TACO: "If I could give any advice to NRG, I'd say to stay humble"

Epitacio "TACO" de Melo is the first player we talked to at StarSeries i-League Season 5, learning about Liquid's communication, relationships in the team and more.

Liquid started the tournament in Ukraine on the right foot, picking up a confident win over NRG. Cache was a one-sided affair, while NRG fought back on Inferno, but still only got 11 rounds, despite winning both pistols.

TACO cracking a smile during the NRG game

Following the match, we spoke with TACO about playing Astralis, AWPing on certain maps and how the communication has been developing so far.

The last tournament you played was the ESL Pro League Finals, you got to the grand final there, played Astralis, a team that is very dominant at the moment. You still got very close, pushed them further than a lot of people would expect, but you couldn't take the title. What do you think that a team needs to do right now, maybe your team in particular, to get over their level and beat them consistently?

I would prefer to say that we should just play our game. Astralis is a really good team, but when we played against them, we just played our game, we didn't do any antistrats. I feel if we improve our game, fix the mistakes we did against them, we can win against them. Of course, they are in my opinion the best team in the world, I think in the HLTV ranking they are the best as well.

As we see, they have this tactical side to them, they make a lot of smart moves around the map. Do you think you need to outplay them in that regard, or is it more about raising the individual level of your players because they are really strong in that regard as well?

Yes, right now the individuals on Astralis are really strong as well, but what I think is beautiful to watch when Astralis play is the team play that they have. They probably have really good communication, they always make good decisions in the middle of the rounds, I feel like if they have a good start, they just beat everyone easily. But if they don't start well, I feel like they are not that strong, they are vulnerable.

Playing Dust2 for Liquid, you held the B site and you picked up the AWP fairly often. So it kind of reminds me of back when you were playing Cobblestone on SK (AWPing the B platform). Is it a similar dynamic, that you prefer to play the spot with the AWP and not rotate players around, maybe have NAF come from mid to AWP that position?

Yeah, it's something that I'm good at, I can AWP as well, I'm not bad with this gun. In this team it works that I'm holding most of the bombsites with NAF, so at some maps, like Cache, he likes to AWP B so I don't take the AWP on Cache, while on Train and Dust2 I like to AWP B. It's not something that we set up, it is just something we do because I like it, because I feel confident and comfortable doing those things.

You are obviously communicating in English now, it has obviously been a couple of months already. How has that been going on, are you confident in the way you communicate right now?

At the first tournament I played, Marseille, it was kind of scary, I wasn't ready yet. In practice, I was doing great, but in the tournament it's different, everything is different, even communication. In Dallas I think I did great because we had no problems, in the entire tournament we had no problems with my communication. We didn't lose any rounds because of it, but of course, some mistakes are still happening, like one on Inferno, I was playing arch and I went into cubby. The guy came boiler and he was the last one alive, it was a 4v1 and I started saying "He's cubby, he's cubby! -Oops, I'm cubby, he's boiler!" (laughs).

Stuff like that happened, but there were no big problems with my communication and I feel like I'm improving a lot in-game. Because the communication in-game is not the same as outside the game. We can use technical terms, in-game slang that helps me a lot. So I think I'm improving a lot and I think my team is helping me a lot as well.

Talking about your team, the players on Liquid feel like quiet, reserved people in general, and you are classic outspoken, happy guy, you have that Brazilian flair as well. So how has that been meshing so far, is it weird it any way?

They are not that quiet... maybe for people on the outside, you may think that they are quiet or whatever, but with me, we are always messing around, making jokes, they are really funny, we have a lot of fun together. But yeah, I think I'm the different one, I'm the black sheep of the team (laughs). I think it's fine as well because we can find a balance - they are reserved, quiet, and they have me, who, you know; I just like to mess around. I think it's a good thing that they have me to create that balance.

With you leaving SK, Stewie2k came in, so it was kind of reverse situation, Liquid had a Brazilian coming in and SK has an American, they had to change the communication and everything. They are obviously not living up to their expected level so far, what do you think the issues are for them?

I feel like I could never answer this question because I've never had this challenge in my life. I feel like they are improving their communication, from what I've heard—I still talk to them at every tournament, they are still my friends—, so I don't think they have big problems with their communication. They have the same problems I have in Liquid, small mistakes, but I don't think they are having big communication problems right now. They are improving their English a lot as well, and as I said, in-game communication is different from speaking outside of the game. I think they are going to get it, I think they will be perfect at communicating in English.

