Tempo Storm acquire Games Academy

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore eSports / Tempo Storm

Tempo Storm has returned to competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by picking up the Brazilian squad, Games Academy.

The entirety of Games Academy's roster will be moving over to the North American organization, which includes the brothers, Henrique "hen1" Teles and Lucas "lucas1" Teles, the team's AWPer and entry fragger respectively, Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves, the team's lurker, and João "felps" Vasconcellos, the team's secondary entry fragger.

Last but not least is former Luminosity Gaming player Ricardo "boltz" Prass, a Majors veteran and the team's support player. The team will also keep their in-game leader and coach in Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu.

The team formerly known as Games Academy recently clutched the Americas Last Chance qualifier and will be competing in the upcoming qualifier for the MLG Major Championships: Columbus.

Tempo Storm's first foray into CS:GO was on March 31 when they picked up the North American squad Ascendancy, a team that was full of unknown but promising players. They ended the ESEA Season 18: North American Premier Division with a flawless 16-0 standing, however they were outclassed when they entered competitions with the top tier teams. They went through a number of roster changes before dropping the team on Aug. 13, following poor performances.

Ahead of the MLG Major qualifiers, the team took the time to speak to theScore eSports, talking about how being part of Tempo Storm will motivate them, their expectations at the MLG Major and their continued connection with Luminosity Gaming's Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.

For those who may not be familiar with your lineup yet, can all five of you introduce yourselves and tell us what your role is on the team?

Henrique "hen1" Teles and Lucas "lucas1" Teles: 20-years-old twin brothers, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2014 and they are former players of Kabum.TD. Hen1 is the main AWPer and Lucas is our main entry killer.

Ricardo "boltz" Prass: 18-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Keyd Stars and Luminosity. He's the support on our team.

João "felps" Vasconcellos: 19-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Keyd Stars. He's our secondary entry killer.

Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves: 18-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2015, former player of Games Academy. He's our lurker and also secondary support.

Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu: 27-years-old, has been playing Counter Strike professionally since 2010 and is a former player of Team Yeah and ProGaming.TD. He's the captain in-game and our coach.

What made you choose Tempo Storm to be your new home? Why not stay with a South American organization?

After a couple months of hard work in the USA, leaving our family and friends behind in Brazil, we found a “new home” for us and it's a huge pleasure to represent a well known and big organization as Tempo Storm, together with all their sponsors.

Unfortunately the CS:GO scene in South America is not as huge as it is in NA and Europe nowadays. There are not many organizations that could give us the support that we need to play at a high level and compete against the best teams in the world.

That's why we have been with Games Academy since 2015 and we are very thankful for all the support that they gave to us until today, because without Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Ricardo "Dead" Sinigaglia, Camila and all the Games Academy staff members, nothing of this would have happened.

We are very prepared and motivated for the upcoming events to show all our potential with our new organization.

Now that you are represented by Tempo Storm, what are your chances of being invited into Turner’s ELeague?

Playing Turner's ELeague would be a dream coming true for us, just like it is nowadays to qualify for the upcoming Major. Being invited to big tournaments depends on our next results as a team, we know that we still have a lot of work to do with this new lineup and we are already working hard to be able to compete at these important tournaments.

Turner's ELeague will be the first televised league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

What changes, if any, will come to the team now that they are part of Tempo Storm?

We always took the game seriously and played as professionals and being part of Tempo Storm just gives us a lot more motivation and more support to play.

We know that now being part of a professional organization means that we have more responsibilities and we need to represent them well. That's also a big part of our goal now, show Tempo Storm that they made the right choice on picking us and that we will give our blood to represent them well and to achieve our goals.

Can you describe to us in your own words what Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo brought to the Games Academy team? Will he remain as a mentor now that you guys are part of Tempo Storm?

FalleN is important and means a lot to us. He's the owner of [Games Academy] together with Ricardo ("Dead") and Camila (Ricardo's wife), they are the ones that gave us the opportunity to grow as a team and to be professional Counter-Strike players.

FalleN always helped us, especially at hard times; he always believed in us. We hope that he's still gonna be able to keep helping us because he has a lot of experience together with his team and since we live close to each other that helps a lot so we can share experiences and practice together.

Luminosity Gaming's Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, as the CEO of Games Academy, has served as a mentor to the players and may continue to do so

When Lincoln "fnx" Lau and Tacio "TACO" Pessoa left the team to go to Luminosity Gaming did you foresee their success?

