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Luminosity Gaming: South American vibes in San Jose

Sören Vendsahm's picture
Sören Vendsahm
Contributing Editor
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Since the Brazilians first pounced onto the big CS:GO stage they have had their ups and downs, from small issues in eco rounds to beautiful clutches and perfectly orchestrated smoke timings. Luminosity Gaming is one of those dangerous teams to root for or against. One moment they might absolute destroy their opposition, the next they might get severely outplayed. Will San Jose be their milestone event?

From KabuM to Luminosity

The cold, harsh weather of Aspen, Colorado in January - not really the conditions or place you’d expect to find five Brazilians in, but here they were, taking part in the Winter X Games. KabuM, with veteran FalleN as well as some newer members, ready to make an impact on the big stage at CS:GO’s debut at the X Games. Their names and the team were only known to insiders and the South American scene at that point - for most North Americans, they were the complete underdog and an unknown quantity in the tournament.

That soon changed when they put on a show in their first outing against North American darling Cloud9. Their favorite map Mirage got through the votes, bomb sites were attacked in perfect harmony, shots landed on everything with amazing accuracy - in some part of the game, Cloud9 didn’t even know what hit them. In the end, it was a crushing 16-4 victory for the Brazilian team, announcing their presence to the world with authority. Sadly for them, they had to wait until the next week at ClutchCon to make a statement once more. At that event, they followed up the trouncing of Cloud9 with a defeat of rising American team eLevate, with their run only stopped by the almighty Fnatic in the quarterfinals. The 1-2 loss to the Swedes furthered their fear factor, though, especially given that they had once more dismantled a top international team on Mirage.

After this, KabuM went from US tournaments to the LAN qualifier over in Katowice - their first major as a team. Before the major, KabuM became Keyd Stars, who then became Legends in their first major. The clutch moment was against North American rival CLG, getting the Brazilians out of the groups and the Americans out of the tournament. The scary part for the team was still the ‘one-trick-pony’ approach of having only won games against major European powerhouses on Mirage. For Katowice that trend stayed the same, with Keyd pushing Virtus.pro to a three-map-series on the back of another crushing performance on the sandy surface of their home map.

What followed after the first major was the ups and downs of a team trying very hard to establish themselves as a major contender, a frontrunner across the world. Their first tournament win came in the North American scene, where they won the 2015 iBUYPOWER Summer Invitational followed by another trip across the Atlantic Ocean to ESL One in Cologne. The ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 finals were supposed to be another big moment for the Brazilian bunch, but they couldn’t quite make the upsets happen. Beating Team SoloMid on Inferno was a milestone regardless, but with that being the only win of the weekend, they left Cologne with a bitter taste in their mouths. The winless streak against European juggernauts on any map except Mirage was broken, and the loss to CLG and Fnatic hurt more though.

However, they were now a fixture of the international CS:GO scene, validating their status with two more Legend performances at the most recent majors and continuing to experience success in their domestic competitions. Can California become the place of their next big outing, right in their backyard in the state where their team house sits? Have your Brazilian flags just in case!

Player

HS ratio

KDA ratio

Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo 28.5% 1.18
Marcelo “coldzera” David 46.8% 1.25
Fernando “fer” Alvarenga 41.9% 1.16
Ricardo “boltz” Prass 35.6% 1.09
Lucas “steel” Lopes 40.3% 0.96

All statistics are based on HLTV.org play profiles from the last three months.

Not quite as planned

Most recently, the Brazilians have been even more up and down across all regions. Going to their third major straight in Cluj and following their Legend performances in Katowice and Cologne, the South American boys were looking for another step into the right direction - a deeper run into the brackets. Going off the way the first day went down, it looked like that mission could be accomplished. A win against North American rival Cloud9, an upset win over Fnatic on Inferno - the Brazilian dream was alive and well, heading into the bracket stage as the top seed of a tough group.

Unfortunately, that is when the glory of their Cluj adventure ended. Ukrainian team Na’Vi was simply playing better on that particular Saturday night, sending the Brazilian bunch out in the quarterfinals once more. Having been a Legend team at every major they attended but also being eliminated in the quarterfinals, Keyd Stars went back to their team house in California - and back to the drawing board.

Their efforts certainly paid off in their league play. In both the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 and the CEVO Professional Division in North America, they’ve made it into the upper regions of the standings. In the ESL ESEA Pro League, they are currently sitting in a solid third place with a record of 12-6. Only two matches remain for the team as they try to get into position to claim the runner-up spot over CLG. On Thursday and Friday night, the clash with Cloud9 and Canadian team SKDC will decide their fate there - even though the tickets to the LAN finals in Burbank, California are already booked.

Now only their LAN performances have to be more consistent. In Cluj, a great group stage was followed by a mediocre outing in the brackets. Additionally, over the last couple of weeks Luminosity Gaming have also attended the two Californian LAN tournaments.

The iBP Cup started just like the major in Cluj - Luminosity beat up on their opponents, even shutting out Australian hopefuls Renegades in spectacular fashion. After advancing out of the group, the team consensus seemed to be that they would take the championship at the eSports Arena in Santa Ana. In an interview with HLTV, those aspirations were made abundantly clear: “We have to be champs here.” However, just like in Cluj the great group stage was followed by a disappointing first game in the brackets, with them falling 0-2 to Cloud9.

Now the squad’s last preparation before the big Intel Extreme Masters San Jose event is the RNG Pro Series. Similar patterns emerged during the first few days, with LG dominating their group and this time also breaking the first round curse by beating Team Enemy in a sweep. Their next opponent is a team who also will be traveling to San Jose - Team Liquid and LG are about to square off later tonight.

The efforts to pick up crucial momentum for San Jose continue tonight - although whether this is actually necessary or not remains unknown. On paper, the Brazilians should have absolutely no problem getting motivated, hyped and into the zone for their opening bout at the SAP Center, while a DreamHack Cluj rematch with Na’Vi will give the team a chance to redeem themselves and avenge the brutal loss that ousted them from the most recent major. Can they prevail this time?

Will San Jose see a Brazilian victory?

To find out whether Luminosity Gaming will triumph at Intel Extreme Masters San Jose, why not watch everything unfold live at the SAP Center? You can also help increase the event prize pool by using Amazon’s crowdfunding offer to get yourself some nifty new games and hardware.

For all the latest updates, make sure you’re following Intel Extreme Masters on Twitter and Facebook as well as keep an eye on the official website.