The latest and arguably, long-awaited, MIBR roster change involves the benching of Tarik ‘tarik‘ Celik and sending over Jake ‘Stewie2K‘ Yip to Team Liquid in exchange for the veteran rifler, Epitácio ‘TACO‘ de Melo, and their coach, Wilton ‘zews‘ Prado.
After acquiring Stewie2K from Cloud9 in March earlier this year, the latest MIBR roster change spells the next for the team’s mixed NA-Brazilian roster experiment. Despite also bringing over tarik from Cloud9 in July, the star-studded MIBR lineup never really reached its full potential. To date, since the roster change in March, the former SK Gaming squad have only won three LAN tournaments. However, in all three, they were considered the “top” team and none of the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, or FaZe Clan were in attendance.
Given their lack of relative success, it only makes sense for MIBR to go back to a full Brazilian lineup. Long-time Team Liquid coach, zews, should fit in nicely with the rest of MIBR. More importantly, the return of TACO could be exactly what MIBR need to give Astralis a good run for their money.
It’s still unknown if whether MIBR will make their first LAN debut with their new lineup at BLAST Pro Series Lisbon this weekend.
What Does the MIBR Roster Change Mean for Both Teams Involved?
It’s never easy to project the trajectory of a team after a shuffle, especially when both teams are considered among the very best in their game. Case in point, Team Liquid, for all of their shortcomings, were the solid #2 team next to Astralis for most of the year. Also, the addition of TACO back in April really helped elevate the team into contender status. Although Stewie2k is a phenomenal player, the question about his fit within the team is real, especially when he struggled with MIBR where he was not the focal point of the team. Considering that Russel ‘Twistzz‘ Van Dulken is still on the roster, he’ll likely continue taking a backseat.
The departure of zews is likely going to have an even bigger impact. The longtime Team Liquid coach has stuck with the team for the past two years. Him leaving puts a huge dent on Team Liquid’s chances of finally dethroning Astralis.
On the other hand, the addition of TACO and zews could help MIBR elevate back to the top and become the team that’s constantly going to give Astralis a good run for their money.
All Eyes on Astralis
It’s clear that Astralis’ current run of dominance were one of the reasons for this roster move. After suffering yet another defeat at the hands of the Danes at the LAN finals of Season 8 of the ESL Pro League, both MIBR and Team Liquid must have known that their current rosters were not going to cut it any longer.
With the Intel Grand Slam award in the bag and 10 LAN titles, including a Major, in one year, Astralis aren’t just on the cusp of making history, they’re already right on top. If they win yet another Major, their position on top of the proverbial totem pole will be unquestioned.
With the latest changes, MIBR and Team Liquid will look to try and make sure that doesn’t happen.
What do you think of the latest MIBR roster change? Who benefits from it the most? Did MIBR make the right move? Are Team Liquid worse off as a result? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.