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"Just stay calm and do your job when pressure is happening." - MIBR heat

The majority of the high points of VALORANT Champions Tour Americas 2023 have taken place during the matches between two South American teams, and MIBR’s match against ​​KRÜ Esports last Sunday was no exception. Both teams entered the bout at 0-1 after respective losses to Brazilian sides LOUD and FURIA Esports, but when the dust settled, MIBR joined their countrymen in the win column after defeating KRÜ by a 2-1 map score.

As indicated by the score line, the match was extremely competitive. MIBR dropped the first map, Ascent, to KRÜ 13-9, but took Lotus on the final regulation round 13-11 before scraping out an overtime win on Pearl 14-12 to win the match over the Argentine squad.

“We didn't have a lot of info about KRÜ aside from watching the last game they played last weekend, so we didn't really rely on any tactics based on that. We just relied on our own gameplay and the way we play,” Olavo "heat" Marcelo told Esports Illustrated after the match.

MIBR’s confidence in their own strengths came from the equally competitive nature of their first loss in VCT Americas. LOUD, the reigning VCT Champions and VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo runner-up, was on a 22-map win-streak against fellow Brazilian teams until dropping Lotus, the second map of their series against MIBR, 13-11. LOUD ultimately took the match 2-1, but the competitive nature of the series gave MIBR something that heat thinks is the missing piece to unlocking the full potential of his team.

“Playing against LOUD and having the matchup be so balanced gave us a lot of confidence in playing against other teams,” said heat. “Confidence is just what we needed because we know we're good, so I think that's the only thing we needed.”

That confidence was on full display against KRÜ, which saw MIBR take many rounds due to impressive individual efforts of their player. From a viewing perspective, individual mechanical talent looks like MIBR’s greatest strength as the team continues to gel, but heat has a different take on what it is that makes for some spectacular moments from the crosshairs of he and his teammates.

“Although we have a lot of individual talent, our game is very much based on us, as a collective, making sure everyone does their jobs and does them well,” heat explained. “We've become better as individuals because we play well together. We do play very well individually, but the focus is on playing well as a team.”

This level of focus was not something MIBR was able to retain during the LOCK//IN, which saw the Brazilian side eliminated in the first round 2-0 at the hands of Talon Esports. But the experience gained through the event has helped MIBR grow in an important aspect of their approach to competitive play, and that progress has continued through the first two weeks of VCT Americas.

“We've been getting better at keeping calm during stressful situations,” heat said. “I think that's the biggest thing we learned from the LOCK//IN -- just stay calm and do your job when pressure is happening.”

MIBR will look to keep it rolling in their next match against North American powerhouse NRG on Saturday, April 15 at 3:00pm PT. 

Translation courtesy of Aldemir Ferreira