Marcelo “coldzera” David is not one of the world’s finest players, he is the world’s finest player.

Coldzera had played in ESEA Open in 2013, and then after stints at GamerHouse, SemXorah and Golden Glory.

The young Brazilian then made the switch to Dexterity Team, where he played alongside notable Brazilian Counter Strike names such as felps, TACO, HEN1 and LUCAS1 throughout his tenure in the team.

Then, the opportunity of a lifetime came in the form of a phone call. The first iteration of the Brazilian Luminosity team had wanted to recruit coldzera.

A player with incredible competitive drive, the desire to succeed and the mindset to put in work to achieve his goals was given an opportunity to achieve his dream.

After many conversations with his mother and father, and after FalleN had talked to coldzera’s father, he was off to join the rest of the Luminosity squad in the United States.

Coldzera’s first major tournament with Luminosity was ESL One: Cologne 2015. At the time, the Luminosity line up consisted of FalleN, fer, boltz, steel and coldzera.

In the first stage of the group stage, Luminosity finished 1-1, winning 16-6 vs. Kinguin and losing 19-16 against Team EnVyUs. In the second stage of the group stage, coldzera and company were able to beat FlipSide 22-18 to secure a spot in the knockout stages. Luminosity faced eventual winners Fnatic. They were swept aside on Train, but managed to put up a solid fight on Cache, losing 16-14 to the world beating Swedish side.

Luminosity and coldzera continued to play in domestic online and offline matches and had performed quite well throughout their matches. Their next major tournament was Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca. Here, Luminosity opened up their group stage campaign successfully, beating Cloud9 16-11 on Dust II. Their next match was against Fnatic, and, the Brazilians were able to conquer the Swedes, albeit in a best of one scenario. Luminosity pulled out the 16-13 victory on Inferno to advance into the knockout stages of the major with a perfect group stage record. The Brazilians met CIS side Na’Vi in the knockout stages of the tournament, and, unfortunately, after a close battle across two maps, Na’Vi knocked out Luminosity and ended their run at the Cluj-Napoca major.

Over the first two major international tournaments that coldzera had played for Luminosity, he was already putting up impressive numbers, and was consistent on both a domestic and international level.

The beast was slowly waking.

 

Their next decently stacked tournament was IEM San Jose. This was the last tournament with boltz and steel in the active line up. Here, Luminosity suffered an early defeat at the hands of Na’Vi, losing 16-13 on Mirage and 19-17 on Overpass to be knocked out early on. Monstrous performances from coldzera and FalleN were not enough to extend Luminosity’s tournament lifeline.

Steel, boltz and nak made way for fnx, TACO and zews. The Brazilians made three changes to their line up before the FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals. After getting 16-0’d in their opening group stage match by Fnatic, coldzera and company had their work cut out for them. The Brazilians were able to eliminate EnVyUs 2-1, as well as NIP with the same best of three scoreline, largely thanks to huge performances from coldzera and fer on the first map, and again on the second map.

Luminosity’s 2015 would end in an undesirable way, as they crashed out in the group stages of the Pro League Finals, despite another set of incredible performances from coldzera across their three best of threes played.

The Brazilians kicked off 2016 emphatically. They were able to have a bit of a break and time to work with their new roster changes, and it showed at Dreamhack Leipzig. Luminosity qualified from their group with a 2-1 record, losing to FaZe initially, and then bouncing back with wins against SK Gaming and then FaZe again to ensure qualification from the group stage. In the semifinals, Luminosity met the newly formed player organisation, Astralis. They beat the Danes 2-0 to book a finals match vs. Na’Vi. Both maps went into overtime, and Na’Vi were able to secure both maps in overtime.

After Leipzig, the Brazilians were set to compete at IEM Katowice. They topped their group with a 4-1 record and booked themselves a spot in the semifinals, and a match up against Na’Vi once again. This time, Luminosity prevailed and set themselves up for a finals match against Fnatic, largely thanks to heroics from FalleN, as well as a strong performance from coldzera. Luminosity were stopped in their tracks, once again, by Fnatic, as the Swedes claimed the 3-0 in the best of five series to secure the IEM Katowice championship.

MLG Columbus was where it all changed for coldzera, for Luminosity, for aspiring Counter Strike professionals from Brazil, for Brazilian Counter Strike fans and for Counter Strike as a whole.

