Blockbuster news is coming from the competitive CSGO scene once again. According to ESPN, Team Liquid is trading Epitácio “TACO” de Melo and head coach Wilton “zews” Prado for MIBR’s Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip.
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) December 11, 2018
This move is blindsiding the CSGO community, but for both teams, it is a move that does seem to make sense. Both teams have been struggling to find any true, meaningful success throughout 2018. Additionally, MIBR is also looking to move Tarik “tarik” Celik to complete a full Brazilian roster. It will be interesting to see how 2019 will shape up, with MIBR returning to their roots. At the same time, Team Liquid will be receiving a powerhouse in Stewie2K.
Expect the unexpected.
— Jake (@Stewie) December 11, 2018
The move to trade Stewie2K works for both MIBR and Team Liquid. Let us first go through the past year with Team Liquid. This team was boasting one of the most talented rosters in CSGO. For example, they had great leadership in Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella. Also, they would field a great trio of firepower in Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and Keith “NAF” Markovic. They were able to stand with the best of the best and were the top team in North America by far.
However, they were always coming up short against one team all year: Astralis. Team Liquid would fall against the Danish superteam six times in the past year, with five of those losses in Grand Finals of events. The one outlier event that they would lose to Astralis in would be at the FACEIT London Major in 2018, where they would lose in the semifinals. They were their biggest rival, but could you call it a rivalry when they never won against them?
If it weren’t for Astralis, Team Liquid could have had five or six more championships this year. They could have been the best team in the world. Yet, here we are, with five second-place finishes behind quite possibly, the best CSGO roster of all-time. Dropping TACO for Stewie2K was probably a no-brainer, as he has been one of the more inconsistent players on the team. Team Liquid’s entire squad is now a supercharged All-American cannon of firepower. Could this be the upgrade that pushes them into the championship picture for 2019?
Se é para o bem da nação…
— Epitácio (@TACOCS) December 11, 2018
“If it’s for the good of the nation…” TACO would tweet, less than an hour after the trade reports would surface. It seems like MIBR is finishing up with their mixed roster, and plans to return to their roots as a full Brazilian team. The team is searching for more success after their underwhelming 2018. However, we will have to see whether or not bringing over TACO will help him and the team find their form. There is already great synergy with him and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “coldzera” David and Fernando “fer” Alvarenga.
The four of them would actually win the MLG Columbus Major Championship, as well as the ESL Cologne Major back in 2016. Zews was also the coach of that championship-winning team, so more reunions are in store. The only question mark is surrounding the fate of both Tarik and coach Janko “YNk” Paunović. With MIBR committing to a full Brazilian roster, this may mean that the two are heading out of the team as well. Both teams haven’t confirmed the news, but from what Stewie2K and TACO have said, we can expect the announcements in the coming days.
What are your thoughts on MIBR trading Stewie2K for Team Liquid’s TACO and zews? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more CSGO coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.