guerri reveals plan to expand FURIA's roster: "It's the future"
The Brazilian coach says he is fully convinced of the merits of a six-man lineup after watching what other organisations have been doing.
FURIA will be moving to a six-man roster soon, head coach Nicholas "guerri" Nogueira revealed on Wednesday. The new player will be revealed in the coming months as the Brazilians aim to follow the trail blazed by Astralis, who were one of the first teams to successfully build an expanded roster.
"After watching the changes in some organisations, I decided to closely study the topic of having six or more players," guerri wrote on Twitter. "I've come to the conclusion that it's the future of CS. With FURIA's support, we will implement this in the coming months."
Expanded rosters became a hot topic in the scene in March, when Astralis announced that Patrick "es3tag" Hansen would join their team from Heroic in July. The Danish organisation went on to sign Jakob "JUGi" Hansen (who has since been released) and then Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen to build a seven-man roster with the intent of rotating players to prevent burnout. Only last week, Cloud9 general manager Henry "HenryG" Greer announced that he was looking to sign "an active sixth player" to prevent the team from being disrupted by issues such as visa problems and illnesses.
guerri has made no secret that he looks at Astralis as a successful case. In June, he praised the Danish organisation's efforts to break what he perceives to be a cultural barrier in the Counter-Strike scene, and admitted that the idea of working with an expanded roster was appealing to him.
"Yes, people can dream about that," guerri told the 'Early Game' podcast when asked about the possibility of FURIA having more than five players. "I really like that. But it's a cultural change, not a game-related change. In general, CS players aren't ready for that. You see Astralis doing that because they are at the top of the world and they are ready for that, culturally speaking. That thing about a player feeling that there will be a shadow, that at any moment they will feel pressured if they perform poorly? In football, if a striker isn't scoring goals and there is a backup, the coach will make changes.
"This internal competition is healthy for the team. And a football squad has up to 30 players. Most of the times, players like each other and they help each other for the greater good. But any player wants to be at their best to be the one playing, and that is very healthy. The player needs to understand that it's not a team plus a backup; everyone is part of the team.
"I've had some conversations with my players, and most of them really like this idea. Perhaps we won't be the first Brazilian team to do it, but in my mind we could be the team that will have the most quality."
FURIA have had the same starting five since September 2019, when Henrique "HEN1" Teles was brought in to replace Rinaldo "ableJ" Moda Junior, who remains on the bench. FURIA Academy, the organisation's secondary squad, recently finished 7th-8th in CBCS The Conquest 2020.