Opinion: Why the big Brazilian reunion is a bad idea
The old Luminosity and SK core that won back-to-back Majors in 2016 is reportedly trying to get back together. Here are the main reasons why the move, and big nostalgic reunions in general, is a bad idea.
On Monday and Tuesday, it was reported by Jaxon that Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and Marcelo "coldzera" David are creating a new Brazilian project and that they are looking to reunite with former teammates Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Lincoln "fnx" Lau in what was described as a "last dance."
The rumor sent shockwaves through the community, as the move would see one of the most iconic cores recreated in four out of five members of the old Luminosity and SK lineup that won MLG Columbus and ESL One Cologne in 2016, but the reception was far from positive. In fact, most pundits seem to agree that it is a terrible idea from a competitive standpoint, and I am in the same camp.
The biggest reason why? Big nostalgic reunions simply never work.
Learning from Sweden's biggest mistakes
Just looking back at the two most comparable attempts should be enough to tell you that getting back on top isn't as easy as just teaming up with the same people who had once dominated together, especially this far in the past.
The first, almost shockingly similar reunion took place about five years ago, when a big shuffle between GODSENT and fnatic happened and Jesper "JW" Wecksell, Andreas "znajder" Lindberg, Markus "pronax" Wallsten, and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist got back together under the former banner alongside Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, bringing back four-fifths of the squad that won the first-ever CS:GO Major at DreamHack Winter 2013.
If you're a newer fan and this doesn't ring a bell, or you don't remember what happened after, let me refresh your memory. Two months after the move took place, KRIMZ went back to fnatic when GODSENT failed a few big qualifiers and placed poorly at the two LAN events they attended at SL i-League Season 2 Finals and WESG Europe & CIS Regional Finals. After another four months passed, the entire shuffle was reversed when the legendary quartet suffered a group stage elimination at ELEAGUE Major 2017, making it the first time in 10 Majors that flusha and JW didn't make it to the playoffs.
Most of you should remember the second project I'm referring to because it is the early 2020 Dignitas reunion that once again saw a legendary four-man core brought back from the grave, with Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg, Adam "friberg" Friberg, and Richard "Xizt" Landström teaming up again in what looked like a desperate attempt to roll the years back and would soon prove to be just that. That lineup, with Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli hailed as the young star AWPer the Swedes would build around, went through eight months of struggles at the tier-two level and stayed outside of the top 30 the entire time, before Xizt and GeT_RiGhT got benched in favor of younger players.
A quartet years past their prime
You may ask why these two examples didn't work out and why we should throw the big Brazilian reunion into the same bucket, and the answer is quite simple once again. Every one of these projects features multiple players years beyond the prime level that they had showcased when they had first played and won big titles together; in Dignitas' case, every single one of the veterans had seen much better years, and you can make the same argument for pronax and znajder at the very least in GODSENT's.
The old SK quartet is no different. FalleN and coldzera have managed to stay relevant at the top, but both have been shadows of their former selves on an individual level in recent years after hitting their peak form in 2016-2017. fer has only declined since the best years of Brazilian CS as well, and he hasn't even played in the biggest tournaments since 2020, while fnx last appeared at a big event three and a half years ago.
The average age of that four-man core of FalleN, coldzera, fer, and fnx would be 29.8 years, and no matter what wonderchild they'd complete the roster with, they'd still be at least a year older on average than the two oldest teams in the top 30 at the moment in G2 and FaZe, who are already huge outliers among their peers.
Now don't get me wrong. At least three of these players would be a worthy addition to a younger team looking to make it to the next level; the influx of a wealth of experience you need to help guide a youthful, hungry roster in search of greater heights. All four playing together would however equate to a retirement home — one that the fans would throw money at, to be sure — akin to last year's Dignitas, two of whose members are no longer competing as players. That's what this throwback project would have to look forward to if it came together.