By Arseny Kuzminsky, CS.MONEY
André “drop” Abreu was sleeping and didn’t hear the phone ringing. His mother picked up. The man on the other end of the line introduced himself as Nicholas and told her who he was. Mom ran to wake her son and gave him the phone.
Nicholas “Guerri” Nogueira, FURIA CS:GO Head Coach wasn’t hesitating: “We need you on the main team. And if you want, come here tomorrow, and we are going to Poland to play the ESL Pro League”. “Oh my God,” Andre thought, but the only thing he could say was “Okay”.
The Major was a couple of months away.
In an exclusive interview for CS.MONEY, André “drop” Abreu talks about his development and becoming a professional CS:GO player, spotlights his teachers and mentors, blames young Brazilian players for being selfish, explains superstitions and habits, and tells why Butterfly Fade can help maintain self-confidence as well as a holy crucifix.
At BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, Furia is one of the favorites. Drop says that the team is training hard, fixing their own mistakes, and constantly learning. And his personal development is in progress too: he explores demos and sharpens the aim. However, André says that it is difficult to keep a high level of training in NA, and even more so to level up because there are not so many top-level teams.
“We need to keep our mindset right. We can go good at BLAST, and continue at Major. I think we are in a very good phase. We are feeling very confident working hard on our game plans and our individual skills are in a pretty good level. So I think we are the favorites to take BLAST, but we need to put our 100 percent to take this spot in Showdown”.
Given that we recorded the interview on April 26, Drop did sound pretty confident before the tournament. Unfortunately, the only thing Furia managed to take from BLAST Spring Showdown was experience: they have sensationally lost the Grand Finals to paiN Gaming.
Now, they’re going to fly to Europe. The team will stop for a week in Amsterdam for a bootcamp before heading to Antwerp. It would be Drop’s second Major in a row and in total. He turned 18 in January. And a couple of years ago, he was just a regular FIFA enjoyer.
Origins and Family
“I played FIFA only. I was not used to computer games, but one time I was looking at my YouTube and saw Luminosity playing against Cloud9 in a video. And I thought, oh, I need to play this game. At first, I had a bad computer for a long time, so I just played for fun. But in time, we got a better PC and I started grinding. I was not looking to be a professional, but I trained my crosshair too much. So at the lowest level, it gave me an advantage against my opponents.
So it was going, and I joined a team with some friends. We played for three or four months before Furia just called me for their academy. This is where my real grinding to the professional level started. I was trying my best and I played for a year and a half with them. And one day, Guerri called me, asking to join the main roster. I was freaked out at first: ESL Pro League, Major, LANs, and that stuff. But I agreed.”
Drop understood he needed to practice and put more into the game. Learn more and try to give his best to the team.
“I think I’ve developed a bit. No, not a bit, more like too much, to be honest since I came here. I had no experience and suddenly I’m playing BLAST, I’m playing all of that tier-1 tournaments, and I’m going to my second major. So I’m learning too much. I’m playing with people that I’m a fan of. And they teach me all the time and that’s good. I think I’m being better with time.”
Academy, Development, and Teammates
Speaking about his career and self-development, Drop mentions how Furia Academy helped him to grow and highlights the most important people.
“The first idea [of the Academy] is to bring talents. You know Rinaldo ‘ableJ’ Moda, Kaike ‘KSCERATO’ Cerato. And I’m the third one. When I was in the Academy, I was looking for a team. I was thinking, yeah, it’s cool, but if they need one guy, they won’t call me, I don’t have any chance to play with these guys. And one day I got a chance. That’s the main idea [of the Academy]: if the chance come up, one of the guys from the academy will be ready to fill that spot.”
One of Drop’s first serious tests was a full-fledged CS:GO event in Ukraine, WePlay Academy League, so he was about to leave Brazil. This happened a month before the promotion to the main roster.
