Los Grandes: The Sleeping Giants

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Published  19 Aug, 17:25
Reading time  ~5  mins

One of the biggest organizations in Brazil entered the Counter-Strike scene on the 12th of November, 2021, with the “BIGODES” roster, which boasts popular names like Paulo "land1n" Felipe and Caike "caike" Costa. However, a club with such notoriety isn't matching that status with their CS:GO project, as the group failed to establish itself in tier 1 in Brazil.

Los Grandes is a traditional club in Free Fire with a huge fan base that charges results and good performances in all the games that the club is present. When results and titles in the major tournaments in Brazil didn’t come, the pressure started.

The whole roster was built with experienced players and no prospects, so it’s not unfair to think that the idea was to get immediate results.

The first changes

The roster recently underwent roster changes with land1n and Alef “tatazin” Pereira being replaced by Matheus “uet4z” Ueta and Vinicius “vinabEASTt“ Santos, after caike and Kaique “kai” Guidotti was replaced earlier. Michael “dok” Marques was inscribed in Los Grandes’ roster for the second RMR in Matheus “mawth” Gonçalves, by the players' request. The roster seems to have suffered a huge revolution with the organization looking lost for what to do. Since then, Denner “KHTEX” Barchfield and Bruno “shz” Martinelli were added to the team: players with a lot of history in the scene but still looking to reach the level shown in the past.

The project or not having one

Esports has evolved greatly since its inception. Talking particularly about CS:GO, today we have two types of projects. The ones still led by the players like the Imperial one and projects like NAVI and FURIA where you can see the coach and staff “order” in the team decisions, roster changes, etc. This type of strategy is the future since projects like Imperial are led by players with a historical title. Projects based on players who make decisions are the first step to failing the project. Defining hierarchies is crucial!

Los Grandes went a long time without a coach. I won’t speculate on who was making decisions and why the team didn’t perform, but Los Grandes should look to copy the methods of projects like MIBR and FURIA. Made in Brazil have a strong coaching staff with Renato “nak” Nakano and Bruno “BIT” Lima, while FURIA has Nicholas “guerri” Nogueira and Marcos “tacitus” Castilho. Even 00Nation, with Major winners like Epitácio “TACO” Pessoa and Marcelo “coldzera” David, has coaches Olavo “chucky” Napoleão and Alan “adr” Riveros, who both hold decisive roles in the project.

The first step for Los Grandes towards improvement should be to build a strong coaching staff with a coach and an analyst. Of course, finding good names to fill these positions for a project in Brazil might be difficult, but it is a crucial first step to put the club on the road towards better domestic competitions and later, international competitions.

Academy roster

In April of the present year, Los Grandes made a great decision, signing the academy roster “tree that bore fruit.” From that roster, Nicolas “r1see“ Kubitza was chosen to replace Felipe “skullz” Medeiros in ODDIK, and the team seems to be keeping their level. uet4z and vinabEASTt were promoted, at least temporarily, for the RMR. The best teams in the world have an academy to produce new talent, and the results of it are unquestionable. Los Grandes should keep this strategy and supply the roster with a coaching staff while continuing to scout new talents coming from PUGs and lobbys in GamersClub. Let them develop with no expectations for this roster because the most important thing in the academy teams is the development of the players to be sold or promoted.

The first Los Grandes’ roster was clearly missing young blood, a tendency that teams like NAVI and FaZe brought to build legacies. The team took too much time to add that talent to the team, and even when they added Vinicius “n1ssim” Pereira, now loaned to Sharks, things didn’t work out with the player staying only two months on the active roster. Young talents bring irreverence and skill, which adds a lot to a team.

A wake up too late

The Los Grandes bubble burst after the moves in the scene looked to end with all the teams being locked. Following this, Los Grandes could not take advantage of the transfer window where you can get benched or free agent players. So, the timing was terrible, with the team resorting to what remained. Besides that, Los Grandes seems not to be open to paying a huge buyout for a good player to reinforce their team. It’s difficult to convince players competing outside Brazil to come and play for Los Grandes, where you’ll only play in domestic competitions, not international. Also, Los Grandes isn’t tempting to join for players because of how unstable they’ve looked.

Los Grandes, we need you in the Counter-Strike scene. You’re a huge organization with a singular and passionate fan base. We’re just scared you leave the scene due to questionable decisions. Come back stronger, mate!

Read the article in Portuguese here