Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, as a lady once sang. The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but a swift hop over that divider will reveal it is not in fact delicious blades of green goodness but a North American mirage, green in colour, but paper in nature, that has lured you in. This was the reality for Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo over the course of 2018 as he struggled to make his MIBR team work, having already taken it apart on a number of occasions.
At the start of last year, he was convinced that he had cracked the code, with fer, boltz, coldzera and TACO around him, to the point where his team defiantly refused to practise for the Major with the former line-up. Ironically, that five-man group that FalleN thought pointless to play with is the current MIBR team, now felps has been confirmed as their fifth, although there is of course once crucial difference, the god of (misspelled) thunder, zews, as coach.
It would be easy to laugh at such a long-winded journey back to square one, but there is another angle to observe, that could have wider repercussions, that being the evolution of FalleN himself. Known as the brains, heart and soul of the team for so long, it’s clear that 2018 had a profound effect on Mr Toledo, which could knock on to the rest of the scene.
For better or worse, FalleN’s pride took a real beating in 2018, leading to other members of the team taking over the leadership mantle at other times and probably prompting his acquiescence on the coaching matter, something he’s consistently said he doesn’t need until this point. It’s not until you see a person lose that you really see their true nature and the same may be true for the man himself after a year of hard losses.
Sometimes you have to go backwards to truly learn about yourself
There is also the example from Denmark that he can’t have failed to notice and now it has become clear that FalleN alone is not superior to gla1ve and zonic, or even Zeus and kane, it seems as though he’s had a hard conversation with himself about the value of pride vs the joy of winning. While that might seem obvious to us from the outside, it is incredibly hard to admit as a top-level player that you need to change, and have been left behind.
When you look at the AWP work and leadership skills we saw from FalleN in 2017, it seems hard to think of this as an evolution but sometimes you have to go backwards to truly learn about yourself. If FalleN has internalised the wins and the losses, as well as the reasons why, then 2019 should be the year we see the best version of his team, with the best Brazilian coach, and that is an incredibly exciting prospect for fans of CS:GO.