Following the LoL esports timeline there is one Brazilian organization, that managed to write history and set the expectations very highly to the biggest wildcard region today.
Kabum E-sports, the first brazilian worlds representant left their mark in the books of history upsetting one of the strongest European teams at that tournament.
This new era of Kabum E-sports fought their way to MSI through a certain amount of upsets this split, kind of assimilating the original course of the organization back in 2014.
This MSI will be the organizations second international event.
The first time the organization Kabum E-sports name made the international headlines was back in 2014. They were the underdogs coming into the playoffs of the Brazilian League of Legends championship. Everybody expected for the Korean players Winged and suno playing for Keyd Stars or Olleh and Lactea to carry Pain Gaming to the world championship. However, due to roster problems, Pain Gaming’s so they shuffled Lactea to the top lane and added ad carry “own” to their roster and got knocked out by CNB E-sports in the semi finals, while on the other side of the bracket Kabum had to face the favorites of the tournament.
The fans were chanting “BRTT” or “REXPEITA” as Keyd’s star ad carry would enter the stage. The fan’s most beloved personality, streamer and professional player of the region. For the time Keyd Stars was the most ambitious project, importing two Koreans and signing with BRTT was a big deal for the community and generated a tremendous amount of hype and expectations. The young boys of Kabum didn’t have that stardom behind them, they were there to prove themselves. However, not even the stars of Keyd stars were ready to handle the pressure and the underdogs of Kabum were able to knock out the strongest team of the competition. Despite everything was against their odds of winning, the team filled with some of the most talented players of that time would represent the region at the world championship. Clearly, they didn’t have a chance being in a group with Alliance, Cloud 9 and Najin White Shield.
Let’s be honest a small wildcard region didn’t stand a chance and probably some of these teams weren’t even taking them too seriously, until Kabum faced Alliance.
Until they made the impossible happen, they actually beat Alliance in one of the group stage games. The game that leads to Alliance not making it out of groups that year. So the first Brazilian team that made international history, besides a huge amount of memes.
After that successful career the team ran into a lot of problems, the roster that played the world championship wouldn’t be able to translate their success from the previous year into the new season. Often rumored a lack of discipline in the team environment and lack of practice were stated as one of the reasons the original roster failed to live up to expectations. The end of the era consisting of Lep, Danagorn, Tinowns, Minerva, and dans would then lead to several roster changes and another series of problems would show up, which the organization struggled to solve. Leading to the course of the following two years to several different rosters until the first split of the 2017 season. The team was about to leave the scene, with rumors coming up of the organization’s interest in selling their CBLOL spot and leave the game for good. However, due to a failed partnership and failing to hit the selling deadline, they were set to continue and build a roster in a short amount of time. Nobody expected that great things would come out of this, but nobody expected the outcome would be this bad either. The organization hit their lowest point, with several internal team issues, bad living conditions for the players and an overall bad situation for everyone involved. The players that lived during the whole split in a hostel stated the desire to leave and not represent the organization for the relegation matches. Vash their mid laner and their coach didn’t represent them during that time, so they brought in their sub mid-laner TitaN, the young prodigy that wasn’t eligible to play until this date due to his age. All odds were against Zantins and his crew. Even though the series went into five games Kabum wasn’t able to beat Pro Gaming Esports and would relegate to Brazil’s second division tournament.
Literally an end of an era, the end of this iconic organization.
The new era
Everybody expected it to be the final nail in the coffin, the death of the iconic organization Kabum E-sports, although it was just the beginning of a new era yet to come. Kabum decided to restart their plans and rebuild their lineup from the ground up with a big investment through the challenger series. They brought in an unknown coach from North America, which was kept in secret until the of the split and they rebuilt their roster around their prodigy TitaN. TitaN moved to the ad carry position alongside teammate Riyev together with Zantins on top lane, newcomer Atlanta in the mid lane and jungler Freire would be the final piece of this roster. There weren’t that many expectations towards this roster as none of these players were close to being the standout players of their positions in the Brazilian region.
However, all eyes were on TitaN, the young player that surprised everyone with the amount of raw talent that he brought with him. They clearly weren’t the favorites from the start during the challenger series. After all the trouble they had before relegating, fans weren’t very supportive towards the team. However, they were clearly a better team in the map play perspective. Miles above their competition in the challenger series, while Atlanta and TitaN were definitely talented mechanically. They were very organized and committed to mapping oriented play, which is not something you expect to see in a challenger series in Brazil last year. Kabum was just better than the rest of the competition in every aspect. Leading up to the finals as being the clear favorites against Iron Hawks. Leading them to fairly dominant win of the challenger series.
