Tempo Storm acquire Games Academy

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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.

Immortals win iBUYPOWER Fall Invitational

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Adela Sznajder / DreamHack

Immortals have won the iBUYPOWER Fall Invitational after they defeated OpTic Gaming 3-1 in the finals on Sunday.

IMT's road to the finals was a fairly easy one as they pushed past compLexity Gaming 2-0 in the quarterfinals and defeated NRG eSports 2-1 in the semis to progress to the finals.

On the other side of the bracket OpTic had ostensibly tougher opponents, even still they defeated Team SoloMid 2-1 in the quarterfinals and pulled off a 2-1 upset over SK Gaming to meet IMT in the finals.

The first map of the Grand Finals was on Train and OpTic made the series competitive with a 7-8 half, but IMT showed that it was one of their strong maps on the CT-side and closed out 16-13. Next up was OpTic's pick on Cache, which went to overtime, but OpTic tied the series after taking the map 19-16.

The deciding map was on Dust 2, which was not a particularly strong map for either team and they traded rounds in the first half to go to a 8-7 scoreline in slight favor of OpTic. However, IMT got a ton of momentum after winning the second pistol round and ended the map with a 16-12 to win the map and the tournament.

felps stepped up for IMT during the event as he was the single-highest rated player in the tournament with an HLTV player rating of 1.42, dwarfing the next highest players, coldzera, who had a 1.28 rating and hen1, who had a 1.26 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.

ESL Pro League Week 6 Hot Match: Brazilian Dynasties

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Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports

The Americas region has always been a volatile region in CS:GO, with a handful of teams scrambling to be the top of the region. Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid are the teams that first pop into mind for domestic fans, but in 2016, the true kings of the region are the Brazilians.

The SK Gaming roster's rise started as far back as mid-2015 when they were acquired by Luminosity Gaming and it's been a upward trajectory for the team since then. And after their back-to-back Major championship, at MLG Major Championship: Columbus and later at ESL One Cologne 2016, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and co. have planted a flag deep in the Americas region and the CS:GO world. However a new, yet familiar, challenger is on the rise, "the other Brazilians," Immortals.

Immortals' older lineup, with Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves, after winning DreamHack Summer 2016

The Immortals squad were on the fringes of the Americas scene for much of 2015 when they were part of Brazil-based team Games Academy, but after they were acquired by Tempo Storm on Feb. 10, 2016 they gained opportunities to prove themselves in bigger tournaments. The team showed flashes of brilliance by winning CEVO Season 9 and finishing in second place at DreamHack Austin, but they dropped the ball during more crucial points in their career, such as when they failed to qualify for the MLG Major.

After they were acquired by Immortals on June 1, the team once again failed to qualify for a Major at ESL One Cologne 2016, but after the acquisition of SK's former coach Wilton "zews" Prado, the team have been cutting a swath through the Americas region. Immortals won the Northern Arena Toronto LAN by defeating Cloud9 2-1 in the Grand Finals and qualified for ELEAGUE Season 2 by defeating Team SoloMid 2-0.

IMT have seen a steady rise, but of what they've learned about CS was taken from the SK squad, given the close relationship the teams shared. When the IMT squad was part of Games Academy SK's AWper, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, was the CEO. They're as close as two competing teams could be.

And the teams are brought ever closer now that zews is IMT's in-game leader, though it's been nearly two months since that transaction. IMT have stabilized with their new lineup, but SK have run into some speed bumps in the season.

Fernando "fer" Alvarenga was sidelined by an ear surgery for much of August and early September and the team used former IMT player Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves as their stand in. On Sept. 1, during SK's ESL Pro League match against Renegades, the team was served a 16-12 loss on Nuke, which was followed by another devastating loss, 16-0 on Dust 2.

It was a loss not taken lightly by coldzera, who made some regrettable comments on Twitter and subsequently deleted his Twitter account. Though that situation has largely blown over and coldzera has reactivated his Twitter — fer also returned to the roster on Sept. 10 — the team is still not at 100 percent in many ways.

SK were eliminated from the iBUYPOWER Fall Invitational after losing a 1-2 to OpTic Gaming. OpTic faced IMT in the finals, but were bested 2-1 by the Brazilian's.

Given the recent happenings, IMT are primed to pull off an "upset" against SK in ESL Pro League.

Player matchups

SK Rating +/- Rating IMT
coldzera 1.33 0.12 1.21 hen1
FalleN 1.09 -0.08 1.17 boltz
fer 1.08 -0.07 1.15 lucas1
fnx 1.06 -0.07 1.13 felps
TACO 1.03 0.07 0.96 zews
Team Average 1.12 0.00 1.12 Team Average

Average player ratings taken from HLTV.org on Sept. 19, filtered by "Past 3 months"

coldzera isn't just the highest rated player in this matchup but he's the highest rated player in the world right now and this holds true when you filter by all his games in 2016 as well. This is a daunting thing to consider when you're a team facing off against SK, but the team averages tell a different story as both IMT and SK share the same 1.12 team rating.

The most immediate difference between the teams is their setup. IMT's setup is much more rigid with hen1 as the primary AWPer and rarely make use of double AWP setups as their secondary AWPer felps is much more comfortable on a rifle. Conversely, SK have a bit more versatility with their double AWP setup from FalleN and coldzera, one of the strongest AWP duos in the world. coldzera sometimes even acts as the primary AWPer depending on the rounds, a rare situation for most riflers/secondary AWPers.

