Despite placing last at ESL One: Cologne with big expectations, Team Liquid's Epitaco "TACO" de Melo kept his head high as we interviewed him right before the BIG upset of FaZe Clan.
You’ve just had a signing session with the fans, so how was it to see everyone in Germany who came out to support you?
I think it’s great to sight of things, especially because we lost and we didn’t get the chance to play on the stage, so of course we had a lot of people that came here just to watch Liquid play and we were not there, so it feels bad, but also it feels good that we could give at this one a signing session and contact with our fans and appreciate other things.
Have you had any fan experiences out in the city or anyone in the team have anything happen there?
Yes, actually fan contact is becoming more of a thing now, especially in Brazil when in Brazil before I was in a top team they would ask some stuff, take some pictures, have us sign a shirt, and I’m glad they do that today and it’s really cool, it makes me feel important.
Obviously Cologne didn’t go quite as well as you would’ve hoped, but you had a lot of issues coming into the event, are your focuses now just for the future events that your playing in like the Premier and are you looking forward to the Major as well?
Now we’re going to have a week of practice, and I think it’s going to be really important because we need it. This tournament for us was kind of bad, and it isn’t an excuse, but we didn’t practice at all because we had some health issues. I had to Brazil to renew my visa so we lost a lot of time. We didn’t practice, we didn’t play CS, so for us I can’t say that we didn’t expect to lose this tournament because we were expecting to win this tournament. Of course when we came here we said “Okay let’s go give our best, no matter what,” because we know that even without practice we can do it, but it didn’t work, keeping in mind I knew that it would be very hard to win this tournament and it was even worse when we lost the group stage.
Now we’re going to have some time to practice and I’ve already started practicing. As soon as we lost the tournament we just came back to the hotel to the practice rooms and we were practicing since them. Now we’re going to the focus for the next tournament which is ELEAGUE in Atlanta in one week or ten days I think it is, and after that we’re going to have a break and we’re going to be practicing again to be playing at the tournament in Hong Kong and then the Major.
And final question, obviously you lost to BIG initially in the group stage and they’ve had a really good run so far and go on to FaZe Clan soon, do you think that BIG could potentially win the tournament or do you think that Na’Vi or FaZe will be the ones to succeed?
I mean, yes, everything that they have done are good things, but if I have to guess I do not think that they are going to win the tournament. I do not think they are ready yet. Like you said, they are a really good team with a really good motivation, but they don’t have the experience to go to a grand final bo5 and win, and I think it’s hard. If people watch that they are going to think that I’m being cocky or whatever, but it’s not like playing in a grand final is like a group stage in ESL Cologne.
It takes a lot of effort, a lot of mindset, a lot of things that you only get playing in a lot of tournaments, playing on a lot of big stages, and I don’t think that they have enough players that have this experience, and even us in Liquid don’t have the experience in that, losing in a lot of grand finals recently.
ECS Finals was a really big stage, but that’s the experience that we are only getting from playing in the next tournament, and the next tournament big stages. If BIG makes the grand finals it’s going to be hard because they’re going to have to win against FaZe and I think they’re going to lose. If they win against FaZe and go to the grand final I think it’s going to be really hard, but also it’s going to be really good for them because their going to get the chance to get some experience off a big stage grand final experience to maybe win the next tournament because they have to motivation to play.
What questions would you have asked TACO? Comment below!