The "mystery" was finally revealed. After a long period of speculation, Made in Brazil (MIBR) finally made official the signing of five Counter-Strike players who had previously made up SK Gaming. The announcement came during an event in Sao Paulo, on Saturday.
"Brazil is incredibly passionate about esports, and this acquisition allows us to further foster esports growth in what we believe is still a relatively untapped market in Brazil and throughout South America," Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals and MIBR, said in a press release. "The MIBR brand creates a direct link to Brazil's national pride and sports and entertainment culture. We are eager to invest in the Brazilian esports scene and to create a platform for the region's amazing professional esports talent to continue to excel and dominate."
This will be the first MIBR Counter-Strike lineup since the team ceased its activities in 2012. Made in Brazil also is the second Brazilian Counter-Strike squad that the Immortals organization has managed.
The quintet's premiere in the new organization will take place at ESL One Cologne, July 3-8 in Cologne, Germany.
The transfer of Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and teammates to another organization has been a topic in backstage conversations since August, when the speculation of a departure from SK Gaming began. At the time, Immortals, owner of MIBR, already was the favorite to acquire the Brazilian team.
Sources linked to the players said that "about eight proposals" had been made since then -- all with SK's involvement, which already was aware that the team could lose the players without compensation if it didn't present a good proposal to them.
With the relationship between the German-based SK organization and the US-based team members frayed, a renewal with SK became increasingly difficult, and the players eventually chose to sign with Immortals.
Made in Brazil was founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Paulo "pvell" Velloso, who decided to bet on his son's Counter-Strike team, and MIBR quickly became the leading esports organization in Brazil.
From 2003 to 2009, the team was Counter-Strike's main national force, collecting national and international titles -- such as ESWC 2006, the first major won by a Brazilian -- and transforming newcomers like Raphael "cogu" Camargo and Lincoln "fnx" Lau into nationally known players.
A return from MIBR was floated in 2016, but the project ended up not working out. Last year, the team returned to the spotlight after the first news of MIBR brand's purchase by Immortals. Since then, the expectation has only grown. Whinston visited Brazil on a few occasions but declined to give more details on the investments in the country.
Translated by Daniela Rigon, ESPN Brazil