Made in brilliant

The Story of MIBR – Part 1

CS:GO
MIBR roster

MIBR (Image credit: MIBR)

MIBR is one of the greatest teams in the history of CS:GO – back-to-back Major champions and the only team that managed to defend a Major title under two different banners. Once the most dominant team and today a mediocre team no one fears anymore. What exactly happened to MIBR? Why aren’t they in the Top 10 anymore? Stay tuned to find out the whole story behind CS:GO team MIBR.

Beginnings of a Brazilian Roster

Although MIBR (Made in Brazil) is officially created in January 2018, the team core dates back to 2014. It all started with KaBuM.TD, a small CS:GO team that hadn’t achieved anything significant outside of Brazil.

However, KaBuM.TD is important for this story because Gabriel “FaLLeN” Toledo, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Lucas "steel" Lopes, Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Caio "zqk" Fonseca actually started paying together in this team. Those 5 players later went to play for another Brazilian organization – Keyd Stars. They didn’t stick there for a long time and finally, in July 2015, the famous squad signed for Luminosity Gaming while zqk parted ways with them forever.

MIBR Under the LG Banner

The real story of this team starts in Luminosity Gaming. The ex-Keyd Stars joined forces with Marcelo "coldzera" David in order to create one of the best rosters Counter-Strike has ever seen. It took some time for them, but in the end, it worked.

The first few months were hard and the team struggled in every single aspect of the game. Bad results were there and they didn’t manage to get into the Top 3 placement on any LAN tournament. Due to the bad results, it was hard for them to even get an invitation for any high-tier tournament.

On the Map! – a Cinderella Story

In November 2015, only two days prior to the FACEIT 2015 Stage 3 Finals at DreamHack Winter, the team decided to make some major roster changes. Steel and boltz were replaced with Lincoln "fnx" Lau and Epitácio "TACO" de Melo, and the team coach Renato “nak” Nekano was also replaced by Wilton “zews” Prado.

The roster created that day was composed of:

  • FaLLeN
  • fer
  • coldzera
  • TACO
  • fnx
MIBR under the LG banner

Luminosity Gaming's roster in 2015 (Image credit: DreamHack)

All 5 players later became Major winners and earned placement in Top 20 list. Coldzera was also gilded as the best CS:GO player in both 2016 and 2017.

But everything wasn’t so shiny in the beginning. With only 2 days to practice, the team went to the tournament completely unprepared with no big expectations.

"We didn't have any time to practice yet because of the recent changes but we knew each other for a long time and played with fnx since 2009. Maybe there is some chemistry between ourselves." – FalleN

The start of the tournament was a complete disaster. LG lost against Fnatic 16-0. Truth to be told, 16-0 rarely occurs in any high-level CS:GO match because one team can’t be that much better. But it happened and LG were embarrassed on so many levels.

They were humiliated and for most teams, that’s where the story would end. But LG were special – they didn't bomb out and they didn't give up at any point. Somehow, after being utterly stomped by Fnatic, LG entered into the group stage bracket stronger than before. They won two best-of-three matches against EnvyUs and NiP and got back into the Playoffs.

Fnx and TACO got along with the team and became clutch kings of the tournament. The Brazilian fans were jumping on the hype train and they believed in this team. With the fans' support, LG stayed strong and even won in the semi-finals against Team SoloMid. The grand finals were their shot at redemption against Fnatic, the team that had humiliated them in the group stage. Unfortunately, Fnatic were still too strong for them, but that tournament and their stunning performance put them on the map.

They may not have won the grand finals but they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that even without practice, their roster was one of the best in the world. All they needed was just a little bit more time to practice and build proper team chemistry.

Back then, no one knew that this roster would go on to win 2 consecutive Majors and make the impossible possible.

LG finished the year in Top 10 as a 7th placed team.

First Major Title

After 6 full months of playing together, the Brazilian roster was finally ready. They had modern aggressive playstyle and other teams didn’t know how to fight against it. With 4 great rifflers and TACO to support them, they were just unstoppable and above all else – hungry to prove themselves.

LG swept the group stage with no losses and ended up as a first-placed team. In the playoffs, the first team they had to face was Virtus.pro. LG didn’t have any problems and easily won that match, too.

The next match was against Team Liquid. That match is still known as one of the best matches in CS:GO history. The young squad pulled an incredible comeback of 10 rounds in a row on the back of coldzera and his clutches.

Video credit: ESEA via YouTube

The famous coldzera’s B defense on Mirage with jumping AWP shots also happened on that match. He was left alone to guard B with only glass-cannon AWP and zero 'nades. However, he did it in a most spectacular way and Valve later decided to mark that moment with some graffiti in that exact place.

After the victory against Liquid, LG were on the verge of making history with only Na’Vi left in their way to fulfill a long-awaited dream.

The first map of the grand finals was hard and Na’Vi fought back as hard as they could. Despite that, LG won in overtimes and went to the second map with no pressure. Surprisingly, Na’Vi fell apart in the second map and LG won with 16-2 on Overpass.

And then, that was it – LG were crowned as the champions of MLG Columbus Major 2016. The first Major title was there and their era officially began.

Brazilian Roster Becomes SK Gaming

in June 2016, the Brazilian roster participated in one of the most controversial roster transfers in CS:GO history. After the triumph on MLG Columbus, Brazilians were on top of the world and no one could stop them. It seemed like nothing could go wrong.

However, things were far from perfect. Prior to the Major, back in February 2016, SK gaming expressed interest in the lineup and reached out via email to the team. The team leader FaLLeN directed them to talk to LG's owner Steve “Buyaka” Maida but the rest of the lineup continued with negotiations. Eventually, the team became convinced they could do better in other organizations and they all decided to go to SK Gaming.

The problem was that they had already signed a contract with LG and they couldn’t go just like that. Lucky, on June 24 2016, all parties involved managed to work things out and come to a mutual agreement. The Brazilian roster was free to leave and they went to play for SK just before the second Major.

ESL One Cologne 2016

ESL One Cologne was the second and the last Major of 2016. The Brazilian squad won the first Major as LG and came to the second one under the SK banner. In other words, they were still considered titleholders regardless of their name because the team core didn’t change.

The second Major was even easier for them. Out of 5 played matches, they dropped only a single map and won the grand finals against Team Liquid without letting them reach double digits on any map.

Coldzera was also found as the MVP of the tournament with 1,37 (2,0) overall rating. That was one of their most successful runs and it really looked like not a single team could stop them... or so they thought.

Don’t forget to come back for the second part of the story of MIBR here on EarlyGame and find out what happened to this team and why aren’t they so dominant anymore.

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Antonio Kaurinovic