For the second year in a row, Marcelo "coldzera" David secures the number one spot on our top 20 ranking, powered by EGB.com, after being an incredibly impactful and efficient player, with prodigious showings at big events.
|Top 20 Players of 2017: Introduction|
Marcelo "coldzera" David has been playing as a professional player outside of Brazil for two-and-a-half years, finishing both full years as the best-ranked player on our Top 20, this way becoming a rara avis of top-flight competition. His big break came in 2015, after playing for several Brazilian teams, as he was given the chance to join Keyd Stars in lieu of Caio "zqkS" Fonseca. From playing locally to joining a team who had just placed top 8 at IEM Katowice, coldzera remained a mystery to many, but it would not take him long to show to the world what he was capable of.
"I started playing 1.6 at the age of 13 because of my brother, who introduced me to the game. I played it until I was 18, which was when the game started to be played in Brazil and I decided to bet all my chips on this ‘new game.’ That year I improved as a player, and that is when I started to get chances on some famous Brazilian teams. When I was 19-20 I ended up having frustrations with some teams, so I decided to put together my own team with TACO. That is how dexterity came to life, the first team where I was ‘professional,’ and that is where it all began."
"When I was almost 21 I was approached by LG. I always believed I had the potential to play abroad, but their invite was unexpected. With them, I began my international career. At the age of 21 I won my first international tournament, MLG Columbus, and that is when we broke all the barriers and we started winning tournaments. In the middle of the year we switched organizations and joined SK, and that is when I started on my path to become the best in the world."
Just 12 days after accepting the invitation, the team signed for Luminosity, and went on to travel to Cologne to play at the ESL One Cologne Major, coldzera’s inaugural tournament. There, he played 80% of maps with a 1+ rating and, with an average 1.08 rating—the same as Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo—, he proved he had what it takes to play with his countrymen at the highest level. After attending several more tournaments, including the Major in Cluj-Napoca, coldzera ended the year with a positive rating in every tournament he played—quite a feat for such a newcomer. Having only played half of the year, coldzera didn’t make the top 20 in 2015, but it was just a matter of time before coldzera found his way there.
In 2016, coldzera started his reign, kicking the year off at StarLadder i-League StarSeries XIV in Minsk, where Luminosity, now with Epitacio "TACO" de Melo and Lincoln "fnx" Lau, went out 3rd-4th after losing to fnatic in the semi-finals. They followed it up with second places in Leipzig and Katowice before winning the MLG Columbus Major—the team’s first tournament victory—, where coldzera got his first of two Major MVPs that year, the other one being at ESL One Cologne, where SK also took first place.
On top of the two Major MVPs, coldzera was also the MVP at the ESL Pro League S3 Finals, and had a handful of EVPs that ended up giving him the highest spot on the top 20 players of 2016 ranking, in large part thanks to his outstanding consistency, which led to him being the player with the most map ratings above 0.85 and 1.00, the best-rated player at Majors, and the top contributor with a 74% KAST.
In 2017 coldzera picked up right where he had left off, even when his team —particularly FalleN— were struggling to adapt to João "felps" Vasconcellos’ aggressive playstyle after the honeymoon period had come to a close. The first event of the year, the ELEAGUE Major, they played without the youngster, who had to sit it out because of the roster lock. Ricardo "fox" Pacheco played in his stead, and the team made it all the way to the semi-finals with the stand-in. In Atlanta, coldzera ended the tournament with a 1.28 rating, having only two maps under 1.00—both of them losses—, one in the quarter-finals against FaZe and one in the semi-finals against Virtus.pro. coldzera was awarded an EVP in Atlanta, his first of many that would come during the year.
"My best memory of 2017 was playing the the Atlanta Major with fox. We had not won a tournament for nine months and he was an incredible person who helped us remember who we were. Despite losing the semi-final, fox gave us the joy of playing CS back and reminded every player on the team the potential they have to be the best in the world. For me, 50% of all of this year’s victories belong to him for all the help he gave us."
After the semi-final exit, SK traveled to DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, this time with the full roster. coldzera was the highest rated player on the team, ending the tournament with an incredibly high 1.42 (1.50 T-side rating), his second-highest ADR of the season, 94.8, and +83 KDR over nine maps—on none of which he had a rating lower than 1.15. Once again, coldzera earned an EVP mention for his contributions to his team’s success.
