The iconic Brazilian Counter-Strike brand MIBR is back in action courtesy of Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals and Los Angeles Valiant. Assuming the former SK Gaming roster, the team will be looking to live up to the legacy left behind by the former members of the organisation.
To dig into this decision of reviving the MIBR brand and what is expected of its new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster, we spoke to Noah Whinston.
Esports Insider: Congratulations on the relaunch of MIBR! Did you feel any aspect of the reveal could have gone better or did it all go as smoothly as you had hoped?
Noah Whinston: The event went about as well as anyone could have expected. No real delays. No issues. Just a great event for the thousand-plus people in the venue and the
hundreds of thousands watching at home.
ESI: Did you feel any pressure with unveiling MIBR that you didn’t feel with announcing Los Angeles Valiant? Considering it’s an existing, already-iconic brand.
Noah: We did feel additional pressure unveiling MIBR. Launching a new brand with the Los Angeles Valiant was definitely a challenge, but MIBR combined the difficulty of
reviving an old brand with needing to retain the legacy and heritage of that brand that
made people feel so special about it in the first place. So, there’s definitely an added
pressure of being true to the history of a brand like MIBR.
“We don’t think there was a better brand in the world than MIBR for these players and for this team“
ESI: FalleN has stated that he would have worked with you under Immortals or any other brand name, so why was it that MIBR was ultimately chosen?
Noah: We firmly believe as an organization that brands, once they reach a certain
scale, should be specific to an audience. Rather than creating a generic brand that can
span across multiple games, across multiple players, and really not stand for anything
because it gets too watered down. We wanted to make sure that players and teams of
the calibre of this one played under brands that were very specific, and catered to who
they were, and who their audience was. We don’t think there was a better brand in the world than MIBR for these players and for this team.
ESI: What are your expectations in terms of tournament placements for this squad? They haven’t had the best of results since replacing TACO on the line-up.
Noah: The team is going through a difficult transition period. They’re changing the language that they’re communicating in and that’s never easy, never fast. We’ve consciously made the decision to sacrifice short-term results in exchange for the long-term results of the team.
“We’ve proven ourselves to be a process-focused organization rather than a results-focused organization“
ESI: What are your realistic expectations in the short-to-midterm for the team? Bringing in Stewie and learning a new language has understandably proved a bit of an obstacle for them.
Noah: Consistently we’ve proven ourselves to be a process-focused organization rather than a results-focused organization. That means that as long as the players are acting as they should and grinding away, putting in the hours, putting in the effort with the maturity and professionalism that they always have, we believe that results will inherently follow that.
ESI: What was it about Tinder’s offering that made you think it would be a good brand partner? The app doesn’t traditionally have any roots in gaming or the esports industry.
Noah: We think Tinder is a really native fit for the pro player lifestyle. It’s one of the very
few social applications or social platforms that help you meet people that aren’t already
inside of your friend circles or inside of your existing social networks, and that’s important for players that are consistently travelling. When our players travel internationally to play in tournaments it’s not like they have existing social networks already established on the ground. If they want to go out and experience the nightlife or find a great restaurant to eat at in a new city, an app like Tinder enables social
connections without having those pre-existing social circles.
ESI: Do you think this move will hurt the Immortals brand at all? Los Angeles Valiant is doing great things and making a name for itself, and now another separate brand has been brought into the fold.
Noah: No. I don’t think this move will hurt the Immortals brand at all.