FalleN: "I'm hoping to reach a higher ceiling than in previous years"

The Brazilian veteran discusses joining Liquid, giving up the in-game leadership and his expectations for the Brazilian scene in 2021.

Gabriel "⁠FalleN⁠" Toledo is raring to go after over four months of inactivity. In September, the two-time Major champion showed his discontent with the management's decision to dispense with Fernando "⁠fer⁠" Alvarenga, Epitacio "⁠TACO⁠" de Melo and coach Ricardo "⁠dead⁠" Sinigaglia, and stepped down from the lineup, spending the rest of the year pondering his next move.

FalleN is ready to return to action after four months on the sidelines

He resurfaced earlier this month in Liquid, replacing Russel "⁠Twistzz⁠" Van Dulken in the North American team. After being the tactical mastermind behind his previous teams, the 29-year-old will now have the chance to focus on his game as the team will continue to be led by Jake "⁠Stewie2K⁠" Yip.

As Liquid prepared for their opening match in the BLAST Premier Global Final against Natus Vincere, we had the chance to sit down with FalleN about this new challenge and his role in the team. The Brazilian also opened up about the issues in MIBR and what's it like to play without his longtime friend fer.

What are your first impressions of Liquid?

In terms of the organisation, I'm really impressed with the structure that Liquid has here in Europe. Our training facility is really amazing, I think that only a few organisations have something like this. Our accommodations are also very good and are located close to the office, so that makes everything easier, we just leave the apartments and come to work.

As for the players, it has been great playing with them. The way that they think about the game and the way that I play and think about the game are a good fit. There are some tendencies that I see in other teams that are a bit different from the way that Liquid was playing, and there are also some things that I experimented in previous lineups. We are doing a good job in terms of mixing those other ideas with what they enjoyed doing. We've just started practising, but it has been cool. It takes a while to adapt to a new team, right? The callouts are different, there are some maps that I didn't play much and that I am playing more now, like Nuke, but it has been great. I am really enjoying it.

What is your role going to be exactly?

I consider myself a bit different from the other AWPers. Normally, because I used to be the captain of my teams, I was always a little bit of a support player during rounds. I had to think about not only what to do with the AWP, but also how to use my players in executes, some grenades we had to use, things like that. I had to do both things. From what I can tell, this is not a team that expects me to have an AWPing style that requires me to get the entry kill all the time or be the key player who opens things up. This team is more organised than that, they are not used to that. I bring a little bit of that, but they like this style where I am a support player and use the AWP as the round plays out. Stewie is still leading the team, I've been like a second voice, and I think it's been very cool. That helps me focus on my game and understand the way they like to play, what they expect from me and how to use the players the best possible way while I am AWPing.

Was being just a player something that you sought? After all these years leading your teams, did you want something different?

I think it's cool to be just that second voice, to give my opinion when I'm seeing something. When I'm not the one calling, I always try to put myself in the IGL's shoes. I'm always thinking of ways that I can contribute or suggest things that make sense. I think that every captain probably likes that. I think Stewie is a good captain, with good ideas, and we have the freedom to discuss when we're thinking in a different way. I think that's important, discussing new ideas, bringing different perspectives on certain matters. I think that can only improve the team. Sometimes, we are somewhat blind and only see the game in a certain way. I believe that a team gets stronger when we are able to mix those different ways to see the game and to make strategic changes, in a good way, without making it look like we are losing structure.

How is your adaptation going? What should we expect from this new Liquid?

To be honest, we haven't had enough practice days to be where we want to be, we are aware of that. But at the same time, I know that this is a team that has a lot of potential right off the bat. I believe it's possible to face the top teams head on right from the start. But at least for me, this is still an adaptation period. I'm hoping for a victory, I believe we can get off to a good start, and it would be great to do so, it would be a great confidence boost for this new team, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. We will go up against teams that have been together for a long time, some of whom are coming off a good season. We have to be realistic, but without losing hope or that desire to win, which will be there, for sure.

Did you think about continuing in a Brazilian team, or did you seek a fresh start after what happened with MIBR?

When we had to break up the previous MIBR team, I started thinking about what I could do next. I had some time to reflect. I wanted to continue playing with fer, but that ended up not being possible. I opted for this more solo opportunity, which was for me to join Liquid. I realised that I was at a point in my career where I prioritised a team that was already at a high level and where I could focus on playing. I was very happy when I got the offer from Liquid because they're from the region where I was living, I know that they're a very strong team, I played against them for many years, and, to be honest, I knew that the organisation was very good. Still, I am positively surprised by the size of the structure that they have. I already knew about it, but now that I'm here, I'm giving a lot more importance to it. It's much better than I expected. I wanted to join a team that had the chance to reach a high level quickly, and Liquid was a great option in that regard.

