Image: Ubisoft/Kirill. B
FURIA Esports had been criticised ahead of the Berlin Major regarding their past struggles at making the playoffs consistently at Major, with more expected from a now-experienced roster. And so, the Brazilians shot back with a perfect six points on day one.
“We are feeling pretty confident, like this we can extract the best in each one of us and excel even more,” explained Luiz “Miracle” Abrantes, who had shared that FURIA were set to make role changes at the Berlin Major.
As stated in the interview, Rennan “R4re” has been moved back to a hard-support role, with Thiago “Handy” Ferreira playing as soft-breacher and in a flex role. And based on the first day, things are working out.
FURIA were sent to Border on both games, a map Miracle thinks the team feels “pretty confident” on despite the lack of game-time there.
“We didn’t focus on Border for this Major, but what I can say is that we focused on expanding our map pool,” he said.
The first game was over as quickly as it began, as the Brazilians speed-ran MNM Gaming and won 7-1 in a game where Callum “Neo” Humphreys complained of “nosebleeds and headaches.”
Later on, the team faced Charlotte Major finalists Astralis, who were still favorites to top the group standings despite an initial loss to Elevate. But a repeat of Border meant that FURIA defeated the Americans by a 7-4 margin to complete a six-point first day.
Miracle mentioned that the team was “in sync” when working towards the goals of swapping R4re and Handy’s roles.
“We were understanding everything that was happening in the game and communicating clearly what was happening in our screen and what we needed to do,” he shared.
Miracle also added that R4re was proud of the team’s communication in the Astralis game, as all instructions were “being understood and done really fast.”
Later today, FURIA will face Elevate in a match that could decide first place in the group. As of now, both teams sit at the top of the standings with six points each, only split by two rounds.
“I didn’t expect them to do that well against MMM and Astralis, but considering they went to the playoffs at the last Six Invitational, one could argue they have a lot of potential to show,” Miracle said of the Thai squad.
Today, FURIA have the chance to virtually qualify for the playoffs, something the team hasn’t accomplished outside of the Mexico Major and the Six Invitational 2022.
Despite their poor record at international events, FURIA are the only team to have attended all competitions since the start of COVID-19.
“We are always under the radar but we always manage to attend these events,” said Miracle. “I believe we are (heading) in the right way and is just a matter of time we conquer our first title.”