100 Thieves signs OPL mid laner Ry0ma to starting lineup - Upcomer
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North American esports organization and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves has recruited former Bombers mid laner Tommy “Ry0ma” Le to their League of Legends roster. The Oceanic Pro League (OPL) player will play his first season in North America with the Thieves.

Joining 100 Thieves

“Excited to be in North America for 2020 with 100 Thieves,” wrote Ry0ma on Twitter. “Looking to do big things here, come support me on Twitch.”

Ry0ma is an unfamiliar face in the North American scene, with all of his previous experience with organizations in the OPL. He last played for Australian esports organization Bombers, which took 1st in the 2019 OPL Spring Split and Spring Split Playoffs. He has also played for organizations like Absolute, SIn Gaming, Legacy Genesis, Tainted Minds, and Chiefs Esports Club.

However, his only exposure to the international scene has been at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, where the Bombers took 10 – 12th after being eliminated by Oceanic team ORDER. There also aren’t many OPL players in the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). One of the few is Golden Guardians AD carry Ian Victor “FBI” Huang, whom Ry0ma played together with during 2017. 

Ry0ma as mid laner 

“We selected Ry0ma to be the mid laner for 100 Thieves because he ticked all boxes: High baseline of skill (Assessed by [a] panel of four coaches/staff) with clear upside, English first language for communication. Performance exceeded expectations in NA tryout. Good references,” wrote Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith, General Manager for 100 Thieves’ League of Legends program.

Upon the announcement, there was some backlash from the community over choosing a foreign mid laner over rookie North American talent. People wondered why 100 Thieves selected Ry0ma over existing Academy players like Max “Soligo” Soong and Jacob “Prismal” Feinstein who had performed well in the last season. However, PapaSmithy then listed several other reasons for the organization’s choice.

Many imported players have joined the LCS for a more relaxed competitive experience and a higher salary. However, for an Oceanic player, PapaSmithy describes it as a “higher level of competition where they can truly compete” on a larger stage. The North American League of Legends scene has a greater player base and higher-skilled players, which can help with talent development — something not possible in the limited OPL scene.

PapaSmithy goes on to say that Ry0ma is “exactly the kind of player I want in [the] org” because he is someone who will take hold of and recognize the opportunity given to him. Ry0ma joins top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, jungler William “Meteos” Hartman, support William “Stunt” Chen, and ADC Cody Sun on the starting lineup. How do you think the 100 Thieves roster will perform? Let us know what you think, and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your League of Legends coverage.

Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.