FalleN says that playing without fer is "really different"

How are you finding the experience of not being the one making the calls?

Leadership, for me, is something very natural, and I've always enjoyed the concept of shared leadership. In every team where I've been, especially the more successful ones - although there's this idea that I was in charge of roster changes, of every little thing - everyone did their part well, helping out however they could. Coming into this team, which already had a structure, I'll try to give my best to help out, and I'll show leadership in other ways, like keeping up morale and motivating teammates. Those are things that you can do even if you're not the captain. That kind of leadership from me will continue because that's part of who I am. The captaincy is all about what the team needs. If the team needs me to be the captain, I'll do my best. If they think that someone else, like Stewie, is doing a good job, then I'll do my best to contribute in other ways.

What has it been like playing without fer?

Playing without fer will be really different. We had been together since 2014. We played 1.6, we played CrossFire, we conquered the world with LG and SK, and we were together some years on MIBR. We accomplished so, so much together. Everything I accomplished during the most important stage of my career, I did it with him. It would not have been possible without him. It was sad to break up the duo, but who knows what will happen in the future? Life is full of twists and turns.

How is your relationship with MIBR right now? How would you describe your time there?

MIBR was an experience that came after the success of the previous teams, in 2016 and 2017. I believe we tried very hard, we racked our brains, we tried to do a lot of things and we ended up not doing any of them right. I believe we didn't have the success that people wanted, both in terms of results and the relationship between the team and the organisation. I'd like to think that it's not easy to be successful and to be the best team in the world, it's not easy to be at the top all the time. There are many teams in the world trying to reach for the top, but only a few are able to do it. My relationship with MIBR became a bit strained because of the way things ended, but I'm very grateful for the opportunity that they gave us, for the investment they made in our team, and I'll try to hold on to as many good things as possible and wish good luck to those who will continue working there. I will continue my life here. MIBR is a great team in Brazil, and the people in the country are really passionate about the organisation, the name and everything that the players went through there. It's important that it continues to be well represented.

2021 is shaping up to be an interesting year for Brazilian Counter-Strike. You're playing for Liquid, MIBR have a new team, FURIA have signed an American player, there's this new team that is rumoured to be joining GODSENT. What is your opinion about the current state of affairs?

I think international CS will be really great this year. Things were a bit tougher last year because of all the online tournaments. We will begin this year online, but there is the prospect of a return to LAN. I think teams came into 2021 with a focus on online tournaments. They weren't like, 'This tournament is not like the others we were playing before'. No, now we're just playing online, that's all there is and we are 100% focused. I think the way that players value online tournaments has changed.

The Brazilian scene is in a great moment. We have many players competing abroad, we have FURIA, who just got junior, and it will be interesting to see how they'll do, another attempt from a Brazilian team to go international. There are also other storied players in different teams, we have TACO in a team, I'm playing for Liquid. I think the Brazilian community will have several matches to follow and several reasons to cheer on different teams. The Brazilian community is going through a great moment, which is the result of all that happened in recent years, years of success and hard work. And it's also because of gAuLeS, who began streaming for the Tribo, really pushing the Brazilian scene. There are many people watching games, the numbers are incredible. The community is really passionate about the game and is following all the storylines.

What are your goals for 2021?

Personally, I'm very motivated to try to be the best version of myself as a player. I believe that, in previous years, I had moments when I performed better, but I believe that my game remained stable, with some very good moments and some that were a bit worse. This year, I'm hoping to reach a higher ceiling than in previous years. I believe I'm in the right place for that. As a team, I hope to be among the best in the world and that we can try to win titles and to be the best. I believe I have players who have what it takes for us to be the best.

Despite not being the captain, I still need to understand what we want to do. After so many years thinking about the game tactically, I do not think that my strong point is to make individual plays all the time. I like doing things that make sense in the context of what we want to do. Even though I'm not the captain, I'm trying to understand what we want to do so that I can focus on my part tactically, all the while understanding what's going on around me. I think that's important for an AWPer. I'm not into playing like, 'Let's see what happens'. And this is something I really like about Liquid, they think the game the same way. That is something that I missed in my previous teams. Even though I was calling, there were differences of opinion about how to play the game. If I manage to do this, that will make it easier for me to, who knows, become a better player. I'll fully devote myself to it.

Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
1174
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.64
Brazil Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1328
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.68
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1344
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.60
Canada Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Age:
21
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1135
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
Brazil Ricardo 'dead' Sinigaglia
Ricardo 'dead' Sinigaglia
Age:
35
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
6
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.63
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1326
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
I hope so too.
2021-01-20 13:00
11 replies
wait wait wait stewie remains IGL? i thought fallen is gonna do that
2021-01-20 13:02
6 replies
The horrible score esports had a video with that headline. It was wrong. Stewie was always remaining as igl... for now at least.
2021-01-20 13:06
1 reply
I hope rest of the team and igl also reciprocate the same views about fallen being secondary caller. If it doesn't suit Stewie then maybe fallen could keep his views for the post match analysis. But i wonder if that will be unnatural to him, negatively affecting his performance. I don't think fallen should igl again without a top tier coach who takes the lead on strats and playstyle. Janko was not efficient with mibr due to some conflicting ideas. They ultimately gave fallen the priority and i feel that his style is not the best out there in the current state/meta of csgo.
2021-01-20 18:03
no (not yet), maybe in a few months when its not really working out fallen will take igl to himself and change liquid how he wants it
2021-01-20 13:12
1 reply
fallen king he's coming to show how its done
2021-01-20 13:25
Fallen is gonna be definitely helping him in terms of calls they're gonna try calling together but stewie still being the main IGL. stew in his stream said Fallen's gonna be another voice in terms of calling and leading the team. I think they're hoping to achieve calling as a duo just like how nit0 and stew used to do.
2021-01-20 14:03
#137
 | 
Denmark AsgerMv
Fallen was brought in to AWP + support Stewie in calling and make him a better igl in the long run
2021-01-23 13:15
#52
 | 
India xEleanorex
how's ur comment everytime the 1st one
2021-01-20 13:36
3 replies
it's not wtf
2021-01-20 13:47
1 reply
#72
 | 
India xEleanorex
Oh yeah that's Germany First Moon landing. Sry menss(( got confused
2021-01-20 13:59
He is someone else
2021-01-20 13:52
God fallen, he will drop up to 50 bombs easy 2-0
2021-01-20 13:01
#3
lsd | 
Poland parsnip
ok
2021-01-20 13:01
#4
 | 
Russia Evil_DaviD1
GL. It's literally the last chance for FalleN. If the fails in Liquid then most likely no one from tier1 scene will pick up him.
2021-01-20 13:02
15 replies
#78
 | 
Brazil bzz1
ok Biskela
2021-01-20 14:08
3 replies
#128
 | 
Brazil killfell
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk nem fodendo
2021-01-21 11:48
Kkkkkkkkkkkkk
2021-01-21 13:48
kkkkkkkkkkkk
2021-01-21 14:15
#86
 | 
Brazil Gildocsg0
mousesports need an awp and an igl
2021-01-20 14:20
7 replies
Well, there was a report where was said that mouz will pick dexter as IGL + acoR as AWPer (and kick chrisJ, yeah).
2021-01-20 14:23
6 replies
#93
 | 
Myanmar w7tv
faze needs IGL and second awp
2021-01-20 14:32
5 replies
+ karrigan + oBo - Kjaerbye - olof (he'll retire according to rumours)
2021-01-20 14:34
4 replies
#97
 | 
Myanmar w7tv
karrigan back would be pognice kjaerbye is in extra time tier 1 cs obo? wasnt him tired of being far from home?
2021-01-20 14:35
3 replies
2 replies
#105
 | 
Myanmar w7tv
oh, didnt see that glad he made a choice
2021-01-20 14:48
#133
 | 
Brazil bzz1
what does #LFT mean?
2021-01-21 20:17
#118
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
+1 but I think he is gonna fit into liquid perfectly
2021-01-20 16:57
2 replies
Well, he played good on Inferno.
2021-01-20 17:06
1 reply
#122
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
Yeah he played great.. Though NaVi didnt do much to be fair
2021-01-20 17:07
its his last chance for sure
2021-01-20 13:01
8 replies