You played against NRG now, it was a 2-0, pretty confident win I would say. In general, NRG was really good online at the start of the year, you played them online I guess with different teams. Is there something you saw here that is different, now that you are playing them at LAN?

I can't lie, I should respect them as a team as well, they are a team that works hard, they were doing really well online, but I think playing against them on LAN was easier. I don't know why, really, maybe it's just different. Also, we did practice against them after they got some good results and it was kind of bad, they were just pushing everywhere, they were not practicing well.

They got good results online, they qualified for tournaments, but if I could give any advice to them, I'd say to stay humble, don't think you are the best team because you are not the best team yet. You can get there, you have potential, but stay humble, keep practicing, it's different playing online. I think they are a good team and they are going to get there.

Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
1013
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
#1
 | 
United States bigsex69 
next top2 NA 100%
2018-05-28 13:27
#3
 | 
Spain JasonRacism 
No
2018-05-28 13:27
#8
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
Expected
2018-05-28 13:27
#16
cry | 
Turkey IsNotFree 
expected
2018-05-28 13:29
#20
 | 
India Cutlass 
oof
2018-05-28 13:32
#22
 | 
Palestine zwe 
Expected
2018-05-28 13:33
#10
 | 
Kazakhstan Fijithings 
lil bitch be humble
2018-05-28 13:28
#17
 | 
United States bigsex69 
so you think this team won't be better than buyfnsfor200kandsellhiminstantly9?
2018-05-28 13:29
#54
 | 
Spain JasonRacism 
Of course they won't, Not on LAN at least, Also Renegades > NRG but Renegades aren't really NA
2018-05-28 15:23
#57
 | 
United States bigsex69 
well it's really hard to say rn. nrg havent done much and c9 dont have a fifth
2018-05-28 15:29
Taco with liquid PogChamp
2018-05-28 13:33
#26
 | 
Russia Sur10n 
Top 2?More like top 1.
2018-05-28 13:39
#37
 | 
United States bigsex69 
ehh, small chance for that imo
2018-05-28 13:51
Which team is top1 then?
2018-05-28 14:29
#50
 | 
United States bigsex69 
liquid
2018-05-28 15:04
#2
 | 
Spain JasonRacism 
LOL
2018-05-28 13:27
#4
jks | 
North America xdrax 
vaco
2018-05-28 13:27
Lol
2018-05-28 13:27
Agreed
2018-05-28 13:27
lel
2018-05-28 13:27
Give advice to SK next
2018-05-28 13:28
"SK needs to bring me back /close"
2018-05-28 13:29
#27
 | 
Belgium HLTVnewfag 
"disband"
2018-05-28 13:39
if they could stay cool and still had fnx and taco, it would be scary to think what they could achieve
2018-05-28 17:29
Yep
2018-05-28 18:29
#11
 | 
Czech Republic EZ_4_ENCE 
BALDO
2018-05-28 13:28
#42
Jame | 
Russia z1vver 
nt prodka
2018-05-28 14:08
#60
SpawN | 
Latvia Einarslv 
and?Its not like its his choice to begin with ....... irony probably be when you start bald at later years,wont be laughable matter
2018-05-28 17:50
#13
 | 
Philippines sup4hBas1c 
baited
2018-05-28 13:29
#14
shox | 
France KR1MEZ 
how about SK
2018-05-28 13:29
good interview. don't get mad cuz of title. read whole interview.
2018-05-28 13:29
#18
 | 
Pakistan perth 
>HLTV >Getting mad over stupid things Pick both.
2018-05-28 13:30
true
2018-05-28 13:30
I agree.
2018-05-28 13:58
#52
 | 
Denmark Menterx 
+1
2018-05-28 15:14
both
2018-05-28 17:19
#71
 | 
Pakistan perth 
Good choice. Respect.
2018-05-29 10:26
+1
2018-05-29 08:54
#28
g0d | 
Brazil L4x @.@ 
Most of ppl dont even care for the thread they just want the #1 comment
2018-05-28 13:40
yeah, it's sad...
2018-05-28 13:42
#23
 | 
Sweden s!d_xaxa 
Nice clickBait.
2018-05-28 13:34
+1
2018-05-28 13:43
clickbait
2018-05-28 13:35
nice kendrick lamar
2018-05-28 13:36
#33
 | 
Paraguay HighAlching 
+1
2018-05-28 13:45
be humble sit down
2018-05-28 13:41
Kendrick Lamar is the one.