Definitely yes. Both have a lot of talent, love the game and wants to get better and better everyday. TACO is really dedicated and he's going to improve even more in LG, with some time and more experience he's gonna be a key player for LG.

Talking about fnx, he's a guy that never gives up on his wishes. Everyone knows he has a lot of talent since CS 1.6 and once he says that he wants to be the best, you have to believe this guy because he has a lot of passion for this game and he is already proving he is very important and responsible for LG's great performances recently.

What does Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu as a coach bring to the team? How does he compare to Wilton “zews” Prado?

Peace, as we call him, brings a lot of confidence for our team by releasing pressure on us and studying our opponents since he is not only coaching but our in-game leader as well so we trust him a lot. He's been a player for a long time with a lot of experience so he's helping us a lot to improve our game style and to calm us down during our matches.

Comparing him to zews is pretty hard, both of them know a lot about the game and it’s just a matter of time till [peacemaker] becomes as great a coach as Zews already is; peace is already on his way more quickly than we thought.

Ricardo "boltz" Prass is a veteran of the Luminosity Gaming lineup, how does his experience (having attended and placed Top 8 at the Majors) play into your team’s confidence and what kind of leadership does he bring to the squad?

Boltz is a key addiction to our team, he's a young talent with a lot of potential and after all that happened to him he seems more motivated than ever to work harder for our team. His Majors experiences, together with a lot of practice against the best teams in Europe, helps us a lot to improve our game play. It's like taking a shortcut to success and we are very happy with his attitude and performances lately.

Former Keyd Stars and Luminosity player, Ricardo "boltz" Prass, now finds himself representing Tempo Storm

Many consider your lineup as one that has the potential to rise to the top of the Americas CS:GO scene. Do these expectations put any pressure on you guys to perform immediately?

These expectations don't affect us at all, we know where we are and where we want to be in the next months.

Put some hard work together and find chemistry in the team and you will achieve your goals sooner or later, that's how it works with us.

How strong do you think your team is when comparing yourselves to the top North American lineups?

Even though this is a new lineup, we don't fear any of them and we think that we are very prepared to compete against any of them. In the next tournaments, we will show what kind of damage we can do to them.

How does the team feel going into the MLG Major qualifier? Do you believe you can achieve a Top 8 finish to compete in the Major itself?

Honestly, nobody ever thought or believed that we would win the Last Chance Qualifier, not like we care about it, but we feel good that nobody believes that we can do things, just gives us more motivation to achieve our goals.

We are feeling confident and working hard to compete against any of those teams at the qualifier, but we also know that it’s gonna be a lot harder than any other tournament that we ever played before, so we have to play our A game and then we will see what happens.

What preparations are being made for the qualifier? Are you guys trying anything new?

We are practicing around five hours a day against teams and the rest we watch our demos together, discuss new tactical things, study our possible opponents and the rest of the time we take care of our individual performances and relax some. We will always have an ace up our sleeves to try to surprise our opponents.

What is the one team you don't want to face in the qualifier?

We don't fear anyone, all the teams have a lot of potential and deserve to be there, but based on the recent events, Dignitas proved to be playing their A game, winning against some of the best teams in the world, so if we have to face them I think that it would be a hell of a match!

Team Dignitas's Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye at the ESL ONE Cologne European qualifiers

Luminosity Gaming has been one of the "Legend" teams at the Majors since ESL One: Cologne 2015, does that motivate you guys to achieve the same?

Of course, they shared with us their experiences about how they became challengers since the beginning with Keyd Stars. That helps us to know how we should act and what we need to do to succeed as they did.

Your team is the only South American team in the MLG qualifier, but if you achieve top 8, there will be two SA teams (along with Luminosity) at a Major for the first time ever. Does that motivate the team also? What could that achievement bring to the SA scene?

We know how important it is for the growth of Counter-Strike in South America, to give them more investments, tournaments and opportunities in general. South America's community is huge and completely loves the game, the fact that [we could be] the second Brazilian and South American team able to qualify for the Major is already very important.

For us it would be a dream come true; we know how important this qualifier is and that's one of the reasons why we're working harder than ever.

What are your goals for the 2016 year? Are there any tournaments/leagues that you would like to be apart of?

Our main goals for 2016 is to qualify for this upcoming Major, then we want to be in ESEA Pro League at next season. We also want to play all the important tournaments around the world like DreamHack's, IEM's, FACEIT Finals, PGL's and every other tournament that we're able to compete against the best teams in the world.

