Coldzera, the Brazilian phenom

Written by: Dustin Mouret
Twitter: @dustmouret

Marcelo “coldzera” David

The rise of Luminosity stands as one of the most incredible storylines in the history of Counter-Strike Global Offensive. The steady incremental climb of the Brazilians began at the beginning of 2015 with a handful of map upsets against elite level teams that had long established themselves as the best on the globe. By March, Luminosity reached legendary status in Valve’s major circuit. However, soon Luminosity had hit their ceiling. While they had accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time, they had exhausted their resources. The system was in place, but the firepower required to reach the next level was lacking. Marcelo “coldzera” David would become the mechanism by which Luminosity could reach new heights. The versatility and pure star power that coldzera brought to the table propelled Luminosity towards true greatness.

Trial By Fire

Marcelo “coldzera” David joined Luminosity in July of 2015 after the Brazilians had reached a period of stasis. Luminosity certainly had plenty to be proud of, but they had reached their limits and it was apparent they were in need of a change that could elevate their play. While coldzera was considered an up-and-coming talent by many in the Brazilian scene, he was widely unknown to the rest of the world. Upon his acquisition, team captain Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo commented that he felt coldzera was an “awesome player” who could optimize the team’s style through his diverse skillset as well as his knowledge of the game. FalleN also felt that coldzera’s dedication and extreme desire to win would revitalize the team’s drive to succeed. While Luminosity was confident coldzera possessed the talent to push Luminosity forward, he was certainly highly inexperienced. With little time to spare, coldzera would be immediately thrusted onto the biggest stage Counter-Strike Global Offensive had seen at the time: the major at ESL One Cologne 2015.

During the group stage, coldzera quickly silenced any doubters by putting up incredible numbers against Kinguin and going toe to toe with the most skilled players in the international scene housed at EnVyUS in an overtime loss. Against Flipsid3, coldzera again led the charge when it came to fragging in a double overtime game that saw Luminosity reaching the playoffs. In the quarter finals, Luminosity found themselves pitted against fnatic, the world’s best team. While fnatic managed to defeat Luminosity in a 0-2 series, Luminosity put up quite a fight with coldzera once more having a solid individual performance. It was a truly bold statement from a player who had never before competed in an international competition, let alone a tournament that carried the prestige that only a major can claim. The success coldzera reached in his debut at an event of this stature is unparalleled in CS:GO. It was already clear at this point that coldzera was something special.

Forging Greatness

Throughout the rest of 2015, coldzera continued to assert himself as one of the most outstanding rookies in the game and becoming the breakout player of the year.  Luminosity dominated the North American leagues and continued to post up good results overseas with coldzera becoming the clear star player for the team. At the next Valve major at Cluj-Napoca, Luminosity topped their group with wins over Cloud9 and fnatic. Luminosity had finally taken a big win over the best team in the world and coldzera would prove to be a key factor in getting the job done.  In the playoffs, Luminosity met a new challenge in the form of Natus Vincere, a team that would become their nemesis. Together these two teams formed one of the biggest rivalries CS:GO has ever seen. This time around Natus Vincere would prove to be the victors; however, Luminosity at the very least maintained their legendary status and coldzera maintained his status as a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Soon, Luminosity underwent more changes and reached their first final at the FACEIT Stage 3 Finals at DreamHack Winter 2015. Here, Luminosity toppled over several of the world’s best teams such as EnVyUS, NiP, and Astralis to again meet fnatic. Luminosity was able to take a map off fnatic on train, however they still were bested in the end, having to settle for second place.  Again, Luminosity hadreached a new level of play, and again coldzera put up a phenomenal performance.

As 2015 came to a close, coldzera now had two Valve major top eight finishes, a grand finals appearance, and several more accolades under his belt. During his rise in 2015, coldzera never ended an event in the red, consistently putting up impressive numbers and having an extensive impact on the game. At times coldzera’s performances were nothing short of mind blowing. A player, who seemingly came out of nowhere, was now challenging established superstars who had been around since the birth of the game. In a matter of months, Coldzera had climbed to the top of the ladder of professional CS:GO in spectacular fashion. He would only be denied a top player ranking by virtue of having not played enough tournaments, a hurdle he would soar over in 2016.

A Place Among the Stars

To kick off 2016, coldzera carried Luminosity to another top four finish at the SL i-League StarSeries XIV Finals.  Here, coldzera displayed a ridiculous level of consistency, putting up at least twenty kills a game for six of the seven games his team played in the event. His performance led Luminosity to wins over the former G2, Natus Vincere, and a close series against fnatic in the semifinals. A week later, at DreamHack Leipzig, it was coldzera topping the board for Luminosity as they made their way to yet another finals appearance.  Along the way coldzera again displayed a dumbfounding level of stability against the likes of SK, FaZe, and Astralis.  In the finals, Luminosity met their rivals Natus Vincere. Both maps went into overtime with coldzera continuing to perform well, though Natus Vincere were able to take the title, leaving Luminosity with another second place finish.

Just a couple of months later Luminosity headed into their next Valve major, this time on North American soil at MLG Columbus.  In the group stage, Luminosity breezed past mousesports and NiP to once again reach the quarterfinals. As usual, coldzera looked in monstrous form. As he entered into the match against Virtus Pro he didn’t even come close to cooling off. Luminosity defeated Virtus Pro 2-1 as coldzera crushed his opposition with ease. In the semifinals, Luminosity faced off against Team Liquid. Both games went into overtime, but Luminosity found themselves the victors with coldzera now building an insane amount of momentum, continuing to build up his play to a staggering degree. In the grand finale, Luminosity again met Natus Vincere. The Brazilians struggled at first but managed to take the first map in overtime. In the second map, it was a completely different affair which found Luminosity absolutely dismantling their opponents. They had finally done it. Luminosity found themselves hoisting up the trophy at the end this time around, becoming the first non-European team to win a Valve major.

Coldzera ended the event with a +84 k/d ratio, having cleared twenty kills in every game he played outside of the final map versus Natus Vincere when there hadn’t even been enough time to reach a high number of frags. It was clear coldzera had reached his final form, having the best performance of his career and having done it on the world’s biggest stage no less. It was his masterpiece, the magnum opus of a true maestro of the game.

Defining Coldzera

Coldzera truly is one of the most versatile players CS:GO has ever seen. On some maps (particularly mirage, cobblestone, and overpass), coldzera plays a huge role in gaining map control and opening up bombsites on the offensive side of the map. However, in certain tactics coldzera my find himself setting up to cut off rotations and therefore is put in clutch situations to close out rounds for his team. Coldzera also serves as Luminosity’s secondary AWPer where he also proves to be highly effective with his superior positioning and extreme accuracy. Outside of his skills as a deadly aimer, coldzera also helps lead the team. While FalleN and zews are the primary strategists for Luminosity, coldzera often times gives valuable input and even at times calls for rounds to aid in Luminosity’s ability to adapt to the game. Coldzera is certainly a one of a kind talent. His diverse abilities are unmatched and he has had enormous success in an incredibly short amount of time, especially considering his origins lie in complete obscurity. No matter what situation he is put in, you can always count on coldzera to make the right decision and deliver a high volume of big plays. There is no doubt that coldzera will be among the top players competing in ELEAGUE.