TACO: "We were all nervous at the beginning of the match against Cloud9"
After MIBR went 1-1 on the first day at IEM Katowice, we caught up with Epitacio "TACO" de Melo to talk to him about his return to his roots, recreating the 2017 lineup of SK, and their shaky start at the tournament.
MIBR got off to a poor start at IEM Katowice with a 3-16 loss to Cloud9, but they managed to go 1-1 on the opening day of the New Legends Stage with a 16-9 victory against compLexity in their second match.
Back to your roots, back to a Brazilian team, what has that been like from a personal perspective after nearly a year-long experience with Liquid?
Yeah, first of all, this experience that I had with Liquid was amazing, I have nothing bad to say about them, Liquid as an organization and my teammates as well, everyone was really great to me. I have only good memories from Liquid. Coming back to my Brazilian lineup is also amazing to me because these guys taught me how to play CS and I'm really thankful to them. Now I can't wait to give my contribution to them, as well. We accomplished a lot of stuff in the past and I believe in those guys, I belive we can do it again.
This exact lineup played together in 2017, I wonder whether this feels any different to those times - does the playstyle remain somewhat the same from those times or has that long break from each other changed things?
Yeah, I think we changed a lot. felps is a new player, I'm a new player as well, CS:GO changed a lot in the last year, I would say. Not even two years or whatever, CS:GO is always changing and I think even though we know each other a lot, everything is really new for us. We all changed a little bit, but I think the biggest change was in me and felps, the way we play the game. felps is adapting a lot, he was playing for a Brazilian team, I was playing for a North American team, so we changed a lot as players and I think that's super positive because we can change the style that we always played and we can mix things up a little bit. I think we changed a lot and I think it was in a good way.
Have there been any challenges that you had to face in the past couple of months after recreating this lineup?
To be honest, there is no big challenge. The only problem for us in this tournament specifically is that the last time we played a tournament was two and a half months ago. It's still kind of shaky, we're kind of shaky, we got nervous sometimes at the beginning of the match, the first match against that we played against Cloud9, we were all nervous because we created some hype for ourselves. We're back, we speak Portuguese now, so we were really hyped to play this Major, but like I said, it's been a long time since we last played a tournament, we communicated in English for a long time as well. In a tournament it's different, we were practicing really hard, but practice is really different from tournaments. So yeah, there is no big challenge, we just need more time to not be this shaky for the next matches.
Talking about the first match, you did not seem to be able to get into the T side at all, what was really just about the initial shakes or what else did you struggle with?
First, we played really terrible this match and Cloud9 played really well. We also tried to think too much about the way they play and we forgot to play our game. Third, I would say we were nervous. Fourth, they broke our economy a lot. Fifth, the decisions that we were making were really bad. We had the advantage in some rounds and nothing was calm. Communication was low, everything was really low for us. Those were the biggest problem for me, communication was bad, we were nervous, it was the first match in three months, the decisions were really bad and that's it.
Given how long of a break from competition you had, how does that sort of a start affect your confidence?
We are old dogs, we are oldschool already in CS:GO, we are used to this even though today was a bad day for us. We are used to this, we know we can always come back. Tomorrow is going to be a new day and we're just going to reset. After the first match, we just told each other to reset, we knew what we did wrong. We had a bad start against compLexity as well, but for that match, we were all calm, we knew what we needed to do to win and we did it. Yeah, I believe in these guys, we have a lot of experience in this team, we played a lot of Majors, we won two Majors together, we know each other really well and I believe them not only in-game but out of the game. We're going to go step by step and we all are really confident that we can still even win this Major.
Is that the only thing you'd be satisfied with, winning the Major?
Actually, no, we had this talk before. Of course we have to set really high goals because this is a really good lineup, but like I said, we want to go step by step. We know that we still have a long way to walk and we are still a really new lineup. Even though we have 18 days of bootcamp behind us and we played a lot, we played over 100 maps at the bootcamp, it's still really new for us. We want to go step by step, of course we know that we have a chance to win this Major, but we also know that there are a lot of teams that are together for so long now, they are practicing for a lot of time already.
As a new team, of course we want to win a Major, but our expectations are just to have a really good tournament. If we go to the playoffs, then it's a new tournament for us because that is the moment where we step up, when we play in front of the crowd, when it's a big stage, a Major playoff, then we step up. Yeah, I would say we are going step by step, we want to win this Major, but we don't feel like 'my god, we will win this Major, we have to win this Major'. No, there is no pressure, we are not creating this kind of pressure, we are not putting this kind of pressure on our shoulders, we know that we are still a new lineup.