"I like to play both sides, but on the T-side I have more space to impose my pace and style, since on the CT side I play more standing positions and I wait more than I seek [duels]. I also like the AK more than the M4."
Following the tournament in 'sin city', SK hit a two-tournament bump in the road. At the first one, IEM Katowice, SK went out in 11-12th place following losses to Cloud9, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro. In Poland, despite the team’s dip, coldzera still had a 1.18 rating with no maps in the red. The second of the two-tournament kerfuffle was SL i-League StarSeries Season 3, where coldzera ended with a 1.16 rating. The 9-11th place finish in Kiev was, anecdotally, the only tournament of the year in which coldzera didn’t win a single clutch.
SK went back to winning ways in laid-back fashion, taking the top spot at the first cs_summit, in California. coldzera was awarded his first MVP medal of the year for his contributions as he had a year-high 1.49 rating, 95 ADR, 1.56 impact rating, and a 1.70 T-side rating. Add to that eight clutches won and an absurdly high KDD of +116 in 10 maps and it was probably his most solid tournament of the year.
coldzera doubled up on MVPs at the following tournament, IEM Sydney, on the other side of the world. In Australia, the Brazilian star ended with a 1.29 rating, second in the team, but was instrumental in the playoffs—particularly in the final against FaZe, in which he had a team-high 1.32 rating across the four maps played in the best-of-five showdown.
coldzera slowed down at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals, where he was ranked fourth in the team with a 1.10 rating during SK’s semi-final run. With a 0.98 impact and a 73.6 ADR, coldzera had one of his weaker tournaments of the year. The Brazilian player didn’t take long to bounce back, however, as he took his third MVP medal of the year in Jönköping at the Elmia Convention Center, during DreamHack Summer. There, he led his team with a 1.19 rating all the way to the trophy, which his team hoisted after beating fnatic.
With his third MVP under the belt, coldzera went on a three consecutive EVP streak, which began at the ECS Season 3 Finals in London. At the Wembley Arena, coldzera was the second highest rated player in his team’s first-place finish. coldzera followed up the EVP in London with one in Cologne, awarded to him after his team won the ESL One event there, where he had a particularly good final against Cloud9. He ended up with an 89 ADR and shared a match-high 1.34 rating with FalleN.
His last EVP of the three came at the PGL Major in Krakow, a tournament in which SK fell short, going out in the quarter-finals to Astralis. An impressive 1.40 rating and five out of six maps above or well above 1.00, as well as an incredibly high 94.4 ADR, secured coldzera the distinction. In Krakow, coldzera also had his highest KPR with the 'Big Green', 0.27, much higher than his usual numbers, which roam between 0.06 and 0.14.
"My worst memory of 2017 was losing to Astralis in the quarter-finals of the PGL Krakow Major. We had come from three wins in three tournaments, and I wanted to win the fourth in a row because it was a promise I had made when we traveled, that we would come back with all four trophies. It was a tournament where the team played well in the group stages, but we dropped sharply in the playoffs. Losing that tournament made me very upset."
SK then went to Malmö for the second DreamHack Masters of the year, but, as it had happened at the Major, the Brazilian squad went out in the quarter-finals, where coldzera & co. were bested by G2—a team they tended to struggle against. At the Swedish event, coldzera posted one of his lowest ratings of the year, 1.13. ESG Mykonos didn’t go much better for the Brazilian player as he delivered an even lower 1.11 rating, although SK were able to finish in a slightly better third place.
coldzera had one of his best events at ESL One New York, although he was only able to get an EVP as his team played just five maps and were unable to go all the way, falling in the semis after being edged out by Liquid in a tight three-mapper. The 'Big Apple' tournament saw coldzera record a 1.47 rating, 4/5 maps with a 1+ rating, a 94.1 ADR and a year-high CT-side rating (1.59) and KAST (84.3%).
Back in Atlanta, coldzera had by far his worst event of the year at ELEAGUE Premier. He had his only negative KDR (-3) and a barely average rating of 1.01—a whole 0.1 lower than his second worst, which he had just posted at ESG Mykonos. The tournament saw SK go out after two losses to Heroic in the decider match.
"When felps joined the team, I stopped playing a lot of the roles and positions in which I was really good to let him take those same roles and positions, and that disturbed the team a bit as far as structure and organization were concerned because felps is a very aggressive player. I thought it would work well at first, to change up some things and change our game style, but with time we became really easy to read.
