• Lukas DeWitt

zews Is the Scapegoat for MIBR's Real Problems

MIBR and coach Wilton ‘zews’ Prado parted ways on Wednesday, putting one of the most accomplished and most knowledgeable minds in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the free agency market. Moving away from zews and back into the coaching reigns of Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia makes sense for the players because he is a familiar face to the core. He coached the lineup for two years while zews was with Team Liquid and there is a sense of comfort with him. However, removing zews will not fix any of their deeply rooted problems and if management had their finger on the pulse, different decisions would have been made. The unfortunate thing is that dead is the manager for the MIBR lineup, which makes it even easier to orchestrate the entire thing.

Removing zews is not the first head-scratching lineup decision made by the MIBR core. They brought in two players from beyond their borders and added Serbian coach Janko ‘YnK’ Paunović as coach for a brief stint before moving back into a full South American lineup again. Since the core of Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo, Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga and Epitácio ‘TACO’ de Melo reunited fifteen months ago, they have played with five different teammates. The revolving door of moving parts never allows the team enough stability to establish a foundation, and zews was perhaps the only one in the lineup who could establish that.

In between his two stints with the Brazilian core, Zews coached the Liquid lineup for a little over two years. His best lineup with the organization included four of the five current members, with TACO replacing Stewie at the time. His overall record with the organization was 330-222, but 78 of those wins and eleven top-three finishes happened with that lineup. Although the team eventually split, the lineup performed its best during the second half of his tenure. After zews and TACO left, the Liquid lineup would eventually blossom into the best NA team ever. Without those two years of zews, it is unlikely we see the same growth from the Liquid lineup.

Bad coaches do not fall into the level of success zews has attained. Bad coaches do not win 569 total officials, nor do they win at a 61% rate. Bad coaches do not earn 37 top-three finishes, lift seven total trophies and they certainly do not lift two Major trophies. So if zews is not a bad coach, why was he kicked? His success in the game goes beyond the famed LG/SK/MIBR trio, and his removal from the lineup is another feeble attempt by MIBR to scoop water out of a sinking ship.

Above it all, the two constants have always been FalleN and fer. They have consistently been clear of any roster moves, and all signs point to them being somewhat at fault for the revolving door of talent. It is unclear why, but those two have been untouchable the entire time. Ear surgery and all, fer has still performed at a commendable level, and he still shows glimmers of the intimidating aggression that is synonymous with his peak form. FalleN, however, has taken a nosedive in performance, and continues to take AWP usage away from Vito ‘kNgV-’ Giuseppe. FalleN has gotten a pass for far too long because of the title he holds within the lineup. As an in-game leader and primary AWPer, he should be held accountable for his lack of impact. Instead, others are blamed and cast away for the lack of results.

Zews said in his departure announcement that fixing MIBR goes deeper than his replacement:

“The problems I found here are heavier, more complex and more deeply embedded than they seem to be, and in my opinion, the solutions tend to be more complex as well - requiring a bigger change to the roster and/or to its culture.”

That bigger change did not happen, and zews was made the next scapegoat. It is unlikely anything will change for the team until management decides to face the facts, dig deeper and make the hard decisions.

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All statistics used are from the HLTV database.