2018-05-28 13:52
#35
 | 
Belgium BIG__DADDY 
we miss you botaco :(
2018-05-28 13:47
IF I COULD GIVE ANY ADVICE TO TACO, TAKE YOUR HAT OFF AND GO TO A BARBER
2018-05-28 13:49
Lol, I was baited by HLTV.org WP.
2018-05-28 13:52
taco svg
2018-05-28 13:56
#43
 | 
Brazil brretroze 
vacooo
2018-05-28 14:16
#45
 | 
Australia SUNSPY 
ez 4 VACO
2018-05-28 14:31
Sit down
2018-05-28 14:39
#48
 | 
Germany NiceC 
if i could give an advice to all of you, buy humblebundle. Kappa
2018-05-28 14:50
Nuff said. NRG fckign cocky onliners. Taco shut u up again . I can't lie, I should respect them as a team as well, they are a team that works hard, they were doing really well online, but I think playing against them on LAN was easier. I don't know why, really, maybe it's just different. Also, we did practice against them after they got some good results and it was kind of bad, they were just pushing everywhere, they were not practicing well. They got good results online, they qualified for tournaments, but if I could give any advice to them, I'd say to stay humble, don't think you are the best team because you are not the best team yet. You can get there, you have potential, but stay humble, keep practicing, it's different playing online. I think they are a good team and they are going to get there.
2018-05-28 15:00
#53
 | 
Portugal shark17 
yes i see
2018-05-28 15:17
stay humble rofl sick roast/10
2018-05-28 15:23
#56
TACO | 
Brazil gabriezz1 
Savage
2018-05-28 15:24
#61
 | 
Brazil XEMBAO 
sit down be humble
2018-05-28 17:55
wow
2018-05-28 18:04
Taco got good results with Liquid, they qualified for tournaments, but if I could give any advice to him, I'd say to stay humble, don't think you are the best because your team carried you to some finals. You can get there, you have potential, but stay humble, keep practicing, it's different playing online. I think Taco says too much bullshit while being tier-3 player in tier-1 team.
2018-05-28 18:38
#69
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
you always making me proud bro... Congratz again! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2018-05-28 19:17
#72
 | 
Indonesia AliceShiMa 
taco went fucking savage on NRG. GL taco with liquid, already saw good results coming your way Kendrick lamar/10
2018-05-29 13:15
Talking about being humble when he was acting like the biggest bitch ever when he was winning Under SK
2018-05-30 14:04
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
2018-06-02 12:48
#76
 | 
United Arab Emirates p1peb0mb 
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL #StayHumble
2018-06-02 12:52
#77
 | 
India TYZ4 
#StayHumble
2018-06-02 12:54
2018-06-02 12:54
be humble, sit down
2018-06-02 12:55
what a clown rofl
2018-06-02 12:56
#81
 | 
United States NA_BEST 
go back to favela please... don't need that sort of rubbish around the NA scene thanks
2018-06-02 13:06
#82
 | 
Poland Hell2k 
XDXD
2018-06-02 13:07
xD
2018-06-02 13:14
#85
 | 
Poland @Fridzu 
GG Liquid! -VeryPositiveGuy
2018-06-02 13:26
#StayHumble
2018-06-02 13:54
#87
 | 
Bulgaria vectralsoul 
#StayHumble
2018-06-02 14:35
#StayHumble 74CO
2018-06-02 14:37
#StayHumble
2018-06-02 14:42
#90
 | 
Poland Freeburger97 
stay humble you fuckin bot
2018-06-02 15:06
#91
 | 
Sweden X-rAy 
Why is everyone picking on TACO By saying stay humble he was complementing NRG saying they were good and if they kept humble they would go far.... everyone bashing on him and dont understand what he said. LOOOL stupid haters and poor taco always getting so much h8... especially this ignorant hate :]
2018-06-02 15:16
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
2018-06-02 17:41
#93
 | 
Brazil SerkanGz 
HHAHAHAHA
2018-06-02 17:50
#94
Frankie | 
United States lybrel 
LUL
2018-06-03 02:53
#95
 | 
Brazil Collee 
new meme
2018-06-03 09:17
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