saffee: "There will be a lot of good Challenger teams, so going straight to Legends is a big deal"

FURIA's AWPer is happy his team will have an extra week to prepare before the Major in May, having secured a spot in the Legends stage.

FURIA, who come from a great showing at ESL Pro League, where they topped the group of death before bowing out in the semi-finals to the tournament's champions, FaZe, continue to show great form by taking the single Legends spots up for grabs at the Americas RMR.

FURIA pose after securing a Legends spot at the Major

After winning the all-important first place decider against MIBR in a straightforward 2-0 series, Rafael "⁠saffee⁠" Costa sat down to chat about he and his squad's current form, adapting his AWPing to such an aggressive team, and the work that has gone into making all pieces of the puzzle fit together, including more use of the AK on the T side of certain maps.

FURIA just became the one team to secure the Legend spot at the Major from the Americas. How important was that for you?

It means a lot, you know? All of the work that we put in at the beginning of the year. We lost to Wisla and people started to doubt us, kind of, but after that we made progress, we worked really hard to get where we are right now. We know a Major is a Major and there's going to be a lot of good teams in that Challengers stage, so going straight to Legends is a big deal.

And that extra week of preparation you'll have, right?

Yeah, of course, that extra week we'll have more time to prepare. These past weeks were very busy, we had to travel from ESL Pro League to here, we've been playing every day, we had one day off yesterday, but there was still a lot of stress. Now that we have some time to prepare for the biggest event of the year, it's going to be even better.

Coming here from ESL Pro League, was that a good thing? You were playing some pretty good teams there. How was the transition to the RMR?

ESL Pro League is one of the toughest tournaments because you only have good teams there. We made it out of the group of death and to be able to top the group meant a lot to us, beating Astralis and having that close game against FaZe. It kind of hurt us, but we knew that just staying at the level we had at EPL, we'd do good things here and that's what we did.

You say playing FaZe close kind of hurt you guys. Did it help to see them go on and win the whole thing?

Yeah, of course. Of course. They're doing really well lately, karrigan is a legend, what he has been able to do for so many years is just something that everyone should look at. ENCE were doing great as well, so we were happy to beat them in the group stage.

How about you, personally, and your adaptation to FURIA. What's it like being the AWPer in such a team?

It's kind of crazy. [laughs] It's kind of crazy because the system we have here is a lot quicker than what I had in paiN and I knew that I was going to have to adapt my game a lot. It was tough at the beginning but now we're trying to figure things out, and it's not just me trying to adapt to them, but also them trying to adapt to me.

There's a mutual thing that both teams need to adapt. Of course, I have to adapt more, but they also adapt to me and finding that sweet spot is what we're going to be looking for. It's nice to have these guys around, I learn a lot every day.

That's one of the things you see a lot these days, the AWPer as more of a late round player, but FURIA is an aggressive team. How is adapting in that sense? I know that was what junior struggled with there.

There's so maps I have to play really passively and just try to give freedom to my teammates, like arT, for him to do his stuff, that's something I need to adapt to because in paiN I had that more aggressive style. I also have to pick up the AK a lot more on T sides because they play so fast that sometimes you just can't AWP. Those are the things we're trying to adapt, but I think lately we've been doing good.

Are you hoping it'll be a bit more figured out by the Major?

Yeah, even in ESL Pro League it was better. I'm trying to get more and more comfortable and I just have to work. There's a lot of discussion on how we can do things better, that's the whole point. We just have to discuss things to find the best option.

You're proving that in the Americas you're the team to beat, but where do you see yourselves going into the Major itself?

We're just taking it step by step. Being able to reach the EPL semi-finals was huge for us and to be able to get those two maps really close against FaZe. We knew we could have won, it could have gone both ways.

So yeah, we're a top caliber team, we just can't stop working because we reached a point in which we still have a lot of things to keep working on. The EPL results showed we can face top teams, we're a top 8 team right now, so we just have to take it step by step, not get arrogant and work really hard.

The first day you sat down to play with FURIA, how did you expect things would go, and how is it now. As expected, better, worse?

I expected that it would be a lot of work, and that's exactly what's happening. When I was in paiN we had some matches against tier one teams, but it was mostly tier two and NA opponents. With FURIA I'm facing the best teams in the world, so the adaptation is from tier two to tier one, trying to figure things out.

Read more
Who is saffee, paiN's late bloomer?

I remember the first two or three weeks, when we were bootcamping in Serbia, it was like 12-14 hours of work [a day]. But I'm cool about it because I like to work, I like to improve, and that's the most important thing. These guys don't want to be down, they want to improve and guerri keeps doing stuff for us, he keeps the discussion going with his reviews. It feels good to be working really hard.

You had insane numbers against the lower tier North American and South American teams. How is it now, playing against top tier opposition? Is it as hard as you expected?

First of all, I have to get used to it, of course, because when I was in North America I was getting away with a lot of things that now in tier one you have to think about a lot more. oSee gave you guys an interview talking about that, and that's exactly what it is. You have to find yourself and be confident, but at the same time be cautious because one mistake can mess up a whole round for your team.

Read more
oSee: "I have set the expectation to be one of those players where people are scared of me"

I have to find that sweet spot again, if I go for a play or play more passive. I think in tier two you don't have to think so much about it, you can just go for a play and get away with it. I think that's the most difficult part. And of course in tier one you have a lot of good AWPers that can punish you, and not only the AWPers, but also entry fraggers that keep you on your feet, like 'is this guy in this smoke?' So you have to be a lot more cautious.

Now that you've put the Americas RMR behind you successfully, what has been the most memorable moment?