Luminosity were placed in a group with NIP, mouz and FlipSide. Luminosity won their opening match against mouz 16-13, and won their second match vs. NIP 16-5 to advanced from the group stage with a perfect record. In the quarterfinals, Virtus.pro stood in their way. The Polish side took the first map, winning 19-17 on Cache. Luminosity were able to bounce back and secure the next two maps, Cobblestone and Overpass, winning 16-10 and 16-11 respectively. Luminosity advanced, and met Team Liquid in the semifinals.

The hopes of both countries rode on the backs of these teams. Both of these countries had a shot at making history in Columbus, but only one would be able to do so.

It had looked like Team Liquid had secured Mirage.

15-9. Liquid needed ONE to win the map, Luminosity needed SIX to secure overtime.

Liquid were committed to walking out of B apartments to get the round done and to secure the map. Only one man stood in their way.

The odds were stacked against coldzera on the B site, there was no way that he was going to win this round, until this happened:

This hold from coldzera secured Luminosity the round, and eventually overtime. They then went on to win the map 19-16. Another overtime affair on Cache went to Luminosity.

They broke the hearts of North American Counter Strike fans around the world and in the stadium, but, more importantly, they reinforced their own spirits with that win. They were one step away from securing glory, and they were set to go up against a team that had denied them passage many times before: Na’Vi.

The Brazilian beast could smell the glory that he had worked so hard for, and he was not going to let Na’Vi stand in his way.

Mirage was a close affair between the two sides, but, it went to Luminosity in overtime, thanks to a strong performance from fer and coldzera. Map two, Overpass, was a blowout. Luminosity crushed Na’Vi under their heels to win 16-2 to secure first place at MLG Columbus. This was the first CS:GO major that five players from Brazil had won.

Coldzera and his teammates had made history.

Luminosity endured the shortest of slumps, as they bombed out of the group stages of Dreamhack Malmo at the hands of TyLoo.

The Brazilians remained resilient, and claimed Dreamhack Austin 2016. Their next top tier tournament was the ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals. Here, Luminosity qualified from their group with a 2-1 record, losing out to G2, but securing best of three victories against Astralis and OpTic to ensure their tournament survival and progression into the knockout stages. The Brazilians beat NIP 2-1 and booked a finals match vs. G2. The best of five finals series against G2 stretched across all five maps. G2 secured Overpass, Luminosity took Train, G2 took Cobblestone, Luminosity took Dust II and then went on to secure Inferno in overtime to secure the ESL Pro League Season 3 championship. At the conclusion of these five maps, coldzera finished with 125 kills and 84 deaths, with an ADR score of 85.5.

Next up was the ECS Season 1 Finals, held in London, and it was more of the same from Luminosity. Top of their group with a perfect record. They then went on to beat North American side TSM in the semifinals to book themselves a rematch of the ESL Pro League Finals. This time, the series went in favour of G2 Esports, as they beat Luminosity 2-0 to secure the ECS championship.

Due to the Luminosity players transferring over to SK Gaming, they were disqualified from the remainder of the first season of ELEAGUE. As a result, the next tournament for the Brazilians was ESL One: Cologne 2016.

 

SK opened up their Cologne campaign strongly, beating G2 16-11 and FaZe 16-6 to qualify from the group stages. They then met FlipSide tactics in the first knockout round, and secured the 2-0 to advance into the semifinals, where they met Virtus.pro. After a hotly contested best of three, SK Gaming emerged victorious with a 2-1 record, thanks to a strong performance all round, but, as usual, another strong performance from coldzera.

SK Gaming met Team Liquid in the finals. Once again, both teams had immense pressure on them. North America’s chance to make history, and SK Gaming’s chance to secure their second major in a row. A strong performance from coldzera and TACO, as well as the rest of the SK Gaming team ensured that the Brazilians swept aside Liquid with relative ease. As a result, the Brazilians secured their second consecutive major championship.

It was another huge result for the Brazilian side and coldzera. On a personal level, this was the second major where coldzera was named MVP of the major, with the first being MLG Columbus 2016.

The push towards the end of the year was a long one for SK Gaming. At ESL New York, they finished in the top four, and they mirrored that result at EPICENTER 2017.

