- The player is temporarily stepping away from competitive CS:GO
- He did not explain in depth why, just saying he needs to take time to recover
- It’s unclear when the player will return
00NATION will have a harder time in the upcoming CS:GO event as its in-game leader Epitacio “TACO” de Melo announced he is temporarily stepping away from the competitive CS:GO scene.
TACO Takes a Break
CS:GO teams have to go through their regional qualification tournaments if they want to participate in the much-anticipated BLAST Premier Paris Major. Some regions have already produced winners, while other qualifiers are still to be held. This is the case for the Americas RMRs, which 00NATION’s Epitacio “TACO” de Melo will, unfortunately, not attend.
“Unfortunately, I won't be attending the RMR and consequently the Paris Major. My future is uncertain even to myself and I'm taking the necessary time to recover and decide about my next steps,” wrote the 28-year-old player in a Twitlonger.
TACO did not give a clear reason for his stepping back in the statement. He only explained that right now he has to take a break to rethink the next moves in his personal life. “I'm taking care of myself, improving, learning, so I can direct not only my life to the right place but any decision that I will have to take in the future regarding my career,” TACO wrote, underlining he is not quitting CS:GO but just taking a break. “Counter-Strike is my passion and will always be, but now I need to take care of myself,” he wrote.
Will this Hurt 00NATION’s Prospects?
TACO has been part of the 00NATION since July 2022, joining the team when they revamped their roster following a line of failures, culminating in a failure to qualify for the PGL Major Antwerp. Things changed for the better when the 28-year-old player joined as the team’s new in-game leader. Going forward, TACO, alongside newcomers to 00NATION Bruno “latto” Rebelatto and Eduardo “dumau” Wolkmer, managed to bring the team up to No 12 in the world rankings.
However, 00NATION’s recent LAN performances have been underwhelming. Such was the case in the latest ESL Pro League group stage, in which TACO did not take part and the team had mixed results. 00NATION substituted TACO with academy prospect Leonardo “n9xtz” Santos while Marcelo “coldzera” David took over leadership duties. With this lineup, 00NATION managed to recover from a 0-2 start to clinch a playoff berth, doing so with a nail-biting 2-1 series win over Ninjas in Pyjamas.
With their usual in-game leader out of the picture for the near future, 00NATION will face some extra challenges at the Americas RMR, which begins on April 5 in Monterrey, Mexico. They are expected to go into the event with the following roster:
- Marcelo “coldzera” David
- Eduardo “dumau” Wolkmer
- Bruno “latto” Rebelatto
- Leonardo “n9xtz” Santos
- Lucas “nqz” Soares
- Olavo “chucky” Napoleão (coach)
Epitacio “TACO” de Melo (benched)