29yo already, i will not be surprised if this is his last team. I hope he manages to win some events to retire happily, he deserves for what he did for the brazilian scene
2021-01-20 13:04
7 replies
+11111111111
2021-01-20 13:10
#81
 | 
Chile esanchez47
+2, totally deserved
2021-01-20 14:11
+11
2021-01-20 14:45
Hoping for the best 🙏🏻
2021-01-20 15:37
#119
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
+1 best Brazilian player of all time. Love him
2021-01-20 16:57
#127
 | 
Brazil ghcnvbkn
+1 cant agree more
2021-01-20 19:53
+1
2021-01-22 10:31
The Legend
2021-01-20 13:01
Ok
2021-01-20 13:01
hmm liquid wins major this yr
2021-01-20 13:01
3 replies
AXAXAXAXAXA,nice joke
2021-01-20 13:01
2 replies
Flair checks out. Stew hater
2021-01-20 13:18
#129
arT | 
Brazil joroca
In life u can be a very skilled player like s1mple or you can be a winner like fallen and stewie.
2021-01-21 12:53
#9
ZywOo | 
France Jaune
have fun with that with Stewie igl
2021-01-20 13:01
7 replies
It seems pretty obvious to me, Fallen is gonna get used to the team/players/environment for some months to get to know RLY WELL all the players and their styles and THEN, start IGLing. Giving it to him all the way from the start would be an excess of pressure and a bit careless.
2021-01-20 13:36
6 replies
#55
ZywOo | 
France Jaune
the report is that Liquid is looking for Stew to be perm IGL.
2021-01-20 13:41
3 replies
Can a man get some sauce
2021-01-20 14:10
2 replies
1 reply
nothing about him being permanent tho
2021-01-20 14:32
Agree.
2021-01-20 14:11
#96
 | 
Italy ROMAG
I'm that he is not igling, not because he's bad or something like that. he can be fully focused in the game, also he can help stewie as igl and with mid round call.
2021-01-20 14:34
#11
 | 
Brazil Zer0k
GL
2021-01-20 13:02
lol
2021-01-20 13:02
Fallen was a mistake, rip liquid.
2021-01-20 13:02
me too
2021-01-20 13:02
best of luck
2021-01-20 13:03
Easy for god Fallen
2021-01-20 13:03
Signed Fallen as pure AWP not as AWP/IGL. Even Furia knew Junior >> Fallen there Xaxaxaxa
2021-01-20 13:03
2 replies
#76
 | 
Netherlands 0aktree
Liquid +junior would have been so sick
2021-01-20 14:06
#106
 | 
Argentina fxzo
Junior AWP >>> fallen AWP??? I don't think that xddd
2021-01-20 14:56
#23
 | 
Brazil Nicolito
legend
2021-01-20 13:04
Fallen two faced toledo going to ruin another team
2021-01-20 13:08
2 replies
#98
 | 
Myanmar w7tv
yes like he ruinned two majors shutup forsaken
2021-01-20 14:36
1 reply
+1
2021-01-20 15:44
ok then buy a bigger house?
2021-01-20 13:09
1 reply
#48
 | 
Brazil HazzyS
It's all part of the great TwoFaced Toledo master blan
2021-01-20 13:31
Not sure I'm too happy about Stewie continuing to IGL... well, at least they have a somewhat competent secondary caller now, so I'm expecting to see an improvement in their approach to the game.
2021-01-20 13:09
ok
2021-01-20 13:11
after 2 months - anyone +fer. you will see
2021-01-20 13:12
4 replies
after 3 months + TACO after 4 months + fnx after 5 months + coldzera and they will win the next major
2021-01-20 13:31
2 replies
not fnx but felps once again
2021-01-20 13:53
1 reply
or not taco and fnx but stew and tarik. ez Zotac cup))
2021-01-20 15:01
fer will retire
2021-01-20 14:07
#31
arT | 
Brazil logzera
Godfather godofcs good luck!
2021-01-20 13:12
#33
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
Let's go Wallen! Make most out of this opportunity, still a top tier Awper. Will really be sad to not see Fer with you on the same server.
2021-01-20 13:12
#34
 | 
Indonesia retzsu
Can wait too see fallen play
2021-01-20 13:13
#35
 | 
Brazil Par4dox11
GL FALLEN! Legend!!
2021-01-20 13:13
he is not gonna be the igl ???? lolll what a dumb move. they should have signed guardian or smooya if they needed just an awper
2021-01-20 13:14
1 reply
Guardian ? LUL This isn't 2017
2021-01-20 13:51
lets go Brasil
2021-01-20 13:17
washed up af he will never reach his former skill. just like all the other old pros, he cannot accept the fact that its over!!!
2021-01-20 13:22
The pressure on Stewie now
2021-01-20 13:23
top20 max lol ggs
2021-01-20 13:25
Stew was never a good igl.... yet he still wants to do it proof the guy forced nitr0 and twistzz out the team...
2021-01-20 13:25
2 replies
both of them were washed up bots lmao
2021-01-20 14:00
1 reply