If we got the opportunity to compete at Turner's E-League this season, or in the next, it would be a dream come true for us; we will work hard to get there as well!

Dennis Gonzales is a news editor for theScore eSports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking Timbersaw Windranger Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle. You can follow him on Twitter.

Fnatic, FaZe, Immortals qualify for ESL Pro League Season 4 LAN finals

Thumbnail image courtesy of Patrick Strack / ESL

Fnatic, FaZe Clan and Immortals have qualified for the ESL Pro League Season 4 LAN finals following their respective games on Wednesday.

Fnatic swept FlipSid3 Tactics 2-0 after a one-sided 16-2 win on Cobble and a 16-9 win on Train. FaZe Clan played four maps yesterday and won all four of them as they defeated HellRaisers and Natus Vincere 2-0. Immortals swept Winterfox 2-0 after a 16-7 win on Cache and demolished them on Mirage 16-1.

After SK Gaming qualified following their games on Tuesday, it was announced by ESL that SK Gaming forfeited their last remaining games in the league, which has given Cloud9 a 2-0 default win, though they have already qualified. This allowed IMT to climb over SK in seeding as they are tied for points, but IMT have a +133 round differential, beating SK's +116. IMT are currently in second, while SK are third.

After SK's forfeiture, the North American region will play 12 best-of-one matches in the final day of league play on Thursday, while Europe will play 14 matches. It will be the last chance to grab the final five slots to the LAN finals.

The ESL Pro League Season 4 LAN finals features a $600,000 prize pool and will take place on Oct. 28-30 at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera arena in São Paulo, Brazil.

The team list for ESL Pro League Season 4 LAN finals in São Paulo, Brazil now looks as follows:

mousesports Cloud9
Ninjas in Pyjamas SK Gaming
Fnatic Immortals
FaZe Clan TBD

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.

DreamHack Masters Las Vegas to take place at MGM Grand, features $450,000 prize pool

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of DreamHack

DreamHack Masters Las Vegas has been announced to take place in February at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and will feature a CS:GO tournament with a $450,000 prize pool, DreamHack announced Wednesday. It will take place between Feb. 15-19.

DreamHack Masters Las Vegas is the second Masters event, following DreamHack Master Malmö in April. The Ninjas in Pyjamas took down Natus Vincere 2-0 in Malmö's Grand Finals and took the lion's share of the event's $250,000 pool. It was also notably the western debut for fan favorite Chinese team, TyLoo, who defeated Team Liquid and SK Gaming (then-Luminosity Gaming) to progress to the playoffs.

The tournament will host 16 teams, with the group stage being held on MGM Grand’s casino floor, completely open to the public. Them, the Top 8 teams from the group stage will battle in the playoffs inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Feb. 18-19.

Further details such as invites, possible qualifiers and tournament format are expected in the coming weeks.

DreamHack Masters Las Vegas is not the only esports to take place in an MGM Resorts-owned facility in Las Vegas, as the League of Legends’ 2016 North American LCS Spring Finals were held in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in April. Meanwhile, Major League Gaming announced MLG Las Vegas on Oct. 24, which is a Call of Duty and Overwatch event also held in Mandalay Bay.

“We have hosted a number of esports events over the course of the last year and the DreamHack Masters at MGM Grand gives us another opportunity to host a championship event at one of our venues,” MGM Resorts International’s senior vice president of booking and development Chris Baldizan said. “The esports industry is quickly becoming one of the most popular worldwide and is a great complement to our goal of delivering a variety of sports and entertainment options to our local community and Las Vegas visitors.”

DreamHack has also mentioned in their press release that “depending on marketing and timing,” they will produce two “Masters” CS:GO events in 2017, one more alongside their Las Vegas event.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.

Dead Pixels sign new CS:GO squad

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Dead Pixels

Dead Pixels have reentered the competitive CS:GO scene with a new roster composed of mostly unknown players.

There is little information to be found about the new roster, which consists of Alexander "WLTR" Walter, Oscar "Arken" Tjernlund, "avm", David "Schuster" Schuster and Arseny "zirken" Lysenko.

The organization previously fielded a CS:GO roster from May 2015 to May 2016. In addition to the CS:GO team, Dead Pixels fields a Starcraft II team that includes Miguel "Majestic" Julià Rubio,Thor "Thorminator" Bagge and Eloi "Elroye" Quach.

