A few weeks ago, VALORANT tested out their leaderboard system by tweeting out the best players in each region. While most regions’ players were well known, many did not know of the number 1 player in Europe, Gilad “ALIVE” Hakim.
So where did ALIVE come from?
ALIVE is an Israeli player who plays alongside Team Finest and Vandal Only. Just like many players, his love for video games came from an older sibling. He’s been playing video games since his early youth, and started playing first person shooters at 5.
His competitive spirit only ignited in his early teens, where he started competing at local LANs for Call of Duty 6 and 7 before moving onto Counter-Strike. His early career was cut short however, when he had to step up into military service, but when he came back, he was stronger than ever, competing in Overwatch.
How did he start his VALORANT career?
With the reveal of VALORANT, ALIVE had no offers and was very unsure about his future. He stood his ground though and poured his heart out into the game, creating a project with his good friend. Playing against some of the best at the time, like Bonk (now Guild Esports) and StartedFromCS, he learnt a bunch but after some of his teammates had other offers and some internal turmoil, they disbanded.
However, even after the disbandment, he didn’t give up, joining a project quickly, one in which he is with currently, even telling THESPIKE.GG, “I trust and believe my teammates and I know what they are capable of. Representing my country is an honor for me, I try my best to show what a player like me can do with very little successful esports background.”
So how did he achieve rank #1?
The way he started the journey was playing ranked in 3-5 hour sessions, depending on the day, even reaching VALORANT (now Radiant) in the beta after a single week. ALIVE grinded the game, wanting to be one of the best. He was putting in large amounts of hours, trying to learn and become great at the game before even its official release.
After the official release, it took only a week for him to re-achieve Radiant, keeping it since. Usually playing in a solo or duo queue, he mostly picked Jett and Raze as he stated that “they are the easiest to carry on while still having fun.”
His number one spot was seen by many, with some not even knowing who the Israeli was, even being teased as Oscar Cañellas “mixwell” Colocho’s smurf.