Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, MIBR’s captain, was approached by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro yesterday to discuss Brazil’s gaming taxes.
The CS:GO player published a video on his Twitter account in which he talks with Bolsonaro on his phone and says “It’s hard to invest in Brazil, I’m putting money and it only goes away,” FalleN said. He has been investing in his own line of gaming peripherals since 2016.
FalleN said later, after some of his fans asked about the matter of the conversation, that Bolsonaro is studying the possibility of lowering taxes for gamer products. Brazilian gamers often complain about Brazil’s tax policies, which increase the price of titles, video games, and peripherals.
The fact that FalleN was approached by Bolsonaro was celebrated for a part of his fan base, who likes the president who was elected with 57 million votes in 2018. But naturally others aren’t happy about FalleN’s proximity to Bolsonaro, who’s come under heavy criticism for homophobic, sexist, and racist statements.
FalleN is the godfather of Brazilian Counter-Strike. Without him, the scene probably wouldn’t have evolved into one of the game’s strongest countries over the past few years. After he and his teammates moved out of Brazil to the United States to represent Keyd Stars in 2015, he helped to organize a tournament called Golden Chance, which gave the winning team the chance to move to the US and also compete in international tournaments.
Brazil will have three teams at the StarLadder Berlin Major, MIBR, FURIA, and INTZ. So any movement FalleN does in the political area, will most likely receive both applause and criticism, as Brazil is one of the most politically divided countries at the moment in Latin America.
This wasn’t the first time Bolsonaro made contact with the Brazilian gaming community. Last week he sent a hug to all the Brazilian gamers on Twitter and three of the biggest names in CS:GO, Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe, and Andrei “arT” Piovezan replied Bolsonaro.
It’s still unknown if Bolsonaro’s intention is genuine. It will be hard to modify current tax policies and he admitted in the past that he doesn’t know anything about the economy and always delivers this matters to Paulo Guedes, the country’s economy minister.
Besides the gaming community, Bolsonaro also makes appearances in soccer stadiums, which is a common way to gauge his popularity in Brazil.