After SK clinched first place in Group B, Epitacio "TACO" de Melo talked to us about their only loss in the groups to OpTic, the surprising results overall, and the possibility of a FaZe-SK final.
After their last match, in which SK defeated Misfits to secure their place in the semi-finals, Epitacio "TACO" de Melo gave us an interview about the loss, the group stage results, the overtime points system, and lastly the possibility of an SK-FaZe grand final.
The entire group stage was quite comfortable for SK overall, aside from the loss to OpTic - why was that such a tough match for you?
Mirage is one of our best maps and we were really comfortable to play it against OpTic. They came with new things, new smokes that we were not used to, and we tried to play in our way. Our T side was pretty good, we took nine rounds, I think. And we tried to play in our way as we were practicing because we thought it was a new meta, but it didn't work, because they came with new things, new smokes that we didn't expect. So props to them and I'm sure that was a good lesson for us.
A lot of people said OpTic like to anti-strat, was that anything that you noticed throughout the match?
I don't think they were anti-stratting. They found a smoke in connector and we couldn't have the information that they were pushing cat, so the way we were playing, we tried to play with only me on B. We didn't have that information and I was always caught off-guard. I think that was the main reason our CT side was so bad.
The group stage was backwards to what we had expected, what do you make of the results?
I think that's because some teams are kind of new, they don't really play many tournaments. The other thing is that they don't have too much information against this kind of teams. Misfits, even HellRaisers, OpTic, they are kind of new teams - Misfits and HellRaisers aren't, but they don't play many tournaments.
Maybe they surprised a lot of teams, they came with lots of practice, of course, and they came with lots of information that is easy to find when you are playing a lot of tournaments. I'm pretty sure it's easy to get information on SK, on Astralis, on FaZe, because we always play tournaments and sometimes we don't even have time to practice. So they can come with new things and teams that always play these tournaments can't.
This is not something that you haven't experienced this tournament specifically, but we've had a couple of tournaments with the new points system for overtimes. There has been a little bit of controversy regarding the system, what do you think about it?
Talking about our team, we really don't care. They used this system even in the online season, so teams are used to it. That's not an excuse, I think, it's fine, I like the system, I don't think it's a bad thing. Even if it was bad, you can't give it as an excuse, you just have to play the tournament.
It seems the stage is set for an SK-FaZe grand final, with you both placing first in the group and going to semi-finals. Is that where we are heading, something you're looking forward to?
Of course I'm looking forward to playing the semi-finals, I think we're going to face HellRaisers or Misfits. They did well in the group stage, I'm looking forward to playing against them, but of course, if we do win, it would be amazing to end the year with a grand final against FaZe and I hope we can win that as well.