It was another watershed year for esports, one defined as much by people and personalities as the games themselves. For nine days straight, Dot Esports is profiling the most important people in the industry in 2016, from players to businessmen to industry visionaries. Yesterday, we profiled Scott “SirScoots” Smith. Our next selection is a player who dominated the servers of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive this year.
For close to a decade, few Counter-Strike players from outside Europe have ever ended a year looking as consistently brilliant as 22-year-old Marcelo “coldzera” David. Coldzera, who joined the core of what is currently SK Gaming in July 2015, has set himself apart this year. He doesn’t just show up when the big game is on. He’s also one of the most consistent players in the world, always averaging at least one kill per round.
Coldzera’s performances at Valve Majors throughout 2016 have also been astounding. Going off of raw statistics, he was the most successful player at both MLG Columbus and ESL One Cologne. And his wonderful tendency to deliver absurd plays in the most crucial moments became a defining asset for the SK Gaming roster throughout the year.
The only suitable comparisons to coldzera’s reign are that of a select few of other players in all of CS:GO history like Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer, and Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz. The fact that he has gone from playing in one of the poorest scenes in the world with little to no opportunities only two years ago, to becoming a back-to-back Valve Major winner and MVP is mind-boggling—and also a testament to the work ethic and system put in place by SK Gaming in-game leader Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo.
To truly dominate in CS:GO, versatility can be just as important as firepower, something coldzera has in spades. He can transition from one of the strongest riflers in the world to a star-level AWPer with no problem, providing support to the team no matter the situation.
SK Gaming fell behind its main competitors towards the end of the year. But the team has consistently kept finishing in top positions at nearly every event it has attended since July.
In 2015, Fnatic’s olofmeister set the standard of what an all-time great player should look like in the server, and ever since the Swede’s injury in early 2016, the only logical heir to his throne is coldzera as he embodies the consistency, versatility, and pure skill of the masters who came before him.