After failing to impress in recent qualifiers, 100 Thieves have made the decision to make an unexpected change

19:00, 03 Mar 2021

In what came as a shock announcement to many, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold has officially joined the active roster for the 100 Thieves VALORANT roster replacing Quan “Dicey” Tran, who will be left to find another roster following the decision.

Why Ethan?

For people that don’t follow competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), it may come as a surprise that a player from a major winning team in VALORANT would be being replaced by a newcomer to the game from a rival FPS game in CS:GO.

However, when it comes to North American Counter-Strike, Ethan has been playing at the very top of the scene for a number of years, and as a player known for his high mechanical skill level and clear experience at the highest level of competition, it can come as no surprise as to why 100 Thieves decided he was the right man for the job.

Ethan really burst into the CS:GO scene in 2016 when he was given the chance to join prestigious North American organisation, Counter Logic Gaming. Whilst on CLG, Ethan quickly made a name for himself as a very strong rifler and his raw aiming ability for someone so new to the highest level of competition was clear for all to see, with Ethan averaging a 1.12 hltv rating during his time on the roster.

Although, Ethan didn’t start to see tier one success until he joined NRG Esports. On the NRG roster Ethan once again stepped up his level of competition and managed to be a driving force in leading NRG to their first international title at IEM Shanghai 2018 followed by another win to end 2018 at CS_Summit 3, beating OpTic in the finals.

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After the roster was sold to Evil Geniuses, Ethan finally reached both his team and individual peak success, winning ESL One New York 2019, by far the biggest tournament of his career so far. Following this, EG won the StarSeries i-League Season 8 tournament, another tier one tournament in which they beat Fnatic in the grand finals, with Ethan being named MVP of the tournament, his peak individual performance so far. To end the year, Ethan was named the number 20 player in the world - according to HLTV.

By the end of his time in CS:GO, Ethan had won seven tournaments, multiple personal accomplishments and had firmly established himself as one of NA’s best players, making it no surprise that when he became available 100 Thieves jumped at the opportunity to sign up the rifling star.

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Was a change needed?

After ending 2020 as arguably the best team in NA VALORANT, it may have come as a shock that 100 Thieves decided to make a roster change soon after this success. However, from the community response after recent matches for 100 Thieves, it appears that many people feel like Dicey is too much of an inconsistent OPer playing the Jett role to lead the team to consistent success. Although, was Dicey necessarily the man that needed to be changed? As a young mechanically gifted player only just making his way into the highest level of competitive gaming in VALORANT, many fans believe that Dicey should have been given a chance to improve his consistency and eventually be the star player that could duo arguably the best player in the game in Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk. 

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With the return of LAN coming to VALORANT sooner than any anticipated though, it appears that 100 Thieves didn’t want to risk not qualifying for the first LAN, or underperforming on LAN with Dicey maybe feeling the nerves from being a rookie in the scene. 

If it wasn’t for the availability of an all star North American talent in Ethan, someone with proven LAN experience at the highest level and obvious mechanical talent to match, it is unlikely that 100 Thieves would’ve decided to make a change. 

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The new look 100 Thieves

Since Dicey was the dedicated OPer and Jett player on the team, and it is unlikely that Ethan will be taking over the role, given his prowess in the rifling role on CS:GO, it is likely someone else will have to take over the important role in the game. Currently, it would look like either Nicholas “Nitr0” Cannella or Joshua “Steel” Nissan will become the new main OP on the team.

This could be a big risk for the team as whilst Steel and Nitr0 have both played the sniper rifle role in CS:GO, the change in movement and overall game play differences between Counter-Strike and VALORANT may make it a hard role for either of them to learn quick enough to be at an adequate level to compete at the highest level in such little time.

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Overall, whether this move will make 100 Thieves a better team and help them qualify for the first official LAN events is unknown and fans will have to tune in to the VCT qualifiers at the weekend to watch Ethan’s first official games on the 100 Thieves lineup.

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Images via Starladder | ESL | 100 Thieves

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