"When boltz joined I went back to my old positions and roles, now I feel like I can coordinate better with the team and we have a good mix of aggression in fer and a more slow and passive style in me."
Following that dip in performance, SK made a roster change and brought Ricardo "boltz" Prass in for felps, changing the team’s dynamic. SK immediately took first place place at EPICENTER, where coldzera bagged his fourth MVP award of the season thanks to a team-high 1.35 rating and 1.40 Impact, and an 87.7 ADR. After the triumph in St. Petersburg, SK had a bit of a hiccup in Oakland, going out in 3rd-4th place, although coldzera still had reasons to smile as he picked up yet another EVP with a 1.25 rating, an 86.4 ADR and a 77.8% KAST.
"EPICENTER was one of the most special events of the year, because we beat all of our main rivals and because it was one of the best finals of the year."
coldzera then got an EVP at BLAST Pro Series, in Copenhagen, where SK won a very tight grand final against the hometown favorites, Astralis, in which FalleN stole the show and the MVP medal despite coldzera being the highest rated player on the team at 1.23.
Having failed to qualify for the ECS Season 4 Finals, the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals, in Odense, were SK’s last event. There, coldzera shone the brightest again for his team, getting a 1.26 rating and a 79.7% KAST, and earning his fifth and last MVP medal of the season. SK closed the year out in first place after beating FaZe in a much anticipated final in which coldzera had good showings in all three map wins.
"What gave us the advantage over FaZe this year was that we won eight out of nine finals, four of them against FaZe, and they didn’t win any important tournament against us."
As far as goals for the new year, coldzera doesn’t want to slow down as he wants his team to be equally or more successful than in 2017. He also expressed his desire to stay at the top of the game as he wants his name to appear in the annals of history books.
"I have three goals for 2018, to win as many tournaments as possible, have the best team in the world, and once again be named the best player in the world. I want to be a CS:GO legend. I want people to look back and recognize who I was after I quit playing!"
Why was coldzera the top ranked player of 2017?
The number of MVPs and EVPs coldzera garnered this year, 13, puts him at the top of the list, with three MVPs at big events (IEM Sydney, EPICENTER, and ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals), and two at medium-sized ones (cs_summit and DreamHack Summer).
Moving past medals and accolades, coldzera’s first place on the ranking was cemented by his performances at big events, where he had the best rating of the year, 1.24, including in the playoff stages of tournaments of this stature, 1.22. When it came to the Majors, no-one surpassed the 23-year-old, who averaged a 1.32 rating.
Where coldzera really stood out from the rest of the pack was in the finals of big events, in which he averaged a 1.20 rating - the highest of all players who played at least 10 maps in such matches.
"I am a player who really likes to play for the public. I have no fear and no pressure playing in big arenas, I try to have the most fun playing without stress in the game, and my preparation before the championships is always very good, which is why I can turn up in the playoffs."
Another astounding number is his 75.9% KAST, by far the best in 2017, which shows an incredible consistency. That global stat can also be seen on a map-to-map basis, as he had a 1.00 rating or higher on 80% of his maps at big events. With the exception of ELEAGUE Premier, coldzera had a rating of over 1.10 at each of the 19 events he attended.
The Brazilian star also had the lowest deaths per round ratio (0.59,), the highest kill-death difference (+948,), and the most 1vsX situations won, (72). He was second in kills per round (0.82) and had the third-highest percentage of multi-kill rounds in 2017 at 20.8%. All these stats attest to him being the most efficient player of the year as well as one of the most impactful.
"Usually, my risks in the game are calculated, you’ll never see me make plays or take risks without thinking about what I am going to do. I am not in a hurry to make a play or to kill someone, in the game I’m very calm and I always wait for an error or a gap that I can abuse to get more map control and capitalize on that error to make my team win a round or have an impactful kill. There’s no secret to playing well at the end of rounds, I’m just so calm that I can decide a round by waiting for a mistake because I’m patient."
When asked to give us a bold prediction, coldzera went with his fellow countryman Gabriel "NEKIZ" Schenato, who plays for Luminosity and was previously picked as a bold prediction by Fernando "fer" Alvarenga.
"I believe that nekiz can be a new talent from Brazil as he’s very skilled and is also a great team player, but he needs to have a chance to play more tournaments and show his worth. He’s going to surprise a lot of people and he’s a strong contender for the next top 20."