“It was my first tournament outside of Brazil. And my mama was a little bit scared of me being too far because we are not used to this. But when they called me to the main team, I told her, ‘that’s my dream, that’s what I want’. And she accepted it, saying ‘I will miss you, but if that’s your dream, just go, I’ll be rooting for you’. And she keeps encouraging me.”
During his Academy times, Drop has played with many players, but singles out his ex-captain and coach as those to whom he owes a lot.
“Leonardo ‘ZMB’ Toledo was so influencing; and my coach on the academy too, Leonardo ‘msr’ Caixeta. They were helping me a lot. When sometimes things go wrong, I can go full tilted and forget about the game. But they were always there saying, ‘you can do it, you’re a good player, you just need to grow here and here, keep working’. And I was taking advice from them and working on improving my game.
And then I met Guerri, I was in the Academy team. And since that moment, he became my mentor. I also learn a lot from KSCERATO: we made close roles with him, so I try to copy what he does.”
We go out a lot. To the beach, watch something, talk about real life, joke a lot. So I think it’s helping us to bring a good vibe in the game. So that’s why I think we are performing. It’s good.
Superstitions and Mascots
In traditional sports as well as in esports, it’s a common thing to put a certain meaning into material things. Drop is no exception. He wears a chain, which can be easily seen in photographs, and player cams.
“It’s a Holy. It protects me, you know. I also have a couple of things I grab with me: my mom gave me the crucifix and I also have a little ball from my dog. I have them with me on the table, it brings me confidence, makes me feel secure and I’m not afraid of anything”.
But working on self-confidence and comfort is not only about routine and mascots. Everyone acquainted with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev’s socials knows he’s a lot into motivation and spirit. Drop is no exception, getting inspiration from him.
“It’s more about the mentality. It’s what he shows me. And if the top-1 player, maybe the best in the history thinks he needs to work, he needs to keep practicing… Why I won’t do it? So I try to take his mentality and bring it to myself with the help of Bernardo, our psychologist. I try to bring it to me to be more confident and never let things down. If it’s going good, if it’s going bad, we just keep practicing, keep working, keep developing.”
Brazilian Players and Mentality
Drop agrees with his compatriot from MIBR, Raphael “exit” Lacerda, and says that Brazil lacks tournaments, and players are often too selfish instead of aiming for a common goal to win rounds. And underlines that mentoring by pro players can boost the youth’s progress.
“There are not so many good tournaments in Brazil. One tournament here, one tournament there, monthly leagues, and Gamers Club. [Once in a while] that one team just grows up, win everything [and gets signed]. In Brazil, people like to fight in the game too much. The young generation has good aim, but [they only] think about fighting and fighting and fighting. They want frags, they want good stats, they don’t think, ‘okay, maybe I need to die here so my team can win the round, maybe I need to drop that gun and play with a better gun to win the game’. I think that’s the main problem. But when good talents get mentors, as a few players do, they can reach the top level.”
Skins and Trading
When the conversation turns to skins, Drop comes alive.
“I like knives, to be honest, Butterfly the most. If you ask me my top-3, it will be Butterfly, Butterfly, and Butterfly. [laugh] So, if I not Butterfly, I would take the M9 or Karambit. I saw some good players using butterfly all my life, so it just brings me some confidence while I’m using it. When I started playing with my friends on a team, my best friend borrowed me his Butterfly Fade. And I started playing tournaments with that Butterfly. And I kept playing and playing. And I had that Butterfly for two years, but it wasn’t mine. And the last year I bought it from him, so now it’s mine. [Also,] I used to love the AK Fire Serpent but now I have Wild Lotus. It’s my main AK, I think it brings me confidence.”
Do you think that skins are like your chain and the ball? Like, if you keep them, they will give you confidence?
“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I can borrow my knife and play with other knives. I love my Butterfly Fade, but I also like Butterfly Ruby. So I can just take this Ruby to play a tournament, but it goes bad, I would think, okay, I need my Fade back, I need my AKs back. [laughs].”