Having joined up with FalleN and company - then under the SK organisation - in the latter stages of March Stewie alongside his Brazilian teammates would not make a swift return to form as the advocates for Stewie’s addition had hoped. A string of mediocre results entering the Summer meant that Tarik and YNk would soon find themselves on the team alongside a transition to playing under the MIBR banner.
Off the back a promising round of eight elimination in attendance of DreamHack Stockholm a few weeks prior MIBR entered FACEIT’s London Major looking to cement themselves back amongst Counter-Strike’s elite. Having fought their way through the New Legends stage with a record of 3-2 we sat down with Stewie to discuss his thoughts on MIBR heading into their quarterfinal versus compLexity.
Throughout the event MIBR has been praised on the desk for having great communication, is this something, in particular, you have been working on?
It is not something that I worked on individually, but for the team I feel like since they speak Portuguese as their native tongue they struggle to listen to communication when it is too fast or when everything is chaotic, so I try to slow it down for them and only communicate the things that they need to know, stressing the most import things.
Has the communication improved much since you joined the team?
I think it has got a lot better, nowadays especially with Tarik on the team English is coming more naturally to them [FalleN, fer and coldzera] and they are now happy to give interviews in English, so I think it has improved both inside and out of the game.
How would you contrast the inner workings of MIBR from when you joined the team to now with the additions of Janko (YNk) and Tarik?
When I first joined I had no guidance to learn their [MIBR's] style, it was hard to get the chemistry going as we were playing scrims without going over anything and they expected me to be used to their style alongside knowing the role they wanted me to play.
Nowadays Janko brings a lot of structure for practice, enforcing rules he creates, discipline within the team and if we don't follow the rules or his structure, there will be punishments. We are on the same side and trying to get back to being the best knowing that Janko is here for the greater good. Janko helps FalleN explain things better and gives guidance for a player like Tarik who just joined the team and is not used to the style.From the outside it appears that you are towards the supportive spectrum on MIBR, do you agree with this and did you come into the team acknowledging that you would be taking more of a back seat than previously in Cloud9?
When I first joined the team, I had some things to learn knowing that they played a different style being super smart at the game and thinking that I can learn from how they play. In a sense I knew that they [cold and fer] would be the star players and although I will have chances to be a star it will not be every game, yet I know that I can show up when I need to. On this team, I am comfortable with my roles and the reason I like them is that when getting kills I feel like they are impactful and can win us the round.
Touching on DH Stockholm, you guys looked great in the group stage but unfortunately due to upsets drew Astralis in the quarterfinals, do you think 5th-8th is a fair representation of how the team was performing in Stockholm?
Just think about losing against Astralis and that it has been a while since we have performed well twainst an elite team. When losing to Astralis we knew that we had lost it ourselves by making mistakes which they capitalised upon well and at this level, you cannot make these mistakes. We accepted the loss and knew that we had a bright future ahead of ourselves if we kept working the same way. We haven't thought about if we had drawn a different team how it would have gone, but we knew if we beat Astralis then we probably would have won the tournament.
Coming into your 0-16 defeat versus Astralis on Dust2, did they play as you expected and was your preparation for the match misguided?
When you watch Astralis outside the game and not playing against them, it can look so much easier but once you get in the server it becomes more difficult than it appears. I think they are definitely the number one team in the world and it is super tough to beat them because you have to be point individually and play your best as a team in order to beat them. I think they watched our demo's, and they knew how to use their nades well against us, there were so many rounds where I didn't even see anyone and just ended up on low health.
FalleN has played really well so far during the tournament, what do you think has lead to his increased performance compared to earlier in the year when he was having issues earlier in the year?
Before I joined the team they were going downhill so I think his confidence was running low. FalleN has a really tough role because he has to AWP alongside being the In-Game Leader and it important to have the confidence to succeed at both. When Janko joined the team, he said that we need to revolve around FalleN, we need to make him comfortable and if he is not confident, there is no way he will get back to his earlier form, we all agreed on it and did everything we could to make him more comfortable alongside making our game come more naturally so that he doesn't have to micromanage us and focus on his own screen.
In the quarterfinals you will be playing against compLexity, were they on your radar before the event and how do you rate them going into your quarterfinal?
Looking at a team like compLexity at first you think it is an easier game but now there are no easy teams to beat, at this Major, there have been 35 overtimes, the competition is at a really high level and it is not going to be an easy road for us.
They way I like to think about it is that every team is just a name when you look at a team like Astralis you may think that they are the number one team just because of their history but it all depends on how they show up during the game. With compLexity you can say that they are a bad team that hasn't been at the top yet but then you will underestimate them and be on the path to losing. Facing compLexity we are not going to take them lightly, they made it here for a reason from playing really well so we need to be on our A-game.
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