FalleN: "I've never seen CS as stacked as it is now"

FalleN's SK made it to the Oracle Arena after beating OpTic 2-0 at the ESL Studios in Burbank. We caught up with him for an interview after the victory.

SK started out with a clean 3-0 record on the first day, but eventually went through groups in third place which pit them against OpTic in the quarterfinals. After beating them today, SK will have a day to travel to the Bay where they will face NiP on Saturday.

SK's journey at IEM Oakland will continue on Saturday when they face NiP

In the interview, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo runs us through the preparation and expectations of playing OpTic today and NiP on Saturday, how competitive the top of CS is, and boltz's progression in the team.

Day one started off great for you, but yesterday was a bit bumpy with Astralis mounting a comeback on your first match and then falling to Cloud9 on the second. How did that set the stage for today?

It's funny because every time we have a good day during the group stage, the following day isn't that great. It's not something that's really on our mind, but it just happens this way. In the end what matters is getting out of the groups. It doesn't matter if first or third. Sometimes you go through first and you end up playing the best team in the other group because they failed or something, so the main thing is just getting out of the group stage, and since we did that, everything is OK.

Going into the match against OpTic, they're a bit of a strange team to analyze because they're a strang mix of players, and quite inconsistent. How did you plan the match?

We decided to go with Overpass because it's one of our strongest maps these days, and we basically just fixed some issues we had against Astralis yesterday. As I always say, every single defeat is a learning experience. We failed on some basic stuff against Astralis and that cost us the T rounds, but this time against OpTic we didn't fail and it went much more smoothly.

We knew they could pick Inferno. We thought they were going to go with Train instead but they ended up picking Inferno which has been one of our weakest maps, although we can definitely play it. We've shown that in the past. With boltz coming in we can make some adjustments and I think this map will be great again. It was a difficult map because they started winning but I think we played better in the end.

You're playing NiP in the semifinals at the Oracle Arena. Will there be any special preparation going into that match?

The plan is winning. That basically means we won't go in too deep into analysis or preparation. We just want to have our minds clear and be very determined on what it is we want to do. It's not a disrespect towards NiP, but I think if we play our A game we can beat them. It's about doing our stuff correctly, not getting nervous, not overthinking, and just playing the CS we like to play.

karrigan said right now you and FaZe are the teams to beat. Would you agree with that statement?

Honestly, I think there are many teams doing great right now and I've never seen CS so stacked. It's funny because you see a lot of top teams losing maps against teams you don't even know about, and teams are always trading maps at the top. If you look through CS history back in the days there were teams that if you knew you were playing against them you were going to lose. I don't think it's like that right now, it's just that in the long run, we tend to do a little bit better than others, which is why I think we make it to finals and win more trophies. Playing more and more maps we can make decisions better than other teams.

Since the inclusion of boltz, you went to Brazil and so on, so weren't able to practice with him much, how has his adaptation been going now that you're getting some more maps under your belt?

It's going really well. The decision to get boltz was really well thought out and he was exactly the player we needed. After the experience with felps we felt like we needed a very different player. It's not about who is better, it's about what roles we need and being happy playing them. felps had to change his game a lot, I said that in the past, and it's not easy to become another player. It's very hard. The way boltz came in, he's just ready to do the things we need. He likes to play where we need him to play and he's bringing some extra stuff. He's a really good aimer and he can turn rounds around for us because of it. He's also a smart player, knows when to play, when not to play, and he has good communication. The base of SK, fer, FalleN, coldzera, TACO, is already there, we have a lot of things prepared, so it's basically just "boltz, you do that and that and that." He's a smart guy, after one or two times he's ready to go forever.

How has he grown since the Luminosity days?

What we didn't like about boltz back in the days, despite his aim—he was a beast, we won our Major spot thanks to a five seven play by him—, and having the potential to be the player he is now, he was a little bit lazy and didn't take criticism the way he does now. He wasn't looking to fix his mistakes as fast as he does now. That's why we decided to change him, but getting other experiences outside our team with other players changed him, so now he's the exact player we're looking for. The perfect player to chill with outside the game, and very smart in the game.

Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Czech Republic MrM4sl0 
2017-11-16 23:15
Netherlands Lurox 
2017-11-16 23:15
Finland NeekeriPeek 
2017-11-16 23:15
2017-11-16 23:15
United States Globebuster 
2017-11-16 23:15
kissmyass | 
Denmark raaVz 
2017-11-16 23:16
hahahahah You must be kidding saying 2015 CS GO was stronger. Too mch weed guy!!
2017-11-16 23:24
2015 - well , fnatic best team in history of csgo VP really good navi really good Envyus fucked fnatic so many times TSM choke in semi finals Nip choke in finals 2017 - SK FAZE Astralis maybe North Maybe C9 Maybe G2 (Super inconsistent)
2017-11-16 23:26
FaZe can't beat SK SK Can't beat G2 Astralis can't beat G2 North overrated c9 ok team How is that stacked??? In 2015 every team can beat every team
2017-11-16 23:29
Brazil dbobz 
how do you explain gambit vs immortals in major finals? teams were so consistent cause they had no opposition, nowadays is harder to dominate the scene, there are tons of teams with financial structure to dedicate their lifes to cs, not high school boys with good aim
2017-11-16 23:46
Brazil igricardf 
2017-11-17 00:04
Brazil acci_ 
2017-11-17 00:07
1. SK didn't have a chance to 2. Astralis beats them all the time 3. Faze most firepower in history
2017-11-16 23:47
Brazil igricardf 
and still sk keeps winning champs
2017-11-17 00:05
Norway Onkelele 
Well... SK had their fair share of problems lately. But no doubt they are the best team in 2017. FaZe have had too many roster changes to compete.
2017-11-17 01:33
2015 CS only had these teams. There werent antes team in south america, North America scenario was too bad Today we have SK, Astralis, Faze, Villa Mix, G2, Fnatic, Gambit, Nip, North, Cloud 9, Liquid, Mouz, Virtus Pro, Navi, Hellraisers, and a Lot of other teams that can put a fight in a good day. Stop being fanboy and accept reality. Players have improved and Fantic dont!
2017-11-17 00:24
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mancow 
I am behind you on this one, but Villa Mix? Do they even exist?
2017-11-17 17:45
Yeap, they are LUCAS1, HEN1, kNgV-, fnx and bit1. They are a team but never played cuz contratual stuffs inst ready yet and probably will play next major with some organization name.
2017-11-17 18:10
United States LookitsJrd 
Look at the way Renegades have been playing too
2017-11-17 18:13
This current NiP squad is probably at the same level as their 2015 squad
2017-11-18 13:50
Which is in no way a compliment, given that CS has changed so much over time and competition is harder than ever.
2017-11-19 21:25
Brazil Neegger 
it was, and there were periods in 1.6 where it was even more stacked (relatively)
2017-11-16 23:30
i think what he is saying is now teams are more balanced. anyone can almost beat anyone now a days.. there is no going into most matches saying team A is going to win hands down against team B.
2017-11-17 18:18
Australia SUNSPY 
Since starting to watch CSGO heavily from the start of the majors it sometimes became apparent how costly mistakes can be.. and then it was more about mistakes and missed shots, any edge that can be gained had clear value and so on. More evident than ever. It shows that NIP read them like a book and punished predictable aggression and reactions to being in a 4v5 or weaker economy. And now SK will improve some of their weaker points after being bested. Crazy scene..
2017-11-20 05:39
Yup. I had a feeling nip were going to take it. I usually bet sk in majors but this time i went against them and im glad i did. Rode nip all the way :)
2017-11-20 06:51
2017-11-16 23:15
NiKo | 
Austria metroGnome 
2017-11-16 23:16
KEK 0-2 tomorrow vs NiP XD
2017-11-16 23:16
in ur dreams, ahmed
2017-11-16 23:21
literally, because the semifinals is not tomorrow xD
2017-11-17 01:52
he's amazing
2017-11-16 23:16
God Wallen! Incredible how this guy knows how to manage people. Such amazing emotional skill. What a player!!
2017-11-16 23:22
Slovakia pgb1 
What a retarded shit cheater
2017-11-16 23:25
HAHAHHHAHAHAHA dont be mad Brah
2017-11-16 23:55
Such hostility. Why?
2017-11-17 02:15
Denmark eoNs! 
old account, mentality of a 15 y.o kid grow the fuck up
