KaBuM is a name that some might recognise as belonging to a Brazilian technology superstore. In September of last year, the online retailer acquired the LoL squad and coach of Nex Impetus, a promising yet decidedly unaccomplished team, as a first venture into the realm of eSports.
Nex Impetus placed 3-4th at Riot’s Season Three Brazilian Championship before disbanding unceremoniously about a month later.
A year of minor achievements passed, and Kabum found themselves in the 2014 Season Brazil Regional Finals with a number of teams that had previously bested them when they played under the Nex Impetus name.
After dropping a match against Team awp in the Quarterfinals, KaBuM picked up their game and surged through to the Grand Final, where they faced CNB eSports club.
CNB had defeated KaBuM at the Season 3 Brazilian Championship, and more recently, in the Brazilian Champions Series. Seemingly unfazed by their dubious record against CNB, KaBuM were out of the gates with aggression and vigor, securing a 3-1 victory and a ticket to the 2014 International Wildcard tournament at PAX Prime.
All that stood between KaBuM and a place at the 2014 World Championships was a little-known Latin American team called PEX Gaming. KaBuM bested PEX in a 3-0 playoff (Mantarraya 🙁), but the scoreline belies just how hard KaBuM had to work for their victory.
The first match was a scrappy affair that could have gone to either team if it weren’t for danagorn stealing PEX’s baron in the fiftieth minute. KaBuM built on this victory and looked progressively more convincing in the second and third matches.
Top Lane – Pedro Luiz “LEP” Marcari
KaBuM’s versatile top laner has a large champion pool and an impressive ability to build pressure on his side of the map. LEP loves an opportunity to scrap with whoever will take up the gauntlet.
Jungle – Daniel “danagorn” Drummond
Danagorn is a veteran of the Brazilian LoL scene, having played for Insight eSports, Nex Impetus, and CNB eSports Club before joining KaBuM. His understanding of the game is undeniably impressive but playing in the World Championship will be a new experience for him.
Mid Lane – Thiago “Tin” Sartori
Saying that Tin plays mid is somewhat misleading; he sees the entire map as his lane, and almost exclusively plays champions with good mobility or roaming potential. Watch for aggressive rotations with danagorn through mid game and early roaming plays.
AD Carry – Gustavo “Minerva” Alves
Minerva is the most recent addition to the KaBuM line-up. He previously played with the Season 3 Brazilian champions, Pain Gaming, and is relatively new to the AD Carry role. Nonetheless, his mechanics are impeccable and he appears to have good synergy with dans.
Support – Daniel “dans” Dias
The second half of KaBuM’s new bot lane, dans was previously an all-rounder sub before being moved permanently to the support role. He is not a seasoned support player, and indeed he refuses to play the role in solo queue, but his aggressive, proactive play-style has been a crucial contributing factor in many of KaBuM’s big wins leading up to the World Championship.
To understand why KaBuM’s qualification is so significant to the Brazilian eSports scene, it is important to first examine the competitive landscape. Aided by a successful Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Sao Paolo and the establishment of local game servers for League of Legends, eSports is rapidly gathering momentum in Brazil and Latin America.
At the 2013 International Wildcard Tournament, another Brazilian team, Pain Gaming, finished at the top of the Round Robin and made it to the Grand Final where they were defeated 2-0 by GeamingGear.eu. It was a disappointing loss for a country with a passionate eSports following, but the availability of two Wildcard places at the 2014 World Championships provided new hope.
KaBuM’s victory at PAX Prime marks the first time a Brazilian LoL team has qualified for the World Championship. It is a doubly remarkable event because KaBuM did not, as many other Brazilian teams did, stack their line-ups with imported players to maximize their chances of qualifying. KaBuM is a homegrown Brazilian team and they will take the stage at Worlds as organic representatives of their home country.