The most immediate difference between the teams is the capabilities of their AWPers. coldzera has equal capabilities as a rifler and an AWPer, and even acts as the primary AWPer on certain rounds, which is an extremely rare situation for most riflers. However, SK's primary AWPer FalleN is more than capable as a rifler. Conversely, hen1's rifling pales in comparison to his AWPing and the opposite is true for felps, IMT's secondary AWPer.

This versatility gives more wiggle room to SK in the case of picks. If FalleN gets picked, cold can pick up the AWP and the team's pick potential remains the same, meanwhile if hen1 is picked off, the rest of the team is almost better off sticking to their rifles. SK have also pulled out some double AWP setups on their T-side, something IMT almost never do.

Map matchups

SK (W/L - W%) Map IMT (W/L - W%)
N/A Cache 9/4 - 69.2%
4/2 - 66.7% Dust 2 1/1 - 50%
5/1 - 83.3% Mirage 9/2 - 81.8%
2/1 - 66.7% Nuke 0/1 - 0%
6/0 - 100% Train 12/2 - 85.7%
6/3 - 66.7% Cobble 13/2 - 86.7%
5/2 - 71.4% Overpass 10/2 - 83.3%

Stats aggregated from HLTV.org on Sept. 19, filtered by "Past 3 months"

The only time these two teams faced off in 2016 was during the DreamHack Austin Grand Finals on May 8, which was a clean 2-0 win for the SK squad, taking Mirage 16-9 and Cobble 16-9. And even though the matchup took place five months ago, the teams show a preference towards those maps even now.

Given map draft trends we likely won't see Cache, Nuke or Dust 2 played. And given SK's recent loss to OpTic on Overpass, they may look to put that map back on the drawing board. This leaves Train, and incredibly strong map for both teams, as well as the two maps from their previous matchup, Cobble and Mirage.

All things considered, IMT and SK are so evenly matched on so many metrics. All logic points to SK taking the series cleanly, but their online performances lately have left a lot to be desired, while IMT are play at their peak.

IMT have established a foothold on the Americas region and only continue to improve, but their climb to the top is made decidedly tougher with their Brazilian cousins in SK standing in their way.

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.

Final four IEM Oakland teams to be decided at iBUYPOWER Masters

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The last four IEM Oakland CS:GO teams will be decided at the iBUYPOWER Masters tournament, ESL announced Wednesday.

The tournament will feature a $100,000 prize pool, and the top four teams from the event will qualify for IEM Oakland the next weekend, which is set to have a $300,000 prize pool. Those top four teams will join SK Gaming, Team Liquid, Vritus.pro, Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports, Natus Vincere and mousesports.

"Teaming up with iBUYPOWER Masters allows us to accomplish a long term goal of ours: a LAN qualifier for IEM with prize money for teams and players,” Michal Bilcharz, ESL's VP of Gaming stated in a press release. “This partnership is an important step towards evolving the IEM model and structure that we want to have in the future."

iBUYPOWER Masters will be an eight-team invitational, though the teams have yet to be announced. The tournament will run from Nov. 12-13.

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

Turkey to replace Australia at TWC 2016

by 3d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Turkey will be taking Australia's place at the upcoming The World Championships 2016 LAN event, after Australia failed to field a full five-man team in time for the event.

E-Frag's announcement states that "players backed off from the event due team obligations, so Australia was left with only three players".

Turkey is one of the quarterfinalists from the main European qualifier, and the E-Frag announcement says that other quarterfinalists, Poland and Finland, "will not be able to have their lineups ready due to the fact that some of their players will be busy with other competitions".

The full list of nations competing at TWC Oct. 6-9 is:

  • Tunisia
  • Singapore
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Canada
  • Argentina

The LAN event will take place in Belgrade, Serbia and features a $100,000 prize pool.

Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore esports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.

ELEAGUE to host January CS:GO Major

by 3d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Turner's ELEAGUE will play host to Valve's next CS:GO Major which will run from Jan. 22-29.

“When we launched ELEAGUE, we set out to deliver a best-in-class experience for esports teams, players and fans and we’re grateful to the entire community for their ongoing support and engagement with our content,” said Lenny Daniels, President of Turner Sports. “Less than one year since ELEAGUE’s debut, we’re thrilled to host the next CS:GO Major Championship and we will utilize all of our collective resources to help further elevate this prestigious event.”

The tournament will use the same format as previous Majors and will see 16 teams compete for their slice of the $1 million prize pool. SK Gaming, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro, Fnatic, Astralis, FlipSid3 Tactics, Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports will receive direct invites based on the Top 8 from the previous Major, ESL One Cologne 2016. The other eight will come from the Major Qualifier, which will take place on Dec. 15-18.

RELATED: SK Gaming defeat Team Liquid 2-0, win ESL One: Cologne

Similar to the main tournament, the Major Qualifier will see 16 teams compete for their chance to play in the Major. Team Dignitas, Ninjas in Pyjamas, mousesports, FaZe Clan, Counter Logic Gaming, OpTic Gaming, Team EnVyUs and G2 Esports will be invited to the qualifier as they placed in the Bottom 8 at the previous Major while another eight will come from the Regional Minor Championships.

ELEAGUE’s Major will take place on Jan. 22-25 in the Turner Studios, and will continue on Jan. 27-29 at Fox Theatre in Atlanta, which seat 4,665 people. Additionally, the Grand Finals, which will take place on Jan. 29, will be televised live on TBS.

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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