2017-11-17 17:18
happy for sk. but wouldn't mind nip beating them, they really need that win
2017-11-16 23:20
well said by FalleN, well said
2017-11-16 23:21
ableJ | 
Bangladesh DisableJ 
2017-11-16 23:24
Nice interview by fallen three faced toledo
2017-11-16 23:21
CS GO was never close to the level its now
2017-11-16 23:24
- taco FFS
2017-11-16 23:25
Of course you would say that :))))
2017-11-16 23:30
Nice to see boltz coming leaps and bounds as a person and as a player. Now get steel pls
2017-11-16 23:30
You again, retardando, stop complaining Just enjoy steel rekting everyone with TL in the next tournament
2017-11-17 03:47
No. Get him out. I will keep crying until they do
2017-11-17 11:08
Poland jantomx 
Fallen "Twoface" Toledo
2017-11-16 23:31
Canada pokz 
im pretty sure he is talking about navi's train back in 2010 when the teams knew it was impossible to beat them on it
2017-11-16 23:33
Brazil HueyNewton 
Fallen destroyed the haters, respect TACO, few people know how much he dedicates himself to the game and his team.
2017-11-16 23:33
Germany No_Kappa 
destroyed your ass LUL taco is the worst player of any top 5 team. FalleN is smartly cheering up taco because he knows he needs that BOT step up to have a chance in the tournament hltv.org/stats/players/events/9217/TACO?..
2017-11-17 00:14
Iceland caverat 
yes bring fnx back and make sk great again
2017-11-17 04:26
Australia SUNSPY 
fnx wouldn't take TACO's roles and wouldn't be the solution it seems on paper. Stats are to be taken with a grain of salt, certain positions and roles are the worst for stats. Taken in context his avg stats from all those maps at those events are actually no problem. The value of being committed to the overall team strategy over his personal performances far outweighs someone who won't even try to be that role, or brings negativity while "putting up with" doing it. Easy to criticize without having to be in his position, or to ignore him for months and then highlight it when he has a relatively bad map/day/tournament and talk shit on him like competing at that level ? ACTUALLY ITS SO EASY BRO ANY ROLE EZ PZ. Is that really what you think ? surely not, so why say it ?
2017-11-19 21:41
Germany No_Kappa 
2017-11-19 22:23
Australia SUNSPY 
Mad bro ? lol felps wanted out because he couldn't be himself, as FalleN explains well.. old news.. I agree on his decision though, very big of him, much respect.
2017-11-19 22:26
Germany No_Kappa 
ofc i'm mad. I'm a fan of Coldzera, one of a kind player in entire CS history Having to carry a bot The reason Cold didn't kicked TACO yet is because who invited Cold to SK was TACO himself. TACO is the one that gave Cold a chance in SK when he was no one. So you can imagine how Cold must feel about even thinking of kicking TACO. It's a shame, I really wished TACO just woke up one day as a reliable player. But he's mentally limited so that wont happen. He literally spends 1 hour after every bad match banning haters and any one that +1 hate comments on twitter. If only he spent that time watching his own demos again and again or DM'ing. Cold said some time ago that he trains 13 hours per day. TACO plays LoL and spends time banning fake twitter accounts instead. The mindset difference is palpable.
2017-11-19 23:01
"The reason Cold didn't kicked TACO yet is because who invited Cold to SK was TACO himself. TACO is the one that gave Cold a chance in SK when he was no one. So you can imagine how Cold must feel about even thinking of kicking TACO." Dude, you are on heavy drugs. Taco didnt invited anyone. Cold, Fer and Fallen are the core team since forever. It was Steel, Boltz, Fer, Cold and Fallen on LG, them Fallen and Fer(these two are the players that dicide who is in or out of team, not cold...) inveted Taco and Fnx to replace Boltz and Steel. After winning the first Major as Fer, Taco, Fallen, Cold and Fnx, the organization SK decided to buy all 5 players from LG. So, the reason you took from your head that Cold didnt kicked Taco yet, just doesnt exist.
2017-11-20 04:32
Australia SUNSPY 
