After a dominant 2-0 performance in week 6, 100 Thieves have jolted themselves from 5th place into a definitive tie for 3rd, and with a playoff berth all but secured, one man is at the center of 100 Thieves’ run to glory in 2018.
Week 6 allowed Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black to prove that he is the cornerstone of the 100 Thieves lineup, and if the team is going to make a deep run through the playoffs, it’s going to be on his shoulders. Aphromoo’s shotcalling prowess and mechanical ability during week 6 completely reinvigorated the Thieves, and with enormous performances on Thresh and Blitzcrank, he was the catalyst for two monster wins that could prove to be the turning point of the Spring Split. Not only were 100 Thieves able to pull away from FlyQuest at the bottom of the standings, but with an upset win on Saturday, they were able to pull closer to Cloud9 at the top of the standings.
During 100 Thieves’ stretch of losses over the past few weeks, Aphromoo had been cloistered onto picks like Taric and Morgana, and during this time, he was never truly able to show off his aggressive playstyle and take control of any games. His silence on the rift was detrimental for the team, but after taking matters into his own hands on champions like Thresh, Blitzcrank, and even his signature Bard, Aphromoo has quickly blossomed back into his former self. His incredible play this weekend propelled his AD Carry, Cody Sun, to a score of 20/0/8 over the past two games, while Aphromoo himself boasted a scoreline of 1/3/22 with a KP of 77%.
Now, after 6 weeks of play, 100 Thieves find themselves in a 3-way tie for 3rd place with a record of 7-5. They currently stand alongside Team Liquid and Clutch Gaming at the top half of the standings, and although they are still 2 games behind 2nd place Cloud9, the team made plenty of necessary steps to close the gap between themselves and a chance at a playoff bye. However, if 100 Thieves are going to make any sort of run through the playoffs, they cannot take their foot off the gas for any reason. 4 out of their next 6 games are against fellow playoff contenders, and if the team is able to maintain a positive record across the final 3 weeks of the season, a 2nd or even 1st place finish in the regular season isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Despite their recent successes and victories, the road ahead for 100 Thieves is certainly not going to be easy. Next week alone, the team faces off against fellow contenders in Team Liquid and TSM, teams that have also nearly secured playoff berths and will certainly shape the race in the weeks to come. Now that the playoffs are almost a given for 100 Thieves, it’s time to set their eyes on the horizon and do everything they can to secure a top 2 seed in the playoffs. They’ve already proven they can beat C9, and if the Thieves can best other top teams, it would be hard to argue against their case as one of the best teams in all of North America.
However, their quest to the top starts this weekend with TL and TSM, and if the organization can hit the ground running in the final portion of the regular season, then success in the playoffs is all but guaranteed.