saffee: "It's paying off... I'm just blessed and really grateful"
Rafael "saffee" Costa sat down with Dust2.us' Ryan Friend after FURIA's narrow victory over G2 to secure a spot in the PGL Antwerp Major playoffs. The two discussed saffee's rise from paiN to FURIA, what it felt like in the match versus G2, and what this victory means for saffee.
You've just had the game of your life. You've just beaten G2. You're headed to the Major playoffs. This is something you've never been at before in your very long career. I saw how emotional you were after that victory.
Nothing actually. I know that if I start to talk, I will just pass out crying. You know all the work that we have put in, me personally when I came back into Counter-Strike back in 2019. It's been a crazy ride and I'm just happy. There are no words.
You came into a team that has undergone so many changes. I've talked to arT and KCSERATO, they've all said how great that you are, you're growth from paiN to now, how have you felt in this team?
You know, I just had to be in the system. I know that it was a different system from paiN. I just play for my teammates. Everybody is playing for each other and I think that all the work from the staff - guerri and tacticus - just trying to bring us as a family and that's how it is, on the server it is the same thing.
Tell me about how everything has developed. You've gone from paiN, relatively unknown to the majority of the North American region but known as the best player on paiN, transitioning to FURIA, and now you're at the Major and now you'll be at the Sportpaleis in front of an entire crowd. How, emotionally, does that make you feel?
Not only in my Counter-Strike career, but in everything that I had to work to be here... there are no words to describe the feeling and I'm just happy to be here you know? For my family as well, back in Brazil. With what I am doing right now, thats the most important part, you know? After all, Counter-Strike is a game and the emotions will always be there, playing in the big stage in front of a crowd.
Talk to me a little about your family, you say that this is about them and that you've been helping them, what does that mean?
Just... helping my parents to have a comfortable life, and that's everything I look for and thank god that I am able to do it. I really just feel really blessed for everything that has happened, for the teammates that I have and the team that I am playing with.
I know that right now you are very emotional. Counter-Strike obviously means so much to you, you've put so many hours in, how does it feel to put in so many hours and finally see it pay off in something like this?
It's a lot, actually. I only have less than eight thousand hours, actually. So, I'm just an old guy, but I started to play CS:GO, and as I said, just blessed to be on this stage and all the work that I have put in... eight thousand hours in my scene is not that much, but there were a lot of good hours put into the game. It's paying off... I'm just blessed and really grateful.
I want to talk about your age for a little bit, you are 26. What does it mean to play with individuals that are so much younger than yourself and finally reaching this stage?
Actually, for the team I think that I have more experience in life, not in the game, but in life. So in the server, trying to hype them up and in certain situations, I think I have the power to do that. I think that is the most important part - being more experienced in life, you know?
This team has meant so much to everyone in Brazil, what does it mean to represent an organization like FURIA?
It means a lot, it means a lot. It's crazy how they get together through the years and being able to be at the top for almost two years. All the staff that are behind it, it's just crazy. It's an amazing organization. I'm just happy to be here.
Lets talk about the game for a second. G2 is a very tough opponent, especially with players like NiKo and m0NESY - some of the best players that we have seen all year. Lets talk about how the map picks and the matches went. You were quite dominant on the Vertigo, Inferno came down to the wire, but Ancient had a spectacular comeback. How confident were you after that first half?
We knew as the offense it was going to be tough - we messed up some situations that could have gone to us. We also messed up some situations on our CT-side. The round that arT won for us when he flanked on the A site, we knew that we were going to come back right then.
When looking at a team like G2, was there any game plan on how to counter them?
We knew that we needed to play our style - it doesn't matter the team that we are playing against, we have to be faithful to our style. That's what we did against G2. Of course, they are a really good team and have really good individuals, but we have to be confident on the way that we play.
Is there anything that you want to say to anyone?
I am really thankful for the support, I am thankful for the fans, my family, everyone that is around me here, in Antwerp and in FURIA. Hopefully we can do some crazy stuff in the arena.
saffee and the rest of FURIA now await the results of their countrymen Imperial in their match against Copenhagen Flames. A win for Imperial would match FURIA against NAVI in the quarterfinals, while a Copenhagen Flames victory pits them against Spirit.