Team Liquid will trade rifler Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and head coach Wilton "zews" Prado to Made in Brazil in return for Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, sources close to the teams and the players told ESPN.
MIBR are also looking for a new home for Tarik "tarik" Celik as the team looks to return to a full Brazilian roster similar to their previous iterations, sources said. With the move, TACO and Zews will reunite with former teammates Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, Marcelo "coldzera" David and Fernando "fer" Alvarenga. Those five have previously worked together under the Luminosity Gaming and SK Gaming banners. Team Liquid declined to comment when reached by ESPN, and MIBR did not respond to a request for comment.
The changes to both teams come after Team Liquid ended their year consistently falling to Astralis, who they competed against in a number of premier event finals this year. MIBR have also struggled to take a premier event championship this year. Team Liquid ended the recent ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals in Odense, Denmark, in second, while MiBR took third-fourth after falling to Liquid in the semifinals.
The majority of the year has proven tumultuous for Stewie and Tarik, the first two Americans who have competed with the core of the MIBR. After winning the ELeague Boston Major Championship in January on Cloud9, Stewie left in March to join then SK Gaming, whose roster was later acquired by Immortals and rebranded as MIBR. Tarik, a fellow member of the Cloud9 championship-winning team, moved to MIBR in July.
TACO and zews won two major championships with FalleN, coldzera and fer, while competing with Luminosity and SK Gaming in 2016. They defeated Natus Vincere in the final of the MLG Columbus Major Championship in April 2016. They also won the ESL Cologne Major Championship in July 2016, in a finals victory over Team Liquid.