Started at the Bottom
It’s not fair to say that 100 Thieves will make the playoffs in the Spring Split. It’s not fair to say that they’ll miss either, as they sit in playoff position with only one week remaining. What is certain, however, is that this team has exceeded expectations. Expectations from the LCS analysts, fans and their own organization.
At the beginning of the league year, many had questioned how this 100 Thieves team came to be. Both William “Meteos” Hartman and Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu were never thought of as possible options. Both Cody Sun and William were ex-members of 100T, and both left the organization on less than ideal terms.
Sure, William “Stunt” Chen was good in academy, but he had been a middling player for years. At the very least, nothing to write home about. Pair that with oceanic unknown and probable scapegoat Tommy “Ryoma” Le, and one has, well, a team that has unquestionably one of the best Top Laners around in Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho. Yet, barely missing playoffs was the appropriate slot for this group in the pre-season power rankings.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
When asked why they chose to come back, both have the same reason; current General Manager Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith. Upon his arrival, Meteos said “I wish he was the GM when I was there.” Smith, paired up with Anthony “Zikz” Gray, was the perfect Coach-GM tandem, at least in Meteos’ eyes.
The same can be said for Cody Sun. While he did not get traded mid-split, he was benched not only for the LCS playoffs but at the World Championships as well. Why? That reason still isn’t known. How could someone return to an organization that kept him out of the most prestigious league tournament?
In an interview with Inven Global, Cody Sun stated that “I think most of my faith came from talking with PapaSmithy. Chris has a really good reputation around his career. And just from talking to him and having long discussions… It wasn’t an easy choice to make to come back to 100 Thieves, but it was definitely a choice that I was more open to try because of my talks with PapaSmithy and how things would be a lot different this time around.”
What’s in Store?
With the coronavirus disrupting LCS play, this group has dealt with a lot. Players are having to play LCS games from home, which is certainly not ideal. Pre-game huddles and team morale is difficult to manage, but all teams are doing what’s possible.
As mentioned earlier, it’s unknown how far this team can go. In a week, 100 Thieves could miss playoffs, and their overachievement could be cut short. No matter what happens, this team has much to cheer about, regardless of the outcome. As promised, this team was built to grow, not to win. The victories in spring are merely the fruits of their exceptionally successful labor.
Ryoma has improved much faster than anticipated, and the player in the mid lane looks great. He may not be a star just yet, but he’s miles above the Aussie everyone saw during week one. This team has so much room to grow, and yet they sit a game back from second place.
It’s time for the thieves to strike.
Featured image courtesy of Matt Keller.
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