last answer, the goal is to be playing Brazilian major, that's the biggest goal for the team and you never know. We'll see when it gets to that time, it depends on how experienced we become and how much we're liking it, but I mean the general answer would be two years.
I'm not sure if you have seen what daps said recently about North American Counter-Strike and the fact that there aren't enough veteran players to bring the younger players up. Does South America have that issue?
South America has a lot of teams playing at the moment, I think the Brazilian scene is a little bit warmer at the moment than the North American scene. I think a part of the reason is that the Brazilians are really passionate about Counter-Strike. It's been like that for the last 20 years, and the fact that we have so many cool projects going on in the last year has made our community very strong. I think that in North America that didn't really happen, it slowed down a little bit and that's partially it's because of the culture. In North America, people have different things to be doing in their lives. They have more options, and more access to different stuff as well. So you know, there are a couple of different social-cultural differences and project differences that made the scenes on the different levels it is right now. They are different scenes so it's hard to give one answer, but it's sad to see North American CS getting smaller than it was compared to when we were there in 2013.
We were talking about rivals, and I think there is kind of two grudge matches that could happen for you here, that would be against coldzera and the other being against your most recent team; liquid. How are you viewing these matchups?
With coldzera I wouldn't call it a rivalry, he was just a very good teammate that we played with before and achieved a lot together, and then our paths went different ways. Now he's doing a movement that TACO recently did in GODSENT, he's building a team around himself with new players. I think it will match him well if he manages to be the leader they need him to be then I think their team can really grow a lot because they have the potential for it. For Team Liquid, there is really no rivalry as well. I mean it's going to be very fun to play against those guys, now that I know how they are, how they talk and how they like to play the game and how they like to see the game. It's going to be very interesting to play them if it happens, but there's definitely not a rivalry so to speak.
You have done a lot for the Brazilian scene yourself, and we were talking about steel with Case whose also trying to do something for a lot of young players. How do you rank them as a team right now?
I think this tournament is going to be an opportunity for them to prove their game because they have played very well in Brazil in those last couple of tournaments. For me as an outside guy who just watched them play and has played against them only once, it feels to me that they're very straightforward in their game. There isn't much bidding, there isn't much letting the game flow. It's more about what they think they're going to do, and they just execute it. You know, like it's very straightforward. I'm kind of interested to see how this is going to pan out here in this tournament. So I can't really say how they look, but they're looking good in Brazil. So if they can keep the same pace here and keep surprising things with the way they play the game, they can go very far.
Fallen and Imperial won their first game against São Caetano and now must wait to find out their second match of the day.