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

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 Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United Kingdom iMarbot
lol, I hope we get VACO in TL :>
2018-04-14 20:04
32 replies
Netherlands Deji
Ofc he dont
2018-04-14 20:04
28 replies
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
27 replies
Netherlands Sander335
cs_summit2? Also what happened to "#runbrazil #weloyal"?
2018-04-14 20:15
5 replies
"We loyal,we friendly,we from Brazil" AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
2018-04-14 23:11
4 replies
2018-04-14 23:38
2 replies
Peru cookiesA
2018-04-14 23:44
Peru cookiesA
2018-04-14 23:44
You forgot "we smart" hahahah
2018-04-16 07:27
North America noahB_
Taco > steel
2018-04-14 20:18
15 replies
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
14 replies
Hopefully you are right I just feel bad for steel you know :/
2018-04-14 20:32
5 replies
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
3 replies
2018-04-14 20:41
2 replies
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
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
North America noahB_
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
1 reply
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
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
5 replies
You're right, my friend! Sometimes it's better to have information than a advantage in numbers.
2018-04-14 21:57
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
fnx | 
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
1 reply
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
2 replies
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
1 reply
Bro I followed them since 1.5 what do you think you are talking about
2018-04-15 07:10
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
1 reply
2018-04-17 17:55
Brazil eoteamo
2018-04-14 20:03
Andorra Octopus1
2018-04-14 20:04
2018-04-14 20:04
2 replies
Nice try.
2018-04-14 20:06
1 reply
2018-04-14 20:35
2018-04-14 20:04
Poland zJe
Taco in 2k18 LUL
2018-04-14 20:04
2 replies
Taco in any year LUL
2018-04-14 20:05
you mean 74CO the famous entry dead
2018-04-14 21:19
U bad
2018-04-14 20:04
Brazil BrunoRomio
2018-04-14 20:04
North America xAriana
2018-04-14 20:04
Taco is delicious
2018-04-14 20:05
taco the thank the you
2018-04-14 20:05
2018-04-14 20:05
2018-04-14 20:05
Try doing a positive score than we talk Noobaco
2018-04-14 20:05
2018-04-14 20:06
2018-04-14 20:07
delusion is massively strong
2018-04-14 20:07
2018-04-14 20:07
crank | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina g0c0
2018-04-14 20:08
United States Murarara
Cloud9 roster change or Liquid roster change? Which one was better
2018-04-14 20:08
7 replies
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
6 replies
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
5 replies
top 3 xd top 3 na not world, probably top 10 world
2018-04-15 00:52
4 replies
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
2 replies
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
1 reply
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
let's go taquinho <3
2018-04-14 20:08
"these stupid fucks would believe anything" zucc
2018-04-14 20:10
gl taco,hope you will win anything
2018-04-14 20:11
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
fer | 
Brazil Drezim1
rip liquid cs
2018-04-14 20:14
Brazil $anji
2018-04-14 20:15
2018-04-14 20:16
2018-04-14 20:17
taco <3
2018-04-14 20:26
SK's former support player should have been SK's former entry fragger. fix it admins, thx
2018-04-14 20:33
7 replies
Brazil _Awper
Fer was the entry.
2018-04-14 20:38
5 replies
fer was lurking
2018-04-14 20:39
4 replies
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
3 replies
Brazil akdjgladgv
man, taco was the entry and fer was the lurker.
2018-04-14 22:51
1 reply
Brazil _Awper
2018-04-15 05:11
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
2018-04-14 20:34
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
1 reply
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
who cares this ????
2018-04-14 21:04
Brazil vass28
2018-04-14 21:07
2018-04-14 21:12
foda-se no one cares retarded
2018-04-14 21:18
1 reply
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
1 reply
Iceland caverat
2018-04-15 03:47
2018-04-14 21:34
2018-04-14 21:37
Finland Smoonah
2018-04-14 21:39
Brazil wnttl
2018-04-14 21:41
Imagine if TACO wins IEM Belo Horizonte facing sk on finals
2018-04-14 22:23
1 reply
Its actually ESL One Belo Horizonte
2018-04-16 12:55
Brazil HueyNewton
2018-04-14 22:34
2018-04-14 22:59
Finland f0pZ
best meatshield in cs history lol
2018-04-14 23:10
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
2018-04-14 23:25
Brazil kurtsouza
nO FUCK REALLY?? thats teh spirit my friend.!!!
2018-04-14 23:47
good words my brother! love you <3 We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2018-04-15 00:09
ez 4 liquid, scary team!
2018-04-15 00:12
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
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
1 reply
Yeah sucks for shox
2018-04-15 06:47
C9 < Liquid
2018-04-15 00:52
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
Good interview.
2018-04-15 01:33
Poland xkhao
finishes in groups
2018-04-15 01:50
his ego seems to be a bit over the top tbh
2018-04-15 02:22
8 replies
2018-04-15 03:16
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
5 replies
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
4 replies
Carried? TACO? I can tell you started to watch CS in 2018
2018-04-16 22:28
3 replies
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
2 replies
Another retard European
2018-04-18 04:37
1 reply
Norway anMu
Ok Mr. Noobzilian enjoy your tier 5 economy
2018-04-18 12:22
I feel bad for steel.
2018-04-15 06:46
1 reply
2018-04-16 00:24
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
1 reply
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
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
2018-04-16 17:47
2018-04-16 22:17
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