Two-time CS:GO Major champion Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo has said that he plans to retire as a player at the end of 2023.
The 31-year-old Brazilian appeared on July 26 on the ‘Monkey Business Show’ podcast alongside OG founder Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein and CEO JMR Luna to talk about a wide range of esports-related topics.
As N0tail, who has earned over $7 million in prize money in his Dota 2 career, recounted the motivation issues that eventually led him to take a break from competition in 2021, FalleN revealed that lately he has found himself thinking more and more about the end of his career.
“You cannot do the same thing your entire life, it’s impossible,” FalleN said. “Maybe I’ve been thinking about that myself lately because I’m going to stop sometime soon, in the next year and a half, something like that.
“I’m learning how to understand myself. And for me it’s pretty complicated because it’s been 17, 18 years playing. I have been playing CS my whole life and there’s nothing else that I can do better.
“But the time when I have to do something else is coming, and I can’t really feel pressured about it. And that’s what Johan is talking about, how he would rather feel that his team is winning, and that doesn’t take away the merit of those things he has been doing because they are amazing. I have been watching the new [OG] team play, it’s insane. All those new kids are so good.”
When asked if he already has a future beyond playing mapped out, FalleN said that there are three potential paths that he could follow, one of which would see him stay active in esports as a coach.
“I don’t really have an answer to that,” he said. “Sometimes I feel the itch of going into coaching and helping other teams to succeed and get wins. But at the same time, it would be complicated because it’s kind of the same life that I live right now, where I don’t get to spend too much time at home.
“I really like streaming, I really like creating content and being in touch with people. Streaming is pretty could because I would be able to stay at home, and that’s something that I think about.
“I really like the teaching part of the game, where I can develop new players. I’m really fascinated by it. I have a lot of knowledge that I really know how to pass on. I know things that can make people better. That’s what I did a long time ago, and maybe when I finish [my career] I can go back to it.”
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‘The Godfather of Brazilian CS’
FalleN began his playing career in the mid-2000s, competing in CS 1.6, CS:Source and CrossFire before transitioning to CS:GO in 2013.
He had the best year of his career in 2016, when he led his Luminosity and SK Gaming squads to victory at the MLG Columbus and ESL One Cologne Majors. He was later named the second best player in the world of 2016 by HLTV.org, behind his teammate Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David.
FalleN continued to win trophies under SK’s banner in 2017, but in 2018 his team began to fall behind as sides like Astralis, NAVI and FaZe took center stage. That year also saw the team transfer to Immortals-owned MIBR and experiment with North American duo Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip and Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik.
Success remained elusive for MIBR in the years that followed, eventually leading to FalleN’s departure from the team in September 2020 amid the removal of Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga, Epitacio ‘TACO’ de Melo. He went on to join Team Liquid, but his tenure with the North American team lasted only a year and did not yield any trophies.
In 2022, FalleN created the Last Dance alongside three of his Major-winning teammates in an attempt to recreate the success that was once synonymous with this group of players. Despite fierce criticism, the team, who went on to join Imperial, managed to qualify for PGL Major Antwerp’s New Legends Stage, where they lost to Copenhagen Flames in the last round.
Beyond his in-game achievements, FalleN is also known for his role in the development of the Brazilian scene, which has earned him the moniker of ‘The Godfather of Brazilian CS’.