Which ones, because fallen stew twistzz and nitro are washed up rofl
2021-01-20 19:07
#44
sh1ro | 
Romania AlyBu
ok, so he is not the igl interesting
2021-01-20 13:26
We are with you, Fallen. If you have someone with experience to raise the level of Liquid, skill with AWP and champion profile is you.
2021-01-20 13:29
Not happening do
2021-01-20 13:31
lets fucking go professor!!! start crying haters #RUNLIQUIDG #eligethebrazilianamerican #FOLLENRAZERtheverdadeiro #tchutchucao
2021-01-20 13:32
#50
 | 
Brazil Lostty
Lets go professor
2021-01-20 13:34
I really hope TL end up being a tier 1 team with FalleN
2021-01-20 13:35
cant
2021-01-20 13:41
I love you fallen <333 GOAT
2021-01-20 13:43
1 reply
#69
 | 
Latvia Phenomennn
KEKW
2021-01-20 13:57
#57
 | 
Australia B_Tannen
Save the tier 1 NA scene!
2021-01-20 13:44
I don't really get why Fallen if he isn't IGL, stewie is trash IGL and should just focus on entry and Fallen while he's a top AWPer, there are many better and younger
2021-01-20 13:47
1 reply
it's not just about individual skill, you also have to see a player's history, weight, marketing strength and influence ... he is still at a great level, in addition to being the biggest name in Brazil that has the largest community of CSGO ...
2021-01-20 19:18
Gl to fallen
2021-01-20 13:49
Taking into account his ceiling during previous few years it shouldn't be too hard.
2021-01-20 13:51
2 replies
#71
 | 
Latvia Phenomennn
ahahahaha nice rekt
2021-01-20 13:58
My thoughts exactly, he's not exactly setting high standards. How could it be worse anyway ?
2021-01-20 14:21
#66
 | 
Romania babyvasy
valorant is waiting for u
2021-01-20 13:53
1 reply
#68
 | 
Latvia Phenomennn
+1
2021-01-20 13:57
#67
 | 
Latvia Phenomennn
LUL 0/8
2021-01-20 13:56
#70
 | 
Brazil Sudario
PRESENTE
2021-01-20 13:57
lmfao, washed up but tries to reach higher skills ceilings. calm down old man, your time is almost over.
2021-01-20 14:00
#83
AZR | 
Taiwan Haoyuan
Stewie is still the igl seems reasonable.
2021-01-20 14:17
The good thing is that it's probably impossible to reach a lower point than last year. But I think it's the only good thing. Picked because of his popularity despite his pathetic current level.
2021-01-20 14:20
#89
 | 
Brazil morabrasil
CUIDADO COM O CHIFRE KKKKKKKKKK LET'S GO VERDADEIRO, GOTTA TEACH 'EM
2021-01-20 14:26
it cant be worse at least
2021-01-20 14:28
No way he's worse than 2019
2021-01-20 14:31
1 reply
NA VI markeloff > NA VI s1mple cuz 1.6 best game
2021-01-20 14:46
Maybe if he can stop bitching and start playing
2021-01-20 14:44
Guys NAVI vs LIQUID Who is going to pick the first map? Where can I read rules?
2021-01-20 14:45
Today god fallen will rekt s2mple
2021-01-20 15:01
#109
 | 
Sweden Zolity
ez
2021-01-20 15:22
Not sure why they are pretending Fallen isn't going to be the IGL. But whatever. I'm excited to watch them play. I think if you give this roster a couple tournaments they could be quite good.
2021-01-20 15:24
Already accomplished that by just signing with liquid.
2021-01-20 15:31
#113
 | 
Poland SebL
FalleN has been really good since dropping of the IGL role. I hope he will not take the IGL role. Maybe 2021 will be a better year for Brazilian CS, this one was kinda messy.
2021-01-20 15:39
Spoiler: He won't.
2021-01-20 15:56
just stfu and play. stop trying to hype urself
2021-01-20 16:01
2 replies
bro it wasn't him who asked to be interviewed but the other way around, and let him be happy as a fellow brazilian you must've seen the joy that fallen has been graced with these past days in lives and stories etc, he isn't hyping himself or anyrhing, let our teacher be happy!
2021-01-21 18:11
1 reply
we brazilians talk too much, fact
2021-01-21 21:29
fallen is god
2021-01-20 16:27
gl hf
2021-01-20 16:58
Go Fallen
2021-01-20 19:50
Lets go FalleN!!!!
2021-01-22 14:02
#138
 | 
Asia MARETOT
good luck, u played well tho
2021-01-25 02:25
Then dont join NA team FalleN not so smart
2021-01-25 13:16
Age: 29 yeah hate to break it to you but not gonna happen
2021-01-29 11:37
2 replies
look at rpk
2021-01-30 03:28
1 reply
has proven that you can remain solid and consistent over the years. but he has never reached a higher ceiling than when he was younger. NO player ever has. that is the cruel reality of ageing.
2021-01-30 06:11
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