We look at the curse of the MIBR fifth and if meyern will be the player to modernise MIBR.
In January 2011, Fernando Torres completed a then-record British transfer deal in football, moving from Liverpool to Chelsea for £50,000,000. What made this so startling - other than the sheer amount of money paid for one footballer - was that Torres had been on a downswing at the time of his move. He had nine goals in 23 appearances that season, which was about half of what he’d scored the year before. Fans theorised that an impending move was on his mind and was causing the poor performances. This, however, turned out to be wishful thinking; El Niño never recovered from injuries that were, seemingly, part of the reason his Liverpool career tailed off.
How is Any of This Relevant to Counter-Strike?
SK Gaming moved to MiBR last year with the expectation - at least within the organisation - that the Brazilians would be the best team in the world. But, much like our little Spaniard in the first paragraph, SK’s form pre-transfer was sketchy. They went out last at IEM Sydney, did horribly at WESG - an event they were expected to smurf at – plus a 9-12th finish at DreamHack Masters Marseille, these weren’t the performances of a top CS:GO team.
It didn’t deter MiBR though, who spent a ton of money on the roster, and fans postulated similar hypotheses for the underperformance of the line-up under the SK mantra. “They’ll be fine once the move is complete, it’s on their mind”, and other such since-proven-wrong theories. Jake ‘Stewie2k’ Yip and Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik replaced long-stay members Epitácio ‘TACO’ de Melo and later Ricardo ‘boltz’ Prass during the transfer to the new organisation. Both TACO and boltz had formed an excellent backbone in earlier rosters,but were tossed aside for the new American toys. MiBR tried communicating in English - an experiment that they have since abandoned.
A 3-4th place finish at the ELEAGUE Major papered over the cracks for far too long. Anyone with eyes and an internet connection - who didn’t live in South America, at least - could see that this team wasn’t working.
The Curse of the Brazilian Fifth
boltz was the newest victim of the ‘Curse of the Brazilian Fifth’. SK, LG, and MiBR have consistently changed the fifth player and never the core. But, when the core is so good, why would you? Maybe the reason MiBR constantly changed the fifth when things went wrong, is that they kept getting the wrong fifth. João ‘felps’ Vasconcellos, boltz, Lincoln ‘fnx’ Lau all had issues: with style clashes, form, and personality issues respectively.
Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David forced them to break their mould. Tired of consistent mediocrity, the two-time HLTV #1 player moved on to mediocrities anew - but that’s for another article. His departure from the Brazilian core completely changed the dynamic of the team, and while he might be an excellent player, he also forces you to play around his passive style.
Whilst MiBR’s newest roster has remained underwhelming, they haven’t gotten any worse since coldzera left. Vito ‘kNgV-’ Giuseppe was his replacement, whilst Lucas ‘LUCAS1’ Teles came in to be the new scapegoated fifth. kNgV- is a ludicrously talented, if mercurial, sniper, which is an odd dynamic with Brazil’s godfather, Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo, who has always been the AWPer for the roster.
meyern to the Rescue?
All of this has led to MiBR signing Ignacio ‘meyern’ Meyer for the poisoned chalice, obviously, for LUCAS1’s role. This is significant for a few reasons - the first being that meyern is Argentinian, which could be controversial on a team called ‘Made in Brazil’.
The second, bigger, reason, is that meyern is really good. Like, super good. LUCAS1 was a decent enough player, but he’s more of a traditional support player, where meyern is a bona fide star player. MiBR have looked more solid, but they have no firepower. TACO was their top fragger in the do-or-die game against fnatic at ESL Pro League Finals - a sure sign of a lack of firepower. TACO should always be one of the weaker fraggers on the team, for it to be successful - just like old times.
I don’t think TACO is the issue. He’s a playmaker who needs a finisher; what’s Mesut Özil without a Cristiano Ronaldo? What’s Clid without Faker? There’s no point making space for a player who’s spent his career making space for someone else. That’s where meyern comes in. He’s very different to LUCAS1, and he’s able to abuse the space that TACO can help make.
All that said, meyern isn’t as selfish as coldzera. cold forces you to be his minions, pawns in his personal game of chess. meyern can’t boast the same level of control over the team. He’s exceptionally talented, and has shown flashes of this on weaker teams, shown in his ratings. He’s more likely to work with this team than any Brazilian - ironically - by virtue of being potentially the best Spanish/Portuguese-speaking player available.
Stylistically, a growing star player such as meyern is a perfect fit for this new-look MiBR without coldzera. He’s an exceptional player - not coldzera good, but he doesn’t need to be. He just needs to be better than LUCAS1, given the flashes of potential this roster has shown, without any firepower, and he definitely is. Ironically, felps would have been ideal to replace coldzera instead of being one of his little lackeys, but he has already been tried and tested.
It gives FalleN a chance to mould a new superstar, too, and hopefully bring back some of that old magic. FalleN has now led nearly the entire South American scene, and everyone knows him - except the young boys, who can still be improved and react. Hopefully FalleN can be reignited to bring a new MiBR into the future.
SK as we knew them are dead, and they’ll never be back. All that said, meyern might just be the roster move that brings bring MiBR into the modern day. If MiBR are ever to be great, this is the closest they will be - even without Brazil’s greatest ever player.