In theory, 100 Thieves shouldn’t be where they are right now. Heading into the Spring playoffs, the team secured the 3rd seed in the postseason on the heels of a 10-8 split and currently stand poised to make a legitimate run at the LCS title.
After failing to reach the playoffs in either the Spring or Summer splits of the 2019 season, 100 Thieves went back to basics this past offseason and re-established much of the roster that carried the organization to a World Championship berth in its inaugural year. By reinstilling players such as William “Meteos” Hartman, Cody “Cody Sun” Sun, and Kim “Ssumday” Chan-Ho, 100 Thieves immediately set a tone in which the team was clearly banking on repeating its successes from 2 seasons ago.
Armed with a comfortable Support in William “Stunt” Chen, an almost entirely unknown wildcard Mid Laner in Tommy “Ryoma” Le, and stalwart veterans to fill the gaps, the roster spearheaded by a shoutcaster turned top-notch GM in Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith came into 2020 hellbent on recapturing the essence of what made 100 Thieves a promising organization in the first place.
And after a top 3 finish in the LCS this split, it’s safe to say they’re doing a hell of a job.
But it wasn’t always as promising as it is now. The squad was painted as being all but destined for another lackluster finish before the split kicked off. Even I, who went down in the books as a notorious 100 Thieves apologist throughout all of 2018 and 2019, practiced uninspired indifference when it came to 100 Thieves’ offseason moves. And as the team hovered near or under the .500 mark throughout the entire first half of the split, it seemed as if the grim predictions of the preseason were unfolding accordingly.
However, in the final 4 weeks of the Spring, 100 Thieves turned on the jets and won 7 of its last 10 games (including tiebreakers) to close things out. With a sudden burst of energy, the squad that looked dead in the water just a few weeks back is in prime contention to make a run deep into the North American Spring playoffs.
However, if 100 Thieves is going to make any progress at all this postseason, they’ll have to overcome the best team in North America, Cloud9, in the first round of the Playoffs. As the hottest team in the league, the near perfect 1st seed is quite obviously coming into the bracket as the heavy favorite to walk away with the title. And yet, 100 Thieves is right there with C9 in terms of momentum. An extension of their winning ways into the playoffs could be exactly what 100 Thieves needs to ride this hot streak straight to the finish line.
Still, the deck is stacked against 100T. It would take nothing short of a substantial performance to knock this C9 team down from the pedestal it’s sat atop all season. But, with a little bit of momentum and the essence of former greatness that the team has banked on all season in its back pocket, an upset could certainly be in the cards.
Photo Credit: Lolesports, Riot Games