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Oct 28, 2022
Oct 28, 2022

IEM Rio Major Team Feature - Imperial

How did Imperial get together?

How did Imperial initially perform?

How did they qualify for the IEM Rio Major 2022?

What can we expect from Imperial at the IEM Rio Major 2022?

IEM Rio Major Team Feature - Imperial

For the IEM Rio Major 2022, we take a look at some of the teams participating. We’ll analyse how they secured their spot at the major and what may lie in store for them at the tournament? First up in this series of team previews are the Brazilian team Imperial, with the legendary Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.

For the IEM Rio Major 2022, we take a look at some of the teams participating. We’ll analyse how they secured their spot at the major and what may lie in store for them at the tournament? First up in this series of team previews are the Brazilian team Imperial, with the legendary Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.

Imperial have been on every CS:GO fan’s radar since they picked up the Brazilian “Last Dance” in February. Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Fernando "fer" Alvarenga, and Lincoln "fnx" Lau were at the core of the Luminosity Gaming and SK Gaming teams we all remember exploding onto the South American scene to dominate during 2016. The team couldn’t only feature players in their thirties, so Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Vinicius "VINI" Figueiredo finished the roster nicely.

The PGL Major Antwerp came around and Imperial did not disappoint. They fought their way through the Challengers stage with a 3-2 score and then fell short in the Legends stage after losing the first two games, winning the next two and then losing the decider. Although they didn’t make the Champions stage, they did claim an unexpected win over Cloud9. With the Major being done, the “Last Dance” was over. Or at least that’s what was supposed to happen. Imperial kept the team and continued pushing towards other events.

Time for some change

After the Major, they were unable to find any real form, performing poorly at IEM Dallas, the Pinnacle Cup Championship, and the RooBet Cup. This led to “fnx” stepping down from the roster to become the team’s head coach. Imperial took the opportunity to sign Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes from MIBR, adding another young name to the team.

Immediately, the young rifler showed his worth by being the second-best performing player at IEM Melbourne, only falling short to his new team’s IGL, “FalleN”. The team did better here than most of the other events they’d attended – they placed second, being beaten by the revamped paIN Gaming line-up. When the time came for the RMR, Imperial were focused on bagging their ticket to Rio, after probably having just flown from there to play in the Americas RMR held in Stockholm. Either way, Imperial would be returning to Brazil.

The road to Rio through the Americas RMR

They started the Americas RMR a bit shaky. They got a win against Isurus, but followed that with a loss in Overtime to 9z. Day two wasn’t any easier as they lost to former teammates Marcelo “coldzera” David and Epitácio TACO de Melo from 00Nation. The best-of-three matches held better results, with the team taking victories over TeamOne and Nouns. Usually, this would be enough for a team to qualify, as Imperial went 3-2. However, due to the system used by ESL to determine how many slots a region has, the Americas were only given six. This means that each of the three teams that placed 3-2 had to play an additional best-of-three match, or in Imperial’s case, two best-of-three matches.

Imperial had to repeat Melbourne and face paIN Gaming. A victory here wouldn’t even be a guaranteed ticket to Rio; the winner would then have to face Complexity. Luckily, Imperial were able to overcome paIN Gaming with a 2-0 victory, placing them in the sixth-place decider game versus Complexity, who had started their RMR run 2-0.

The odds were not in favour of Imperial. Two close games on Inferno and Nuke led to Overpass as a decider – an old favourite for “FalleN” and “fer”. The game went the distance. A 30 round bloodbath into double Overtime. Experience prevailed as Imperial closed out the series with a 22-20 score, qualifying them for the Challengers stage of the IEM Rio Major 2022.

It wouldn’t be a real Brazilian major without Brazilian legends

Many agree that a major in Rio wouldn’t have been the same without the region’s most legendary players. Not only do we get “FalleN”, “fer”, and “fnx”, but 00Nation also qualifying means the entire Luminosity Gaming roster from 2016 will be in attendance (with “coldzera” and “TACO”). The atmosphere is sure to be electric! Especially as they’ll be teaming up for this major’s show match.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Imperial. After the RMR, they played in the Flow FiReLEAGUE 2022 Global Finals, where they once again found themselves matched up against paIN Gaming. This time, paIN Gaming got the better of them. A rivalry between these two Brazilian teams seems to be brewing as they’re being matched against each other more and more frequently. It isn’t only a poor showing against paIN that’s concerning. Imperial have drawn Team Vitality as their first game in the Challengers stage. Vitality are a team that have just come off the back of a win at EPL Season 16 and claimed the number one spot on HLTV’s world rankings. Imperial will need all the support they can get to make it to the Legends stage and I’m sure many believe they’ll find a way.

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About the author

Archie Henry

With a background in film production, Archie began his esports career specialising in content. He has followed CS:GO and League of Legends since 2014 and looks to share his insight with Pinnacle.

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