Slingshot’s Vince Nairn talked to SK Gaming’s Epitacio “TACO” de Melo after the defending Major champions reached the playoffs of the ELEAGUE Major.
Vince Nairn: First of all, you guys made it through, have kept the legend status. I know it’s been an interesting few months for you guys, but how do you think you’ve done so far to this point?
Epitacio “TACO” de Melo: Legends spot is just the beginning of the tournament for us. We are here to win. So this is very good, very happy, because we didn’t get an easy bracket. It was FaZe, Na’Vi and Astralis, so all good teams. So we are very happy. But we are here to win.
VN: That match today was kind of crazy. You got up, and they made a comeback. They take the lead in overtime, and you win the final four rounds. What were you guys able to put together there at the end?
EdM: We started losing our CT. We were playing really well. The game was kind of OK for us. And then some shots that we missed, and they started a comeback. But we just kept calm. We just paused the game in the key round. It’s normal for us. Against FaZe was like this. We had many games. We know that situation, so we were calm.
VN: Does your experience help at that point? You’ve been in just about every situation imaginable on a big stage like this.
EdM: The experience has helped us a lot. FalleN is a great in-game leader as well. He’s always saying good things, always being positive. He’s helped us a lot to keep calm. A lot of experience we have in the last two Majors well was not easy. So I think it helped us a lot.
VN: With fox playing with you guys now, there are a lot of people saying maybe you aren’t as strong or can’t win because of that. What is your reaction to that sentiment?
EdM: It’s about team, not about one player. Our star, coldzera is our star. We have the best in0-game leader in the world. Actually, we have the first and second best players in the world. We don’t need (more) stars. We need a team. The people that say we are not strong, they are wrong. I think we are gonna prove this.
VN: What, if anything, have you guys needed to do to adjust with fox? Whether it’s helping him get comfortable in his role or adjusting anything the rest of you do.
EdM: The first tournament we played, he was not comfortable because he was just playing on fnx’s roles, and he was not playing well. He had, I think, three days to practice. Not his fault. But for this tournament, we did a boot camp in Germany, and it was very good. Fox is playing comfortable right now. FalleN knows how to use fox, and he’s playing really well. It’s really easy to play with him.
VN: What do you think of the Swiss format for the Major?
EdM: I think it’s great. I think it’s better than the last format. I think it’s the best format possible.
VN: Who do you think are the other teams you’re looking out for most in the playoffs?
EdM: I want to play against VP because I just want (to). But I think Na’Vi is really strong now. They did really well in the group stage, so I think Na’Vi.
VN: Did anything about Na’Vi surprise you in that match (Tuesday)?
EdM: Dust2 we were not expecting. I think they did some (different) strats. I’m not sure, but I think they did. I watched the demo, and I know they were playing weird. Not weird, but it was not the way that they play usually. But they played really well, and it was surprising.
Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE