100 Thieves booked their ticket to the North American Last Chance Qualifiers upper bracket semifinals on Friday with a win over NRG. In the semifinals, 100T will meet FaZe Clan. 100T will have a chance to get revenge on FaZe for a loss in Challengers, where they were knocked out of contention for Masters Copenhagen.
“I really want to beat these guys,” 100T’s head coach Sean “sgares” Gares said in an interview. “Like, really bad.”
100T vs. FaZe
100T and FaZe are two of the favorites to escape the NA LCQ and make Challengers. It’s totally possible that their semifinals match at 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 7 will also be a grand final preview. What’s more, the two teams have history.
The 2022 VCT Stage 2 Challengers bracket saw 100T and FaZe match up twice. In their first bout, 100T dropped FaZe to the lower bracket, where the two teams later met for the second time. In that second match, FaZe got the better of 100T and sent them packing.
“The way we lost to them was just brutal,” sgares said. “We lost like four ecos on Breeze. It was embarrassing how we lost that game against them the first time. I just think we’re a lot more polished to not allow something like that to happen again. Hopefully.”
With FaZe Clan, 100T know exactly what they’re up against. While most teams in the LCQ didn’t scrim one another to avoid showing their strats, FaZe are one of the few teams 100T practiced against in the lead-up to the event.
“They’re in really good form, just like us,” sgares said. “So I think it will be a great match.”
Before the game, the team will have to review their tight series against NRG to see what went well and what could’ve gone better.
100T overcome NRG in close match
100T’s opening match of LCQ seemed to follow the trend of being hotly contested across the entire best of three. Icebox went the way of NRG in stunning fashion as overtime slipped through the fingers of 100T. They quickly made up that ground on their pick of Bind.
Map 3 was Ascent and it was anyone’s game. Sgares was critical of his team’s errors in giving over opening kills and losing to ecos. That said, he had nothing but praise for their grit in bouncing back.
“It just felt like we were always clawing back into the game on Ascent,” sgares explained. “I’m just so proud of team for being able to persevere through that.”
A recurring theme of LCQ so far is seeing how much the participating teams have improved in the lead-up — something that showed in the match between 100T and NRG.
“I think this NRG is better,” sgares said. “They’re more polished, actually. I think we’re better though too. So that’s a key difference. Both teams have evolved a lot since those Challengers days.”
Eyes on Champions
Sgares and his team want nothing more than to qualify to Champions 2022. The problem is, so do the other seven teams. And every team is firing on all cylinders. According to sgares, the difference-maker will be how well teams respond to pressure.
“Every team knows the pressure and I think the teams that handle that the best are going to be the ones that advance deep in this tournament,” he said.
Still, only one team can come out the other end; for 100T, it’s all or nothing.
“Everyone’s putting everything we have into this game right now,” sgares told us. “I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t mean everything to everyone on the team right now.”