I can appreciate some of your argument, for comparison zews recently said on Thorins show Twistzz is all in and trains 14hrs a day, expects him to be one of the best in the world pretty soon I think TACO is still a relatively new player so any more hours, drilling in recoil master for example, prefire training maps and DMing players of coldzera level would probably be the optimal choice. We all have finite resources and time, so along with full effort, efficient training is very important with how competitive the scene grew in less than two years, even the last one year the level has gone up clearly. Anyway to end on a positive note, REZ.. just wow
2017-11-20 05:23
Germany No_Kappa 
REZ should learn portuguese and join SK PLZZZZZZZZZ
2017-11-20 19:25
csgo better back in the csgolounge days
2017-11-16 23:47
2017-11-17 00:29
Finland f0pZ 
again some shit from twofaced toledo
2017-11-16 23:49
f0rest | 
Serbia dankooo 
Says __|
2017-11-17 00:05
SK - FaZe Final on the way!
2017-11-17 00:21
Denmark Astralis_no1 
game reaches the most competitive point since its inception, too late though its already dead.
2017-11-17 00:43
Finland Smoonah 
didn't read.
2017-11-17 00:43
Do you want banana?
2017-11-17 00:49
Ukraine volanchick 
I am waiting for just one tournament where will be 7 maps. And there is no inferno, cobblestone, mirage, cache, nuke, overpass and train. What are you waiting from tournament with another map pool? Fallen is right, cs is stacked now.
2017-11-17 00:52
flusha | 
Netherlands davin 
TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUU (young thug voice)
2017-11-17 00:57
Fallen is the MVP alltimes CS!
2017-11-17 01:44
Denmark Xipingu 
"The plan is winning." Thanks Charlie Sheen. ;)
2017-11-17 02:32
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
ma boy Boltz <3 welcome baby! i'm very happy to have u with us! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-11-17 03:34
Australia Flyntos 
I like fallen as a player and he's funny sometimes but he really needs to take his head out of his ass and humble up a bit
2017-11-17 03:41
WTF, you dont know shit about you are talking
2017-11-17 03:51
Australia Flyntos 
Yeah i do All that comes out of his mouth is "we are SK, we are number 1" like stfu your team has issues and id rather good interviews instead of him blowing up his ego all the time
2017-11-18 07:22
Whats wrong in saying they are top 1? you mad bcs the last time some AU team beat SK was with SHOOWTIME xD
2017-12-12 16:02
Australia Flyntos 
Nothing is wrong with saying your top 1, but doing it consistently really shows how big of an ego all of SK have. They're very disrespectful to other teams.
2017-12-13 05:15
Philippines kApE^ 
This is why I love this team. Fallen is so humble. Kudos to your team and more power!
2017-11-17 03:44
Thanks Professeur fkr this great article
2017-11-17 05:04
Brazil Charizaldo 
Fallen's interviews always interesting
2017-11-17 12:20
why does he say other teams doing great right now, only sk and faze dominating
2017-11-17 12:23
Other Malda4 
smart by Fallen = do what i want you to do and stfu :)
2017-11-17 16:17
World neomax360 
Good speech FalleN. FalleN is a full package player, (Coach, Owner of a brand, Top awper, top IGL, analyst , top communicator outsite the game).
2017-11-17 21:11
guy is a legend
2017-11-18 20:10
Australia SUNSPY 
Spot on as usual. I think what SK can improve was shown in the Overpass loss to NiP, fer on the CT side could have been more conservative once the aggression was starting to backfire, its difficult to weigh up risk/reward for a player like him but it seems not worth the risk past a point.. always good to switch things up and let them waste time looking for him etc Analysts also touched on how SK play predictable in that they will make midround information plays when at a disadvantage, which makes playing out a round very simple after getting opening kill, control what you have of the map or methodically take a bit more if needed, and stay aware of flanks, wait for them to try a play and so on. TL;DR - adding any level of unpredictability should be invaluable for SK
2017-11-19 21:27
Sweden lagcats 
its not that stacked imo
2017-11-20 19:26
2017-12-13 05:19
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