FURIA Esports have a difficult path ahead of them in the Champions Istanbul 2022 group stage after losing to DRX 2-0. Their opponent in the elimination match is either Fnatic or 100 Thieves, two strong teams.
FURIA are not expected to escape Group B in the Champions group stage. They drew into a difficult group, with teams like DRX and Fnatic boasting an impressive pedigree in international VALORANT Champions Tour events. Their loss to DRX in the opening match was what analysts predicted.
Even still, head coach Carlos “Carlão” Mohn remains optimistic about the team’s chances, particularly after the team pushed DRX hard on the opening map of Ascent.
“I think DRX are one of the best teams in the game,” Carlão said in an interview. “We had a really good map, and that makes me confident we can fix those mistakes that we had and come much better to the game against 100 Thieves or Fnatic.”
FURIA drop their opening match at Champions
FURIA’s map pick of Ascent was poised to go their way. The Brazilians were up 12-4 in the second half before DRX went on a blistering 8-0 run to force overtime, where they eventually closed out the map.
“They decided to just go on with the game that they’re used to,” FURIA’s Matheus “mazin” Araújo said. “They were very calm and all had the mindset to keep to that. That’s why they were able to reach the score of 8-0 towards the end.”
“At the end of the round, we weren’t making great decisions in afterplants,” Carlão said. “That micro in closing the rounds was a big difference in DRX making that comeback.”
It’s hard to imagine that the team went into Map 2 feeling optimistic about taking the series 2-1 after letting Ascent slip between their fingers. According to Carlão, FURIA talked it over and reset as well as they could ahead of Haven.
It wasn’t enough, and DRX stormed past FURIA to claim the 2-0 win.
“We are overthinking a lot,” Carlão said. “And when you overthink against a team like DRX, you will be punished for sure.”
Goals and expectations
Although they don’t have much experience internationally, Istanbul is FURIA’s second appearance at Champions. A lot has changed since last year. Carlão feels that the gap between teams has closed significantly. That includes underdogs like FURIA.
“Today, we were a team that nobody was talking about and we made such a good map against DRX on Ascent,” Carlão said. “So I think everybody can beat everybody this year.”
With that said, Carlão has set realistic and achievable goals for FURIA at Champions.
“The expectation is to be the best team that we can be this year,” he said. “No focus on results … it’s our focus to perform better and better every time.”
FURIA play the loser of the match between Fnatic and 100T at 10:00 a.m. ET on Sept. 5.
“The whole team has the ability to reset very well,” mazin said. “We’re just aiming to bring the best game that we can for the next match.”