TACO: "I will never settle for anything less than winning the tournament [...] I 100% believe that we are capable of it."

LucasAM
April 14th, 2018 20:02

We start our round of interviews heading into DreamHack Masters Marseille with Epitacio "TACO" de Melo, Liquid's brand new acquisition.

SK's former support player, Epitacio "TACO" de Melo, will be on the server with a different core than the Brazilian lineup he won two Majors with for the first time since he made the leap into CS:GO's top flight. He parted ways with Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and co. after the team's poor performance at the WESG 2017 World Finals in China and joined his former coach Wilton "zews" Prado in Liquid.

TACO is still adapting to his new team

In the interview, TACO runs us through his exit from SK, the period before and after signing for Liquid, his personal ambition moving forward, and what it's like to adapt to a new team regarding both playstyle as well as communication.

How have you taken being dropped from SK? Do you think it was deserved?

It is never easy to end a cycle as long and victorious as ours. But I believe it was not that bad because it was something that I had been thinking about for some time. During our bootcamp in Germany, I had already told cold, my closest friend in the team, that, due to several internal factors, I would leave the team in case of a poor run at WESG. Right after the match that eliminated us (against BIG), I told my teammates that I no longer had the motivation to keep playing with them.

You stayed in California during the move from SK to Liquid. How has that gone for you?

It all happened very fast. During the week off that I had in China right after the tournament, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do - I spoke with my family and with close friends, and they all helped me. When I returned from China, I had already decided that I wanted to keep living in the US and to play for an American team.

My ex-teammates let me stay at the house for a few days while I analysed the offers that I got and sorted everything out. Basically, from the offers that I got, I was torn between Cloud9 and Liquid for a few days because they are both great teams, with great players. The fact that Liquid have zews played a very key role in my decision to pick them. Negotiations were always very honest, and both teams were very open and made me feel comfortable to make a decision without any sort of pressure. When I decided to join Liquid, I only had to wait a few days while the organisations tried to reach an agreement for my buyout.

How about the adjustment in-game? This is the first time you play on another team since you went pro, how is the transition going?

It is all very fresh still. I have only been practising with them for four days, but one thing that has left me very calm is the way nitr0 likes to make the team play - which is the way that I like and that I am used to. NAF, EliGE and Twistzz are excellent players, and it is very easy to play with them. It was also weird to play Nuke after vetoing that map for years.

How is it playing in English? Have you struggled a lot changing languages in-game? How is the communication?

I cannot say that it is easy. We have not had any problems yet, but I am still making some mistakes because I am not used to the names of every position. When the rounds are very intense, I still have a hard time communicating quickly what I see or what could happen. But what leaves me very calm is that everyone is really willing to help. They said that the same thing happened to steel at the beginning and that, after a short period of time, that problem ceased to exist.

Will you be playing a similar role in Liquid as you did on SK, or will we see a new/different version of TACO in Liquid?

As CT, yes. I will be responsible for every solo bombsite. As a T, we have changed a few things. I no longer need to be the one who goes first all the time. Besides, I have changed a few holds according to the team’s needs. I had been doing the same things for three years, so changing a few things has been positive so far.

What are your first impressions upon joining Liquid? Anything that surprised you particularly?

Everyone is really good here. Perhaps I was not really aware of that until I got to practice with them and look at their screens. I have been learning a lot from my teammates. I think that, with a bit more experience, they can scale greater heights and lift trophies. I am sure that I will be able to help them with this a lot.

What is your preparation like ahead of DreamHack Masters?

We have been running against the clock. Unfortunately, due to contractual matters I was not able to practice or play last week. We are focused on my adaption and on fixing the problems we have identified in practice.

Do you have any individual or team goals going into Marseille?

Individually, I want to repeat the good performances that I had in some tournaments. I want to recover my A game. Collectively, I will never settle for anything less than winning the tournament, regardless of the situation. I 100% believe that we are capable of it.

