Tempo Storm acquires Games Academy

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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.

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Immortals eliminated from ESL One Cologne offline qualifier

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Immortals have been eliminated from the ESL One Cologne qualifier after a 16-12 loss to FlipSid3 Tactics on Train, taking them out of contention for the ESL One Cologne Major.

This is Immortals' third loss of the tournament following a Round 1 loss to Team EnVyUs on Dust II and a Round 2 loss to TyLoo on Cache. Immortals eliminated Team Empire on Saturday, but couldn't keep their momentum against F3, despite an impressive mid-game comeback.

F3's standout player was Yegor "markeloff" Markelov, who led the team with 27 kills, 2 assists and just 16 deaths. Immortals finish the tournament in 12th-14th place, tied with Renegades and Splyce. F3 has one more game to either qualify for the ESL One Cologne Major, or be eliminated from the qualifier.

The Immortals roster was recently bought from Tempo Storm. While with Tempo Storm, the team placed second at the Americas Minor Championship Cologne and second at DreamHack Austin.

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

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Immortals win DreamHack Summer 2016 after 2-0 victory over NiP

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Despite the odds and the crowd being against them, Immortals have defeated home-soil heroes Ninjas in Pyjamas 16-13, and have been crowned the champions of DreamHack Summer 2016.

IMT came into the tournament as a strong contender, but betting people wouldn’t have put much down on them, especially considering their middling performance in the group stage. They lost their opening match 13-16 against SK Gaming on Train, but stayed alive by sweeping ENCE eSports 2-0 and moved on to face SK again. They took the rematch 2-1 to graduate from their group. The semifinals against GODSENT were a back and forth affair, but IMT took another 2-1 series and moved on to the Grand Finals.

On the other side of the bracket, NiP triumphed over Astralis, stealing victory from the Danes with a 16-14 scoreline in the deciding map and the Swedes moved on to the Grand Finals. Interestingly enough, this was the first time the two teams faced off in an official competitive match, even including the Immortals’ roster’s time with Tempo Storm.

The Grand Finals opened up on Cache with the teams trading blows to a 9-6 half in Immortals’ favor, partly thanks to NiP playing with little respect for the Brazilian squad. Only with some incredible plays were NiP able to turn certain rounds.

IMT won the second pistol round, and the Brazilians had all the momentum in the world, refusing to let NiP play their game. IMT ended the map 16-10.

Next up was Mirage, and NiP’s performance continued to wane, while IMT kept their momentum rolling, ending the first half at a whopping 12-3. IMT won the second pistol round, but that’s when NiP took a tactical pause and made a massive eight-round comeback. But it turned out they gave up too much in the first half, and IMT closed the map 16-13 to complete their sweep and win the championship.

felps was IMT’s key player in the tournament, averaging a 1.13 HLTV rating across 11 maps, followed closely by the twins hen1 and lucas1, who had 1.09 and 1.08 ratings respectively.

This is the team’s first LAN title under the Immortals organization.

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.

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Immortals defeat SK 2-1, move on to face GODSENT in DreamHack Summer semifinals

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Immortals have taken down SK Gaming in a 2-1 series and will move on to face GODSENT in the semifinals for DreamHack Summer 2016, while SK have been eliminated from the tournament.

IMT had a rough start to the tournament, losing their opening match against SK 13-16 on Train. However they preserved their tournament lives by pushing past ENCE eSports 2-0, eliminating the Finnish squad from the tournament.

Astralis took down SK to qualify for the playoff, meaning IMT would have to face SK again in the deciding match of the group. The first map of the series was on Cobble and SK demolished the Brazilians, taking the map easily with a 16-6 scoreline. IMT fired back on Overpass, taking the map with a fairly one-sided 16-9 win.

The deciding map of the set was on Train, notably the map that SK defeated IMT 16-13 earlier in the group stage. However, IMT seemed to have a strong read from their first match up and ended the half with a 12-3 scoreline. SK found some momentum after winning the second pistol round, but IMT had the playoffs in their sight and didn’t lose focus, taking the map 16-8.

The top performing player for IMT was felps with a 1.23 HLTV rating over six maps, followed by lucas1 with a 1.11 rating.

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.

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Jason Lake pens open letter to Gabe Newell to reverse ban on swag

by 5d ago

compLexity Gaming's CEO Jason Lake has published an open letter to Gabe Newell, calling on him to reverse the lifetime ban on Braxton "swag" Pierce.

swag was one of the players banned in the iBUYPOWER matchfixing scandal in January 2015. At the time he was a member of iBUYPOWER, who were accused of matchfixing during a game against NetCodeGuides.com in CEVO Season 5. Shortly thereafter, swag and other players were banned from competing in Valve events, a ruling that was later clarified to be permanent.

In his letter, Lake argues that swag was influenced by peer pressure and had no knowledge of the consequences at the time.

"Braxton was not an adult who was thumbing his nose at the rules while being fully aware of the potential consequences," Lake said. "Braxton was a minor who made a foolish decision for which there was no precedent in the Counter-Strike world. He was young and easily influenced by his older teammates."

Lake was also clear that if a player were to engage in match fixing now, there is no excuse because of the precedent established by this case.

"However, Braxton did not know," Lake said. "This bothers me. It bothers me as a father. It bothers me as a gamer. I feel in this specific case, justice wasn’t served. Yes, the punishment fits the crime, but sometimes there is a unique case that deserves a sincere review. I believe this is that case. Situational clemency brings humanity to any law or rule set. I believe this is that situation."

swag currently works as an analyst for Cloud9's CS:GO team. Gabe Newell has yet to respond to the letter.

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

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Northern Arena 2016 to feature $200,000 prize pool

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Canadian League of Gamers (CLG) has announced the details, including locations and prize pool, for this year's Northern Arena 2016 eSports Championship.

Northern Arena's $200,000 prize pool will be divided among two LAN Finals, one in Toronto and one in Montreal.

The LAN events will feature 14 invited teams with two spots decided by the online qualifiers.

"Canada has some of the most passionate gamers in the world," Carl-Edwin Michel, Canadian League of Gamers' co-founder said in a press release. "Connecting Northern Arena with the audiences at Fan Expo and working with Vantrix is a perfect fit. I can't wait to press play with Canadian and international gaming elite and kick off Northern Arena's 2016 competitions."

Event Dates
Call of the North July 23-24
Toronto LAN Final Sept. 1-4
Call of the North Oct. 21-23
Montreal LAN Grand Final Nov. 11-13

Last year, Northern Arena featured eight invited North American teams. Counter Logic Gaming won the lion's share of the $20,000 prize pool after defeating compLexity Gaming 2-0 in the finals.

Will Alcopra is a news editor for theScore esports and is totally hyped for some 360-degree VR streams. You can follow him on Twitter.

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