‘We kinda gave up’: Why insani, MIBR, and Brazil no longer need NA CS2 to flourish

Felipe “insani” Yuji and MIBR are putting the Counter-Strike 2 scene on notice: Brazilian CS is back to its best. The squad has locked in their first offline trophy and is coming for Europe—partly thanks to the decision to ditch North America in its entirety.

MIBR followed in the footsteps of their compatriots paiN last weekend, becoming the second team from South America to claim victory at ESL Challenger Melbourne. Insani led the way for the squad, posting a 1.51 HLTV rating over the nine-map sprint to the trophy and claimed the tournament MVP title by a landslide.

The MIBR squad hoist the trophy at ESL Challenger Melbourne 2024 as confetti falls.
Insani and MIBR bounced back from day one to claim victory in Australia. Photo by Enos Ku via ESL

“We kind of gave up on North America,” insani said to Dot. “All the teams that moved back to Brazil are playing very good now: The Brazilian scene and the South American region have improved a lot since every team is going to practice there. Our region is getting back up and we are all getting better.”

MIBR splits time between Europe and Brazil now, much like their peers who have also up and left the U.S. to return home. As a result of this intermingling, the Brazilian scene is making a resurgence unlike anything we’ve seen in years. One only needs to look at the performances of representatives at the PGL Copenhagen Major to get an idea of the result of the move: Both paiN and Imperial overperformed compared to expectations.

Even Legacy, who was given little to no chance at even a single win, came within touching distance of the Elimination Stage with wins over FURIA and Apeks. MIBR, meanwhile, didn’t even make the Major—something insani is looking to correct ahead of Shanghai.

“We had changes as to how we look at and approach CS, mainly CS2—there are a lot of differences—so I think we got on the right path and focused on the right things to be a better team,” he said, adding his individual performance wouldn’t be possible without the support of his team as he works on finding his “CS identity.”

Insani, a CS2 player for MIBR, sits at his PC smiling at ESL Challenger Melbourne.
Insani and MIBR prepare to return to Europe this month for their next set of tournaments. Photo by Enos Ku via ESL

Since missing the Copenhagen Major, MIBR has torn up the Brazilian scene locally online, landing qualifier spots in Belgrade for BetBoom Dacha and Riyadh for the Esports World Cup. They fell to paiN at the Global Esports Tour in Rio, but have more than made up for it in Melbourne with their first A-tier offline trophy for the org since their return in 2018.

“We’re feeling very sharp,” insani said. “We’re talking a lot about CS and we’re evolving equally together. My individual performances are because of them; this boosts my confidence, which boosts theirs, and so on.”

MIBR fell to Rebels in groups before needing to overcome Local Hero invites Rooster to make the stage, but as insani explained, the team thrived off the excitement of the LAN event Down Under and one of the most entertaining stages in CS2.“The crowd was amazing… people were so animated, it’s one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen.”

Defeating Rooster 2-0, MIBR then negotiated a tricky Apeks lineup who floated Nuke; the team’s perma-ban. Insani said he and the squad were caught off-guard by the veto and down 3-11 facing elimination, they took a timeout to reset and slowly rebuild. MIBR did just that and then some: The Brazilians went on to win 26 of the next 27 rounds to come back on Nuke, then simply decimated Apeks in the third map on Anubis, 13-0.

“I think the T side on Anubis is one of the sides we are most confident [on],” insani said. “We know how to play it, we know how to change our game plan, we know how to adapt. When we’re winning we have the pace and control of the game, no team in the world can beat us.”

Insani and MIBR will be looking to take their form back to Brazil before hitting their next European tour this spring, starting in Serbia for BetBoom Dacha on May 14.

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