Brazil Wilton 'zews' Prado
Wilton 'zews' Prado
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.85
Maps played:
115
KPR:
0.56
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
718
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
875
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
#1
 | 
United Kingdom iMarbot 
lol, I hope we get VACO in TL :>
2018-04-14 20:04
#8
 | 
Netherlands Deji 
Ofc he dont
2018-04-14 20:04
#18
 | 
Brazil junera 
GL Team Liquid, never won anything playing 5v5 it's gonna be even more impossible to even dream about winning playing 4v6 now!!! #THANKYOULIQUID
2018-04-14 20:08
#35
 | 
Netherlands Sander335 
cs_summit2? Also what happened to "#runbrazil #weloyal"?
2018-04-14 20:15
#79
 | 
Europe H0wLinqDawN 
"We loyal,we friendly,we from Brazil" AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
2018-04-14 23:11
#85
 | 
Lithuania YungDavid 
HAHAHAHAHHA
2018-04-14 23:38
HAHAHAHAHAHAH
2018-04-14 23:44
HAHAHAHAHAHAH
2018-04-14 23:44
You forgot "we smart" hahahah
2018-04-16 07:27
#38
 | 
North America noahborel 
Taco > steel
2018-04-14 20:18
#41
 | 
Portugal FalloutCrow 
This. I love steel he seems like a really nice and chill dude but I sincerely believe TACO doesn't stand a chance of doing worse than steel. He would always be bottom fragger or second to last. The only times he "shined" was when we lost big time. TACO has more experience, better skills and a better mentality. Also he knows he has to prove himself out of SK and this is his best chance!
2018-04-14 20:28
Hopefully you are right I just feel bad for steel you know :/
2018-04-14 20:32
#47
 | 
Portugal FalloutCrow 
Yeah it was a pretty shit situation but to be fair I don't think he belongs in tier 1... He had a small good run with immortals but he doesn't really have what it takes... Unfortunate situation all around but we needed to make the change in order to ascend and maintain our goals
2018-04-14 20:34
+1
2018-04-14 20:41
#72
 | 
Austria shaakeh 
+0.5
2018-04-14 22:27
I think he could do well in a Brazilian team. Sadly SK is the only Brazilian team that is consistently playing well. If team one proved to be a top contender adding steel would be good for them. Before Immortals fell apart he was playing well. I hope he finds a team since players say he is the nicest guy.
2018-04-14 23:33
#70
 | 
South Africa DFox7 
Watch Thorins video on the situation. I think steel is happy going to another Brazilian team. He always felt abit left out at Liquid
2018-04-14 22:19
#44
 | 
North America noahborel 
Yep, he is also very used to playing the role steel played and so should be able to fit in the team easily.
2018-04-14 20:33
#49
 | 
Portugal FalloutCrow 
Exactly. I really hope he brings it. We had to make the change. I think he might even help Nitr0 with igl, make him more confident and clear headed. We need Nitr0 to step up as well.
2018-04-14 20:37
#64
HUNDEN | 
Brazil divaDo 
Steel was an igl in immortals, then he suddenly became an entry fragger, obviously he was doomed to fail, because all dumb shit people that are in this site thinks that frags = being good HLTV logic
2018-04-14 21:35
You're right, my friend! Sometimes it's better to have information than a advantage in numbers.
2018-04-14 21:57
#90
 | 
Portugal FalloutCrow 
Oh, I agree that he stepped into a difficult position. I further agree that frags aren't everything although he hasn't performed his function well enough to guarantee his spot on a team with the ambitions TL has. It is of note that he knew what he was "walking into", he knew what the team wanted and needed and decided he wanted and could do just that. The kills he gets don't need to be many as long as he is providing what the team needs in order to kill enough to "carry" him. If he doesn't he needs to kill. That's it.
2018-04-15 00:02
#97
tarik | 
Brazil shoyera 
lol just look at Kerrigan's role on faze. He is clearly in a lower level of his team skillwise. But still being a key to it cause of his in game knowledge, great IGL