Getting the Legend spot, of course. We were confident coming in here that we could get a spot in the Major. Not to be arrogant or anything like that, but we had a good run in EPL so we knew that coming here we had to get the spot. Becoming Legends, that's going to be my first time playing a Legends Stage, so that was the most important moment.

Brazil Rafael 'saffee' Costa
Rafael 'saffee' Costa
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
based | 
United States Virgin Islands zj2
saffee the legend
2022-04-14 16:01
4 replies
Fake saffe real Zaffe Swedish legend
2022-04-14 18:46
2 replies
NEO | 
Europe chespiZ
2022-04-15 00:12
United States DarkFX
what in the
2022-04-15 02:45
Brazil eyeShot
God of awp
2022-04-15 22:05
United States post_poster
So EZ for furia
2022-04-14 16:02
2022-04-14 16:05
2022-04-14 16:06
nice one
2022-04-14 16:07
2022-04-14 16:07
God and best American awper
2022-04-14 16:11
8 replies
If u don't mind, care u tell me how exactly to pronounce "saffee"? Commentator pronounced his name similar to the word of "safe". Shouldn't his name sound like how we pronounce the word of "coffee". So it should be, Saf-fee. He's a Brazilian. So if u don't mind.
2022-04-14 16:31
7 replies
Brazil Elakk
here in brazil we say ''safe'', so I think it's really that.
2022-04-14 16:36
1 reply
Ty my Brazilian friend
2022-04-14 16:49
we pronounce it like "safe", yeah, but I guess we brazilians give a bit more emphasis on the "e" in the end
2022-04-14 16:46
2 replies
Ty #21
2022-04-14 16:49
1 reply
Brazil drydden
We pronounce safe normally or like the english words say fee, it depends on the speaker's accent
2022-04-14 17:02
sometimes can be hard to pronounce, so just call him GOD
2022-04-14 17:06
1 reply
That's Jame
2022-04-14 17:57
Great, One less team to think about in Legends stage
2022-04-14 16:36
9 replies
Furia would stomp G2 right now
2022-04-14 17:09
4 replies
Sorry I am not a G2 fan, I am an Astralis fan
2022-04-15 14:31
3 replies
but Furia just beat the shit out of Astralis in their last 2 matchups, man
2022-04-16 00:48
2 replies
we are not talking about Astralis, they most probably will not be there in Legends stage No point in arguing, from the start my point is Furia might be the weakest among the Legends that's it out of 16 Legends in might be good for top8 (quaterfinals) only
2022-04-17 18:44
1 reply
if you seriously think that, you neither are delusional or just can't comprehend the basics of Counter-Strike
2022-04-17 18:49
Top 8 in PGL Major Stockholm Top 4 in EPL 15 Stop baiting, NiKo's fan
2022-04-14 17:14
3 replies
U got it right I like Niko, but I know where Furia is at the moment and they are not above the Challengers which will be coming from Europe
2022-04-15 14:33
2 replies
lol, Furia is championship level team. they made it in last major playing in a lower level than they are playing right now,
2022-04-15 15:16
1 reply
You will see a challenger team beating Furia in the Legends stage. Numbers and probability shows the same
2022-04-15 19:38
Let's go saffee, I believe in you
2022-04-14 16:37
saffee >>>> noSee
2022-04-14 17:00
4 replies
why are you saying that? every1 knows. It's like saying s1mple is the best player in the world. Everyone knows, it's unquestionable
2022-04-14 17:08
3 replies
baiting NA
2022-04-14 17:09
2 replies
2022-04-14 23:46
1 reply
Brazil eyeShot
yes, but hen1 is kind of mentally handicapped, a great talent thrown in the trash for his stupid decisions...
2022-04-15 22:08
he's adapting fast!
2022-04-14 17:14
Furia was handed legends stage, it’s not really fair if you ask me
2022-04-14 19:44
10 replies
United States charybids
How were they "handed" Legends? They haven't lost a map in this RMR and the previous RMR NA has a Legends spot to begin with, only because of Furia
2022-04-14 21:08
2 replies
Brazil ovomexido
2022-04-14 23:52
Brazil eyeShot
2022-04-15 22:09
"handed" lmao they literally didn't drop a single map, its not their fault the entire region are sucks.
2022-04-14 23:56
1 reply
Brazil eyeShot
2022-04-15 22:09
Brazil eyeShot
dude, wake up, what world do you live in?!
2022-04-15 22:10
4 replies
look at the teams they had to play
2022-04-16 01:06
3 replies
Brazil eyeShot
it was the games that were drawn for them, what blame they had?!... you're demeaning the South American and North American scenario speaking that way but ok...
2022-04-16 01:56
the last 2 games they've played were against 2 of the 4 better teams on the RMR
2022-04-16 02:01
You act like NA team had hard schedule as well, its not Furia fault that EG are sucks, Col are so-so and Liquid lost to b00tnation so they can't meet Furia in the 1-2 place decider.
2022-04-16 08:34
Brazil eyeShot
saffee, one of the best AWPers brazil has produced recently, good luck handsome...👍🏻🤙🏻
2022-04-14 21:12
2 replies
Netherlands arTvamp
Im glad that out of the american teams its Furia taking a spot in the group stage. either them or liquid otherwise it would be shit for the group stage raffle. but in all honesty … Furia just Furia!
2022-04-15 10:41
1 reply
Brazil eyeShot
2022-04-15 15:24
saffee is very good player 🌟
2022-04-14 21:54
ez for Sephiroth
2022-04-15 08:52
saffeee demais
2022-04-15 13:04
2 replies
Brazil eyeShot
Bora rush b no modo suicida... Kkkk
2022-04-15 22:12
saffee FTW
2022-04-15 23:28
they gonna go 0-3
2022-04-17 18:44
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