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Fer, Felps & The Role Clash: how MIBR should fix it

Photo Credit: StarLadder

Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Joao "felps" Vasconcellos are two very similar Brazilian riflers. Both favour similar spots on maps, they like to play aggressively and seek opening kills so their teams get early advantages. They played together back in 2017 under the SK banner and long-term, the project failed. The pair clashed inside of the server, with too much aggression showing creating holes in SK’s game, and eventually the team removed felps. 

Now MIBR have reunited the felps and fer duo and I believe their role clashes will keep the team from reaching the Top five consistently.  In 2018, fer played for SK before the lineup joined MIBR, and felps was on INTZ. The veteran fer was in underwhelming form that year, but the team had lost Epitacio "TACO" De Melo, an important supportive element, which enabled fer to be at his best. 

The lineup also later added Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and Tarik "tarik" Celik, which also gave fer difficult communication problems to deal with. While this was happening, Felps rose back to the top of the second tier of Brazilian Counter-Strike with INTZ, showing again why SK picked him up originally. Both fer and felps are well-noted for an aggressive playstyle that brings their team man advantages early in the round. On the CT-side, both like to pressure the opposing T-side with the threat of an unexpected push. With elements to their game like these mastered, both were playing well. In felps' case, he played well enough on INTZ to earn the call-up back to MIBR after they returned to an all-Brazilian lineup over the Christmas player break.

In the 2019 season thus far, MIBR, with fer and felps, have had a mixed bag of results. They placed top-four at IEM Katowice and also had a positive placing at BLAST Pro Series Miami, but the team bombed out of BLAST in Sao Paolo and StarSeries Shanghai. This inconsistency has been because of two main factors - Marcelo "coldzera" David and felps' and fer's role clash. Coldzera’s form has picked up a bit as 2019 has progressed, plugging the gaps for MIBR that he left whilst playing poorly. However, felps and fer remain inconsistent. It is rare that both perform at the same time, often leaving MIBR with only four players to rely on. Even with TACO, the support player, and FalleN and coldzera waking from slumber, this has left MIBR looking for answers. A roster change is the only way to properly fix felps and fer's role clash.

Options Ahead

There are two choices MIBR can pick between to address this issue. As they did in 2017, they can cut felps, or they could kick fer. The case for cutting felps is fairly strong. 

He has been the more inconsistent of the two, and fer's position within MIBR seems entrenched. He is one of the original core from 2016 that has remained together, and that makes it even more difficult to kick him. Removing felps and adding a more passive rifler in his place could potentially help fer improve and give MIBR more balance inside of the server.

Ricardo "boltz" Prass would be a great pickup in this position. When previously with this core, the team forced him into more supportive roles that did not allow him to shine long-term. If given the freedom to play his passive style in contrast to fer's aggressive style, MIBR would benefit massively.

Yet fer is the better candidate to remove. He is 28 compared to felps' 22 years of age. Removing that ageing, waning firepower in favour of allowing a younger, fresher and hungrier felps the chance to reach the top would be wise. Then comes the issue of work ethic. Former MIBR coach Janko "YNk" Paunovic commented on how he tried "raising professionalism a little bit" during his tenure, implying the team had work ethic issues. Fer has an outdated relaxed attitude in the current era of teams needing to grind individually, and as a team professionally, to reach the top.

 Look at Astralis at the RFRSH offices, grinding away for office hours; it's worked wonders for them. Fer's relaxed style is his own, but if he is unwilling to change that then the more hard-working felps is a better choice. He's younger, fresher and willing to grind harder. He matches the fashion of players we see at the highest echelons of Counter-Strike in 2019. 

Paired with boltz, given the freedom to be aggressive once more, felps could finally show his true self for MIBR. Felps is the future, and fer is the past; that's the truth that MIBR needs to face. MIBR would have a degree of balance to the roster they lack, and it would further freshen their core. Perhaps they could maintain a top-five position in the rankings, with only Astralis, Liquid and ENCE being clear top-five candidates currently.

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