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The Heist Is Beginning To Take Shape - 100 Thieves Are Strong

Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

16th Jul 2021 16:51

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100 Thieves fans' prayers are finally being answered. A new head coach, a new mid-laner, a gelling team; this is it. The Thieves have been the team that’s cut above the rest throughout the summer portion of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) season and are looking to continue it all the way through to the playoffs. 

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A team that had a strong start to the 2021 season with the LCS Lock In tournament: showcasing aggressive dives in the bottom lane and global ultimate having mid-lane picks later fell through and stagnated. Their conclusive and decisive early games became wobbly, and their opponents began either counterpicking or banning their mid-lane champions. This led to a fourth finish at the Mid-Season Showdown (MSS).

Once in the transition between spring and summer, they made mid-season changes, bringing in Bok “Repeared” Han-gyu as head coach and Felix “Abbedagge” Braun as their mid-laner. In some ways, fans of the team and LCS watchers alike could sense the age-old pattern 100 Thieves have portrayed before— strong starts that end with disappointing season finishes with a roster change or two in between. 

During the spring this team was countered but had a few key pieces that if paired correctly with what was needed could take over. In this case, the Thieves needed a mid-laner to showcase flexibility and a head coach who brought leadership, experience and new ideas. In the offseason, they got both. They’ve easily looked like the best team when winning. A dominant spread of styles beginning with the highly criticized Karma spam of early Week 1 to the Akali and Orianna later on— all credit to their new stud in the mid-lane— has been impressive and downright surprising to watch. 

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This was a team that previously in the spring permanently locked Renekton for Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho in the top lane while autopiloting their drafts. Shove the top wave over and over again and do nothing with the gained priority. That was all to go alongside their bottom lane dives and global ultimate mid-lane picks. Now, Ssumday can be Ssumday— a solid and stable top laner— again and jungler Can “Closer” Celik can push his weight around the map. It’s what they’ve sorely needed. 

The flexibility this team has shown is one that any team in the league would want, and it’s all due in part to Reapeared’s coaching. His mind has shown up in the drafts, leading to a wide variety of picks and styles. Starting with the Abadagge Karma supportive play, to his Akali carry to a focus on the bottom lane. They can play all of these different styles and look comfortable in them, thus making it incredibly difficult to prepare against either in best-of-one scenarios or in the future a best-of-five for the playoffs.

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The Thieves also have arguably the best players in the league, all of them are at least in contention for the top two or top three in their respective roles. Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun has one of, if not the, best support champion pool in the league, Abbedagge is the best performing mid-laner and Victor “FBI” Huang is amongst the top for AD Carries. Coupled with, as stated previously, the fact that Ssumday gets to be Ssumday and Closer gets to do what he wants, due to a drastic improvement individually and team play wise, what else is there to want?

There are only a few weeks left before the playoffs begin. At the time of this writing, 100 Thieves did drop two games in Week 6, one was an uncharacteristic loss to a solid Golden Guardians roster— seeing their spring performance— and an Evil Geniuses team that is right on their tail in terms of standings. This is the Thieves' chance to break their cycle and reach the success they reached to start their LCS career back in 2018.

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2021 LCS Teams That Missed Worlds

Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

23rd Sep 2021 19:19

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