Right off the bat, every analyst predicted that Kabum would be the team that would go to the auto relegation this year. Nobody expected that Kabum would be able to transit their dominant run through the challenger series to the CBLOL environment. To reinforce their staff and roster they brought in coach Halier and mid-laner Dynquedo, both previously from Team Operation Kino and jungler Ranger. Again none of those players were fan favorites or actually best in their positions. They were added to fit the system. Kabum plays a very simplistic yet very coordinated map playstyle. They play around their advantages and focus on clean execution of the simple macro gameplay. What we call as a standard map play in the major leagues, is still not too common in the Brazilian League of Legends. Yet Kabum is playing one of the cleanest early games possible. Their execution of the first 15 minutes of the gameplay is right out of the playbook. Laners playing accordingly around jungle positions, not forcing individual plays and simply focusing on pressure and opening up the map. Nobody in Brazil was really prepared for it since the only team that was really clean in that department was the last INTZ iteration in 2016 lead by the coaches Abaxial and Peter Dun.
However they just got back together at Keyd Stars and still needed some time to get back to their groove. Keyd Stars and even Red Canids managed to sort it out and get into playing the standard game fairly well by the end of the split, anyways none of them managed to play it as clean as Kabum did. Over the course of the split they were able to make it up for it due to individual prowess, more experience in the late game shot-calling but reflecting the impact of Kabum it is safe to say, they played the cleanest and strongest early game a Brazilian team might ever have played. Zantins being their solid rock being consistently almost flawless, Rangers dominant vision game, Dynquedo’s laning skills, TitaN’s mechanical prowess and Riyev leadership carried the team to whole new heights. The combination of it all made them take first place in the regular phase, which gave them a direct seed to the first split finals of this year’s CBLOL.
Although they qualified in high fashion, the finals were everything but clean. Even if the first and last game of the series, they won with a clear draft, got an advantage early and definitely knew how to play out their lead, the whole series was miles away from being perfect. Kabum definitely shows they do get excited and over commit to plays when things go too well. Players getting picked off pushing too deep and getting picked off until miscommunication and miss position at contesting baron plays. They cleared showed they are still fairly inexperienced players and would not always make the best decisions after leaving their comfort zones, however they were very smart about adapting their draft in the series and if there was something to take away from it, Ezreal shouldn’t be left open for TitaN and that Brazilian weirdly prioritize Skarner in every situation possible.
So is Kabum ready for MSI?
While Kabum was clearly the most coordinated team in the whole split during the CBLOL regular season, they definitely showed their struggles after the laning phase in the finals. The team lead by support player Riyev is definitely talented but also not the favorites to hit the main stage. Kabums qualities are clear, they play out very cleanly their laning phase plans and open up the sidelines very well. However, as soon as they leave their early comfort zone mistakes start to happen all over the place. They adapted very poorly towards missed win conditions after the laning phase, the lane assignments aren’t always optimized up until sloppy positioning due to players overextending and missed perfect resets could be easily punished by a good team.
As long as TitaN keeps cool and don’t go for individual plays and the team listens to Coach Nuddle smart draft adaptations the team still has a good chance of making it to the main stage. Still, the lack of experience could be a hurdle when they face veterans like Rainbow 7, Flash Wolves, SuperMassive or a more chaotic style coming from the Vietnam representant Evos. They will have to hold on to their strong top side and play to their carries strengths in order to succeed. The good thing is the team showed really strong in terms of managing wave pressure and prioritizing river control at all times in the game. They can be ready for MSI but will they be able to handle the pressure?
(Photo Credit : lolesports Flickr)
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
About the Author:
Hello guys, Alexandre Weber also known under the ID: DrPuppet. I'm a Brazilian professional Coach and content creator since 2015, mostly focused on League of Legends. I worked with many teams throughout the years in major and minor regions, but my most known work was with Kaos Latin Gamers from Chile in 2015, where we played the International Wildcard Finals against Pain Gaming. Since then I have been studying Cinema in Hamburg and creating content on youtube and twitch, besides writing for respected sites in Esports. You can find me on the social networks under @drpuppetlp and on Twitch under DrPuppet.
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