Dead Pixels has also said that the team will release a full statement regarding their decision to reenter CS:GO after the conclusion of Rendezvous LAN.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

DreamHack expands CS:GO circuit to all 2017 events

Thumbnail image courtesy of DreamHack

This year's DreamHack Open circuit will feature nine CS:GO tournaments and a $100,000 prize pool at each, for a total of $900,000 in prize money, the organization announced Thursday.

That's a big increase from the 2016 circuit, which featured six tournaments and a total $600,000 prize pool. According to the organization's press release, CS:GO will be played at every DreamHack event planned for 2017. With no event in Bucharest next year, CS:GO will appear at four new events in total — in Tours, Valencia, Montreal and Denver.

"With the constant growth and being the most sought for esports title at our festival events, it is natural for us to have DreamHack Open with CS:GO as a household part of all festival events in 2017," DreamHack Open project manager Mark Winther said in a press release.

Here's the full list of 2017 DreamHack events where CS:GO will be played:

  • DreamHack Leipzig - Jan. 13-15
  • DreamHack Austin - April 28-30
  • DreamHack Tours - May 6-8
  • DreamHack Summer - June 17-19
  • DreamHack Valencia - July 14-16
  • DreamHack Atlanta - July 21-23
  • DreamHack Montreal - Sept. 8-10
  • DreamHack Denver - Oct. 20-22
  • DreamHack Winter - Nov 30 to Dec. 2

Most of the tournaments will feature eight teams, six invited and two from open qualifiers in North America and Europe. However, the press release also says that "selected events" will feature five invited teams and add a spot for a wildcard team from a region outside of NA and EU.

"It is important to us, that DreamHack Open stays open, allowing for up and coming teams to have a chance to qualify and a playground to evolve," Winther said. "At the same time we will continue to invite teams directly based on merits."

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Washington State Gambling Commission does not expect to find Valve in compliance with requests

Ryan "Gorgon the Wonder Cow" Jurado
Thumbnail image courtesy of Washington State Gambling Commission

The Washington State Gambling Commission does not expect to find that Valve was sufficiently compliant with their requests, its director, David Trujillo, said over the phone near the end of local business hours on Tuesday.

"Valve knows what is going on because they issued their own letters. It could have been taken more seriously," he said in the conversation.

Shortly after speaking to theScore esports, Trujillo’s office put out a short public statement saying, "Commission staff are reviewing this letter to determine if it is responsive to our request. The Gambling Commission will continue to evaluate its options regarding the violation of Washington's gambling laws."

“We'll be determining whether or not it actually met what we ask," Trujillo said in the interview. But he added that the commission did not expect to determine that they had, given the content and tone of Valve's response.

Trujillo reaffirmed much of what the organization’s commissioner, Chris Stearns, had previously stated: that esports and video games are not arenas with which the WSGC is normally involved, and there is an underage gambling component to the complaints which prompted this investigation.

"For a company such as Valve to have set about on this business model," Trujillo said, “For us to have said, 'Hey, we believe you are doing this, we need for you to demonstrate how this is not the case.'

"They didn't really do that. They talked a little bit about why they don't believe that's the case but they really didn't demonstrate to us that they're in compliance with our Washington laws ... It sure would have been nice for Valve to have obtained some sort of legislative remedy for them to have operated this way if there was any doubt whatsoever in Washington's laws."

He said that they still believe Valve is facilitating gambling activities in Washington. "At this point we may end up agreeing to disagree with their interpretation of what they have said they are doing."

But agreeing to disagree, in this case, could lead to consequences of some kind for Valve. "If we're conducting an investigation, I don't want to put what we're doing out there," Trujillo said.

According to Trujillo, all the criminal and civil options outlined in the commission’s original letter to Valve are still potential outcomes, including seizure of property or, potentially, criminal charges. "I would not have allowed that to have been put out there if I didn't believe that it was the case,” Trujillo said.

Valve response to the commission said that they are do not "understand the legal or factual reasoning supporting this position, from the Commission's letter or from our conversations with the Commission.”

Trujillo said that, in his view, the letter that Valve provided did not explicitly prove or disprove their compliance with Washington state laws.

“If we had received a 15-page response that would have said we looked at this law, this law, and this law, we believe this is how we are not facilitating or this is how we are being compliant, that would have facilitated a different reaction than if we received a response that's this one,” he said.

“That's why we're determining just how responsive it is. And since we want to be very deliberate and methodical about this, I definitely don't want to overreact and I don't want to overreach.”

Ryan "Gorgon the Wonder Cow" Jurado writes about esports and freelances for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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