2018-04-15 00:28
How is switching roles in pro teams related to a website called hltv?
2018-04-15 02:51
#120
HUNDEN | 
Brazil divaDo 
i'm talking about people that trash talk TACO, Steel and the others with the same role, 90% of the people in HLTV doesn't understand shit about their roles, and thats why they say "BOTACO" or "BOT Steel"
2018-04-15 03:19
Ahhaha I kekelele
2018-04-14 20:21
So much for our cancerous glory hunter fanbase in cs go...
2018-04-15 02:47
#118
 | 
Brazil junera 
Glory hunter? I follow these guys since 1.6, TACO has always been a bot and I always criticized him, since his 1st day on LG. I'm no FaZe fan bro, never been and never will be a glory hunter
2018-04-15 02:57
Bro I followed them since 1.5 what do you think you are talking about
2018-04-15 07:10
#133
 | 
Finland Taynz 
Now its 4vs6 cuz online stewie and BAITZERA
2018-04-15 12:22
he’s trash tho
2018-04-14 20:06
Good performance Taco Pick one?
2018-04-15 00:33
2018-04-17 17:55
#2
 | 
Brazil eoteamo 
ez
2018-04-14 20:03
#3
 | 
Andorra Octopus1 
yay
2018-04-14 20:04
#4
 | 
Brazil Oliveira_M 
3
2018-04-14 20:04
Nice try.
2018-04-14 20:06
#48
 | 
Brazil Oliveira_M 
ty
2018-04-14 20:35
#5
 | 
Czech Republic HnzS 
TACO?:
2018-04-14 20:04
#6
 | 
Poland zJe 
Taco in 2k18 LUL
2018-04-14 20:04
Taco in any year LUL
2018-04-14 20:05
#61
 | 
Brazil vicTHOR 
you mean 74CO the famous entry dead
2018-04-14 21:19
U bad
2018-04-14 20:04
#9
 | 
Brazil BrunoRomio 
V4CO
2018-04-14 20:04
#10
 | 
North America Arixx 
yay
2018-04-14 20:04
#11
 | 
Turkey YarakTARES 
Taco is delicious
2018-04-14 20:05
taco the thank the you
2018-04-14 20:05
VAACOOOOOOOOOOO
2018-04-14 20:05
#15
 | 
China NA_LUL 
ez 4 liquid taco
2018-04-14 20:05
cocky
2018-04-14 20:05
#17
 | 
Greece Theabsolute 
Try doing a positive score than we talk Noobaco
2018-04-14 20:05
#19
 | 
Norway NoregNik 
Cringe
2018-04-14 20:06
Brutal.
2018-04-14 20:07
delusion is massively strong
2018-04-14 20:07
#24
 | 
United States Err0h 
VACOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
2018-04-14 20:07
#25
crank | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina g0c0 
Shittalker
2018-04-14 20:08
#26
 | 
North America Reed7hndx 
Cloud9 roster change or Liquid roster change? Which one was better
2018-04-14 20:08
Liquid. Cloud9 lost one of their most talented players. But they still have a lot of talent and skadoodle has been playing well since they cut him and then readded him. I wish Liquid had been able to steal one of the C9 core members instead of taco.
2018-04-14 23:35
Of course you do. If Liquid had picked up Tarik or Autimatic they'd be essentially a guranteed top 3 team in the world. I don't actually know that the Liquid move was better now that Ska is staying. C9 lost talent but gained an IGL which they desperately needed. Liquid lost a support player and brought in a slightly better version. I kind of think it's a toss up based off how much C9's game has improved at least online. I mean each team brought in the "worst" player on the team. The reason the C9 move makes sense to me is it's an IGL. It'll be up to Tarik, Autimatic and Rush to really frag out though and become top players. DH will tell us a lot, although I think it won't be until IEM that we really have a full idea of what these new rosters can turn out.
2018-04-15 00:06
top 3 xd top 3 na not world, probably top 10 world
2018-04-15 00:52
#113
 | 
Australia Whett1 
They were top 4 with Steel?? Top 6 at the moment?? Easily CAPABLE of Top 3, they just need to perform.
2018-04-15 02:38
Liquid is capable of top 3 in the world already bro. NAF, Elige and Twistzz aren't that far behind any team in the world in terms of firepower. Neither is C9 really but I don't know if Tarik and Rush's ceilings are as high.
2018-04-15 07:46
