The finals of the 6th Season of the Esports Championship Series, thus far, has been a show with everything, but Yul Brynner. A brand new arena featuring eight of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams coupled with upsets and drama has shown the esports community that esports has entertainment value to spare.
And part of that entertainment comes in the form of Made in Brazil including their coach Janko “YNk” Paunovic and their in-game leader Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo.
MiBR turned heads at the ECS Season 6 Finals when they took down the No. 1 team in the world, defeating Astralis 2-1 in the best-of-three winner’s match giving the squad an automatic bid into the championship semifinals. And as the fates would have it, these two teams will do battle at the Esports Arena in Arlington, Texas at 4pm EST in the ECS finals.
But just how did MiBR get to this finals and what has this stalwart group of Counter-Strike players been working on in order to see these type of results. Is this a fluke or is MiBR ready to take back the mantle of dominance they use to enjoy?
“We didn’t change any specific or do anything special,” FalleN said. “It’s was about getting back to the things we know work. Because, I think before Yanko joined the team, we kind of lost ourselves.”
So what is exactly this team was missing?
“We needed a reminder of how we used to do things,” FalleN explained. “We have gone back and have learned some new things with Janko in terms of how we’re preparing during our practices and stuff like that. So it’s not that we added something special, it’s just recovering what was lost.”
Adding Yanko, according to FalleN, was an absolutely necessary step in order to get the team firing away on all cylinders once again.
“He has been a big add. Since Yanko came in, so far, the team is very focused and we have been doing a good job,” said the charismatic IGL. “Admittedly last two tournaments were not very good in terms of finishes, but all the maps we lost were close, like 16-14 and all that. But we know in the end nobody remembers that. Everyone thinks well you just lost five games in a row, but we know that if we were a little bit more lucky or further along in the process of being a team, we will start winning those close matches.”
FalleN’s words have an edge to them, a confidence regained. He’s physically fit, started a diet and now runs regularly to stay in shape. Something he was unable to do previously with all the constraints on his time. The addition of Yanko has alleviated a lot of the pressure that once weighed down the resident AWPer. He feels refreshed in body and mind which has significantly helped him perform.
“Yanko definitely helped me a lot. Mainly on studying the opponent before matches,” FalleN said. “I don’t like watching the other team’s games because it gives an influence on what I’m going to call or what I expect them to do. I prefer to look at a little bit of film on how things are going to be. That helps me a lot. Mainly when I’m playing the good teams.
FalleN attributes a lot of their recent success and that going forward to the addition of Jacky “Stewie2k” Yip and Tarik “tarik” Celik, two Americans that before their arrival to the team spoke no Portuguese. Their willingness to learn, change, and adapt to the play-style of the Brazilians has finally reached a level FalleN believes makes this team elite once again.
“I think Counter-Strike speaking, we have become very close,” FalleN extolled. “Everyone is playing the same pace. We are seeing ourselves much better right now. I will say communication is still a little bit of a problem because it’s hard to play on the second language for us Brazilians, but we’re doing much better than at the beginning.”
However, after it’s all said and done, FalleN wants to win and by winning, he means winning events–not just getting the a semifinal or final. He knows he has the squad to do it and now it’s time. No more excuses.
“Myself and this team need to see more results. If you look at our roster we’ve all been champions. We know what it takes t get there. We’ve created this team to be the best team in the world and we’re trying to achieve that. Let’s see how that goes after our final.
MiBr and Astralis will play in the ECS Season 6 Finals at 4pm EST which you can catch on their YouTube channel.