Analyzing MIBR: What Worked and What Didn’t (Part 1)
Updated: Jan 29, 2019
With MIBR’s decision to go back to their old ways by reintroducing João "felps" Vasconcellos and Epitácio "TACO" de Melo into their lineup, we find a list of things to take into consideration after the ups and downs of the iteration of the team with North American duo of Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip and Tarik “tarik” Celik.
A team that has been seen before throughout nearly 9 months of 2017, felps and TACO alongside Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “coldzera” David, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, and coach Wilton “zews” Prado look to find what helped build the success they had in 2016 and a majority of 2017. In order to do this, it is important to take a look back at what pieces made them so great in the first place, as well as to constructively criticize the things that plagued their game.
FalleN is known for having led the two-time Major winning squad of coldzera, fer, TACO, and fnx under the Luminosity and SK Gaming banners. With this roster of players, he had managed to find the perfect balance of methodical, passive play and high-octane aggression across the map. This balance is what helped create a defense that was too elaborate to attack and an offense that was too well structured to defend against.
On the team’s Terrorist side, it was TACO who took early round fights head on to gain information for his team, with fer being the round’s catalyst in whether or not they gained an opening into a bombsite during their final hit. FalleN with the task of AWPing for the team, provided cover for the crew, with coldzera acting as the “clean-up crew”, so to speak, as he wiped up whatever was left once the entries had been made. During all this, fnx played either a more absent role as a lurker or a supportive role in setting up his team in whatever way was necessary to win during the mid to late-round.
Due to internal issues among the players, the removal of fnx was imminent, and it was none other than João "felps" Vasconcellos to replace him. It seemed that felps was more than fit to slot in for the veteran, as his play style had a similar lurk style to it. However, the difference between the two players is not in what role they play, but how they play it. On both the Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist side, felps was too predictable in his positioning to consistently succeed as an individual. You could see him gaining the same map control and maintaining it in a vast number of matches played, with the catwalk jump to Window on T-side Mirage to the Divider Cubby on CT-side Overpass. Along with that, another kryptonite to felps’ play style was his tendency to play in and around deployed smoke grenades.
Despite the visible issues that roster had, they were more than able to maintain their status as a top-5 team with the elite level of team play the roster still had. FalleN’s ability to work his team around the map with felps as a part of that system is what got the team over the line time and time again, winning three Premier LAN events in the team’s existence as well as landing five 3rd-4th placings. Unfortunately for felps, these results were not enough for the team’s veterans so it seemed, as they were uninspired by their second half of 2017 together after a fairly dominant streak during the first six months.
In summary, what put this team over the edge in the elite level of the game was the balance between players capable of playing not only a hyper-aggressive style of high octane Counter-Strike like fer or felps, but also those who acting as the pillar of the team in setting everyone up for success, like FalleN or, more notably, TACO have been doing for teams for nearly their entire careers. As a certain galactic conqueror once said, “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be”.