I think C9 might have a higher skill ceiling than Liquid. Individually Liquid players may matchup better but as a team C9 have shown they can be better. Tarik and Autimatic are both consistent and insane talents. Skadoodle seems to be biggest variable in C9's success.
2018-04-15 23:56
Ska has always been the biggest variable. I think part of the reason they picked up FNS was so they could get someone to micromanage him. He just seems to play best that way.
2018-04-16 22:00
#27
 | 
Brazil Collee 
let's go taquinho <3
2018-04-14 20:08
"these stupid fucks would believe anything" zucc
2018-04-14 20:10
#29
kolor | 
Russia naviguy 
gl taco,hope you will win anything
2018-04-14 20:11
#30
NiKo | 
India Sishir 
FaZe vs liquid semifinal. Faze wins 2-1 close match
2018-04-14 20:11
Wont frag any better than BOT Steel
2018-04-14 20:12
FUCO is ready
2018-04-14 20:12
#33
fer | 
Brazil Drezim1 
rip liquid cs
2018-04-14 20:14
#34
 | 
Brazil $anji 
TACATION + LIQUID = EZ MAJOR
2018-04-14 20:15
#36
 | 
United States Skuter! 
DAMN TACO I MISS U BABE, BUT I WISH THE BEST FOR LIQUID AT DHM
2018-04-14 20:16
who
2018-04-14 20:17
#40
 | 
Sweden mixmixmartin 
taco <3
2018-04-14 20:26
#45
 | 
Other VeryGoodGuy 
SK's former support player should have been SK's former entry fragger. fix it admins, thx
2018-04-14 20:33
#51
 | 
Brazil _Awper 
Fer was the entry.
2018-04-14 20:38
#52
 | 
Other VeryGoodGuy 
fer was lurking
2018-04-14 20:39
#54
 | 
Brazil _Awper 
Nope, coldzera was lurking. Taco sk role was something Like a entry but he Was pretty much an bait.
2018-04-14 20:44
#75
 | 
Brazil akdjgladgv 
man, taco was the entry and fer was the lurker.
2018-04-14 22:51
#123
 | 
Brazil _Awper 
Nope.
2018-04-15 05:11
#81
 | 
Canada Yoseikanben 
He was a support entry in SK and will probabblly be support only in Liquid.
2018-04-14 23:18
You are so misinformed it’s tragic.
2018-04-14 21:17
WHEN I WAS A KID
2018-04-14 20:34
#50
 | 
India rishabhchahal 
he is a great player with lot of potential, i hope his best days are yet to come
2018-04-14 20:37
he will bottomfrag in another team ok
2018-04-14 20:49
He isn't really bad, there will be better conditions for him so let's see what future will show us.
2018-04-14 22:37
#56
 | 
Turkey Thunderball 
who cares this ????
2018-04-14 21:04
#57
 | 
Brazil vass28 
gl
2018-04-14 21:07
VACO!
2018-04-14 21:12
#60
 | 
Brazil vicTHOR 
foda-se no one cares retarded
2018-04-14 21:18
#65
 | 
Brazil Juneco 
it's bcs u ar no one
2018-04-14 21:36
Thank you for picking liquid taco
2018-04-14 21:23
#121
s1mple | 
Iceland cy_ro 
xdd
2018-04-15 03:47
#63
 | 
Spain VIKTORAL 
VACOOOO
2018-04-14 21:34
#66
fer | 
Sweden gl1iwnl 
god
2018-04-14 21:37
#67
 | 
Finland Ingested 
ResidentSleeper
2018-04-14 21:39
#68
 | 
Brazil wnttl 
KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK NT BO74CO
2018-04-14 21:41
Imagine if TACO wins IEM Belo Horizonte facing sk on finals
2018-04-14 22:23
#111
g0d | 
Brazil L4x @.@ 
Liquid out of groups lul
2018-04-15 02:10
Its actually ESL One Belo Horizonte
2018-04-16 12:55
#73
 | 
Brazil HueyNewton 
LETS GO VACOOOOOOO
2018-04-14 22:34
#76
csr | 
Brazil KorasonS2 
74CO
2018-04-14 22:59
#77
Finland f0pZ 
best meatshield in cs history lol
2018-04-14 23:10
#78
 | 
Europe ZOBOmafo 
intresting... but no.
2018-04-14 23:10
he is on cocain the last weeks or why does this boosted guy think he is a key factor for winning tournaments?
2018-04-14 23:14
what do you expect him to say smartass
2018-04-15 07:14
i expect him to shut up
2018-04-15 09:33
If u dont care then fuck off of Hltv 12yo kiddo Atleast he is a pro and has 2 majors and you are just a kiddo
2018-04-15 16:31
#82
 | 
Norway Hyggeligulv 
GODTACO
2018-04-14 23:25
#89
 | 
Brazil kurtsouza 
nO FUCK REALLY?? thats teh spirit my friend.!!!
2018-04-14 23:47
#92
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
good words my brother! love you <3 We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2018-04-15 00:09
#93
 | 
Sweden TDK Em1L 
ez 4 liquid, scary team!
2018-04-15 00:12
#94
 | 
Switzerland sovereiign 
