Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo is indeed living his “Last Dance” with Imperial, the project he assembled with fellow CS:GO Major champions Fernando “fer” Alvarenga and Lincoln “fnx” Lau.
The godfather of Brazilian Counter-Strike devoted a good chunk of his life to the game, having competed since he was just 13 years old. FalleN is already making plans for his retirement, though, meaning Imperial will likely be his last team as he initially planned.
“I want to be playing for maybe a year and a half, maybe a little bit more, but that’s it,” FalleN said at a press conference ahead of IEM Cologne. “I’m gonna do other stuff in life. It might be related to CS, but I want to enjoy the other stuff too. Let’s see how it goes. It’s a very complicated topic to talk about.”
The routine of a professional esports player consists of team and individual practice, which can rack up more than eight hours per day, especially if the person plays at the highest level of competition. Sacrifices have to be made more than often, and in FalleN’s case, he had to prioritize his career over living together with his long-time partner.
“My whole life has been revolving around Counter-Strike, including my marriage, which is now going for 11 years, started as a long-distance relationship basically,” FalleN said. “We started living together in 2019, and basically the goal was to stay together, but you know, CS life can be pretty tough, and she spent more time alone than with me, even though we are living together.”
The CS:GO calendar has been hectic for years, which causes professionals based in regions such as North America to stay up to 200 days a year away from home and jump from one hotel to another. It worsened after the COVID-19 pandemic because almost every S-tier tournament shifted to Europe, where most of the tier-one teams are based.
This is the case of Imperial, who live in North America but have to travel to Europe to practice and compete at CS:GO tournaments. The roster led by FalleN is currently in Germany to compete at IEM Cologne, the last S-tier event before the summer player break. The $1-million tournament will run from July 5 to 17.