Fans have speculated about how the arrival of a traditional AWPer like HEN1 will have on the team, whose high-intensity style initially took the scene by storm but has proved somewhat ineffective in recent months.
In this interview, conducted during FURIA‘s bootcamp in Malmö, the Brazilian in-game leader discusses replacing ableJ with HEN1, the impact that this change will have on the team and on his own role, the squad’s recent struggles and the criticism targeted at the five-year contract extensions.
What was the exact moment when you decided to find a replacement for ableJ? Was it something you had been considering for some time or was it a consequence of the recent results?
There was not one particular moment, the change was the consequent of months of results and not just the recent defeats. We felt the need to make a change and we decided to do it before the bigger tournaments began.
ableJ did not take part in your last tournament in the United States, the ESEA MDL Finals, due to visa problems. Was that a factor in your decision?
No, not at all.
In the interview that I did with you back at Moche XL Esports, you said that you did not think that your opponents would be able to nullify your team’s playing style. Three months on, do you still have the same opinion? What is your take on the recent results?
I still believe in the potential of our playing style from that time, that is what set us apart and that helped in our rapid growth in the international scene. I would classify our recent results as frustrating but in a good way, because that always generates more work and more fruits.
What was the reason that you decided to sign HEN1, an AWPer, considering that you were the sniper of the team? Could you talk a little bit more about the changes that will happen in terms of roles? Will you take on a different role moving forward?
I have always played all roles in the team, so me taking on other roles will not be an issue, I will always do what is best in order to win. A lot has changed in the team, we are testing different things, so it is too early to say that we have determined how we are going to play. It is still a work in progress.
While you were considering changing a player, there was another Brazilian team with P-1 visas and that did not have contracts. How come you did not get someone from ex-Luminosity, considering you had five players with different roles to choose from?
HEN1 is very good inside and outside the game. We already knew him and we were sure that he would fit in and have a key role in our system. So we practically did not have to put much thought into it.
Will we begin to watch a different FURIA, playing more standard, in Malmö, or will you stick to the playing style that carried the team to the top five in the rankings?
To be honest, Malmö will be a test for us. We will do things a certain way, and, based on the things we do right and wrong, we will adapt and adjust until we find a pace that we can be satisfied with. We are not in a hurry.
A lot has changed in the team, we are testing different things, so it is too early to say that we have determined how we are going to play. It is still a work in progress
You have been bootcamping in Sweden before the tournament. What have you been focusing on since bringing HEN1 in?
Our main focus has been on finding a good pace, we are playing as many maps as we can to build up synergy and team play.
In your opinion, what went wrong at the Major, especially in that match against Syman? What were your goals heading into the event?
We did not play well individually, we lost many situations that, in best-of-one games, end up being deciding factors. Against Syman, besides not performing individually as well as we should have, we lost every pistol and we struggled to string rounds together. We had to play from behind and with a poor economy on both maps. Our goal was the same as usual, to give our best.
Brazilian CS is not going through a good period, with MIBR and FURIA both distant from the top. In your opinion, what has gone wrong and what will these teams have to do to put Brazil back at the top again?
There is no connection between our performances and MIBR’s, each team has its own problems and solutions. I do not think what will be necessary, but I know that both teams are working hard and putting in a lot of work towards that goal.
It is no secret that players pay attention to what fans are saying on social media. When you are faced with the criticism about the team’s five-year contract extensions, what sort of feeling does that generate? Does that have an impact at all?
No-one here cares about those toxic comments, I actually find them funny. The best thing one can do is to just ignore them.