The Brazilians then had a chance to win a trophy at home. The ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals were hosted in Sao Paolo, Brazil. This gave Brazilians a chance to support their favourite teams and players in person. SK Gaming endured a strong run throughout the tournament until they met Cloud9 in the finals, where they were simply outgunned on the day. SK Gaming then played at IEM Oakland, and mirrored the result they saw at Sao Paolo. SK Gaming closed out the year strongly, finishing in the top four at the second season of ELEAGUE and in the ECS Season 2 Finals.

SK Gaming’s 2017 started off in a bit of a rocky manner, and their form overall has been rather up and down throughout the year.

The Brazilians were able to secure a top four finish at the ELEAGUE Major, thanks to a monstrous effort from coldzera and company, since SK Gaming had to play with a ringer, fox, since felps was ineligible for the major. The Brazilians went on to place 2nd at Dreamhack Vegas, and then suffered a bit of a slump, going out in the group stages at IEM Katowice and then at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3. SK Gaming were able to bounce back in an emphatic fashion, winning out at cs_summit and IEM Sydney. They placed in the top four at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals, and then went on to place first at Dreamhack Summer, ECS Season 3 Finals and ESL One: Cologne 2017.

At the PGL Major, SK Gaming were eliminated in the quarterfinals, and the same result occurred at the next tournament, Dreamhack Malmo. At the ESG Tour Mykonos, SK were able to place third, and then secured a top four finish at ESL One: New York.

To the shock and disbelief of many, SK were eliminated in the group stages of the ELEAGUE Premier at the hands of Heroic, but then went on to secure the EPICENTER trophy with boltz as a stand in.

Coldzera’s rise to the top was also one of the main reasons why the Brazilians have found so much success. Under the mind of FalleN and surrounded by teammates dating back to steel and boltz, and then fnx and TACO, and felps to an extent, the Brazilian system was shaped to suit the more aggressive style of fer as well as the more passive style of Counter Strike that coldzera plays. With felps, the passive play was not as prominent, since felps was originally an aggressive type of player, and with the addition of boltz, that style of mixing it up between passive and aggressive came into play once again.

Through the rough patches the Brazilians have had, coldzera has still been able to perform at a high level. When it comes down to it, coldzera is consistent, but the difference between coldzera’s consistency and the average player’s consistency is different.

Coldzera’s consistency is consistent high level performances, whether wins or losses. In every tournament he’s played in, coldzera has not fallen under a 1.0 HLTV rating, with a vast majority of his offline tournament ratings being above 1.10. A coldzera slump is, statistically speaking, the form of most players, that kind of 1.0? rating area that most players are at.

He came from relative obscurity and immediately started performing against North American teams domestically, and against the top tier European opponents in 2015-2016, when many of them were at their strongest. Even in 2017, with the era of the super team, coldzera continues to defy that notion with his superhuman performances, whether his team wins or loses.

This story details coldzera’s rise to the top throughout the course of the tournaments he has played in, the experience he gathered over time, the tactical changes that may have been imposed and the roster changes that happened around him in order to form the strongest possible Brazilian side.

Even when Luminosity/SK Gaming faltered, coldzera, as an individual, continued to rise individually. His growth over the last two years has been outstanding, and is what makes him unique.

Coldzera honed his skills individually. His aim improved over time, as did his game sense and as a result, his decision making has become close to flawless over time. He has also adopted the role of AWPer from time to time. He is a player that can, by himself, turn the tide of any game.

Competency with both the AWP and rifle makes him the deadliest hybrid player to grace the scene.

He is hungry for improvement and for victories, and that insatiable desire for accolades and improvement on top of the aforementioned factors makes him the perfect teammate.

At first, people asked who he was. He let his talent form his name, and people learned who he was on their own.

Many people have asked, and continue to ask where coldzera came from back in the day. The natural answers are usually “relative obscurity”, or the Brazilian scene.

I think FalleN and coldzera’s parents answered these questions perfectly.

“He comes from a family where everyone works.” 

Coldzera has certainly shown that if you are willing to work hard for that goal that you crave, and you put in the effort, you can have it.

 

Picture Credit: Red Bull, SK Gaming & Liquipedia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Jonah
Esports - Staff Writer

My first video game was Tonka Construction for the PC. I played that in 2000, at 3 years of age, and have been hooked by video games ever since. I like to dabble in as many games as I possibly can, but nothing can come close to a captivating story, an intense multiplayer experience or a well made RTS game. In 2015, I found what can only be described as passion and love for esports. Now I convey that passion, love and knowledge through articles about esports titles, most notably Counter Strike.