100 Thieves has made it clear this offseason that it’s trying to compete for a title in 2020. By bringing back ⅗ of the roster that took the team to a first place regular split finish in the spring of 2018, followed by an eventual qualification for Worlds, the organization is making strides towards fielding a team that can hang with the big dogs of the LCS.
With returning entities in Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, William “Meteos” Hartman, and Cody “Cody Sun” Sun all reprising their roles within 100 Thieves for the 2020 season, the team might just have a shot at snagging a World Championship berth just like it did 2 seasons ago.
With three returning veteran presences set to headline an already intriguing 100 Thieves roster going into 2020, the team has the chance to develop their own talent right from opening day as opposed to hamfisting young players into an unfamiliar situation on the Worlds stage. With the promotion of Willaim “Stunt” Chen to the starting support position, 100 Thieves is showing that it’s dedicated to nurturing young, domestic talent. With one open starting position left unclaimed, it’s time for the team to bring some domestic potential to the mid lane.
Although the roster in its current form has one final import slot remaining, it would make sense for the organization to keep it open and pursue Tanner “Damonte” Damonte for the role. Sure, there are plenty of global possibilities on the table, but pieces of North American talent like Damonte don’t come around too often these days. In a region that has neglected player development and has relied on importing players for far too long, Damonte stands out as a shining piece of potential for plenty of rising teams. As one of the final squads with an open mid lane position, 100 Thieves has the chance to have their very own North American superstar to its name.
Damonte is 100 Thieves’ chance at a franchise player. When you look at players like Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, and Jason “Wildturtle” Tran, you see players that an organization can promote and build a team around. For 100 Thieves, Damonte is the type of player who can fill that role. With a ton of talent at his fingertips and a boatload of hype surrounding him following a season where he led Clutch Gaming to a World Championship berth, Damonte is quickly turning into one of the premier mid laners on North American soil. If 100 Thieves is able to pick him up and turn him into a valuable asset on the stage, the team will have a franchise player of their own that they can rely on for years to come.
And with three longtime veterans on the roster going into 2020, it’s evident that 100 Thieves is trying to create an experienced roster that knows how to handle the LCS. However, a squad that features a few relatively unproven pieces could potentially lead to long-term development down the road.
Take a look at what teams like Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest are doing to get off the ground in 2020. A healthy mixture of longtime veterans and younger talent is going to create a dynamic for growth every time. By adding another veteran to the mix in 100 Thieves, the balance of rising stars to proven assets is going to be thrown off. In the case of 100T, a piece of relatively young, domestic talent like Damonte alongside a roster of seasoned veterans will most definitely promote an environment where not only the players – but the franchise – will grow.
The key to building a successful organization in the long-term is investing young players who can give your team a foundation to succeed over a span of many years. For 100 Thieves, that foundation is staring the team right in the face, all they have to do is reach out and grab it.
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