tbh I feel like thing's worked out better for TACO. I believe SK will still struggle and Liquid are on the rise.
2018-04-15 00:17
#95
 | 
Norway anMu 
“During our bootcamp in Germany, I had already told cold, my closest friend in the team, that, due to several internal factors, I would leave the team in case of a poor run at WESG.“ Difference between cold/TACO duo and shox/smithzz, taco understood he is pulling his team down and decided to step down by himself and let cold play with better team mates instead of ruining his career like smithzz did with shox. He is 30yo bot who wants to go back to playing after more than year without a single official match (not like he was not bot before he step down to coaching role) and shox won’t be playing without him ofc. I bet if smithzz told him honestly “go dude and play by yourself in better team like faze and lift trophies we can be friends outside of the game” shox would actually listen to him but he prefers to be butt friend instead. Huge respect for TACO for not doing same thing because he could do it and keep his warm place by cold’s side.
2018-04-15 00:20
#125
 | 
Korea dev1sta 
Yeah sucks for shox
2018-04-15 06:47
C9 < Liquid
2018-04-15 00:52
#101
shroud | 
Indonesia reczyy 
ez V4C0
2018-04-15 01:15
This is the main TACO problem, he thinks he's better tham he really is... Not good change for Liquid, TACO have contantly 0.40 rating, that means nobody can have a bad game because TACO usually have.
2018-04-15 01:20
lets go, gl
2018-04-15 01:24
#104
g0d | 
Brazil L4x @.@ 
Nice another team to carry this newlbie
2018-04-15 01:26
#106
rain | 
Norway SystRay 
Good interview.
2018-04-15 01:33
#110
 | 
Poland swstk 
finishes in groups
2018-04-15 01:50
his ego seems to be a bit over the top tbh
2018-04-15 02:22
#119
 | 
Portugal raaVz 
+1
2018-04-15 03:16
#131
 | 
Brazil davidzor 
It was always like that. But the positive thing on his playstyle is that he is a teamplayer.
2018-04-15 08:24
He is a player with so many tournaments in the back, he should has this ego
2018-04-15 16:32
#143
 | 
Norway anMu 
Ye carried af by fallen and rest, good reason for being cocky like this. He should be quiet instead and thx to god he was on right place at the right time to win all those tournaments and money with such a team.
2018-04-15 21:27
Carried? TACO? I can tell you started to watch CS in 2018
2018-04-16 22:28
#169
 | 
Norway anMu 
I can tell you started to watch CS in 2016 madzilian when fallen and rest got relevant. TACO was always worst player in SK no matter which squad you pick one with fnx, felps or boltz he was always weakest link individually = means he was carried.
2018-04-18 03:23
Another retard European
2018-04-18 04:37
#171
 | 
Norway anMu 
Ok Mr. Noobzilian enjoy your tier 5 economy
2018-04-18 12:22
csgo is shit. everything is possible
2018-04-15 02:23
#124
 | 
Korea dev1sta 
I feel bad for steel.
2018-04-15 06:46
#151
REZ | 
Sweden klangoo 
same
2018-04-16 00:24
#136
 | 
Brazil _mith 
great team liquid recruitment, sought the entry of sk, good !!!
2018-04-15 14:35
taco farts hltv news it lmao
2018-04-15 14:57
Taco ruim , âncora carregada. Paz.
2018-04-15 22:10
youtube.com/watch?v=u7ECB-e_o1Q&lc=z224i.. Taco playing deathmatch, he is clean!
2018-04-15 22:52
TACO has one of the best mentalities in the pro scene
2018-04-16 00:33
Para rapaz , esse kra eh um dos piores profissionais que já apareceram no cenário mundial.
2018-04-16 01:02
TACO's mentality is on point tho
2018-04-16 02:51
#160
 | 
Lithuania DieNastyA 
C9 fans should be so happy that they dodged a bullet. Rip TL lmao
2018-04-16 07:54
"Collectively, I will never settle for anything less than winning the tournament, regardless of the situation. I 100% believe that we are capable of it." - Mentality of a champion, gl TACO!
2018-04-16 16:54
VACO AGAIN
2018-04-16 17:47
#166
 | 
Brazil Smartzilian 
Botaco
2018-04-16 22:17
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