Worlds 2021 Outlook Series | 100 Thieves (LCS) preview - Upcomer
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With Worlds 2021 on the horizon, the first seed representatives from the League Championship Series, 100 Thieves, are one of 22 teams from across the globe that are gearing up for their biggest and most important event of the year. The 2021 League of Legends World Championship will feature each region’s best players, all fighting for the same goal: to stand atop the mountain and hoist the Season 11 Summoner’s Cup.

After acquiring the Golden Guardians core in the 2020 off-season, 100 Thieves made improvements to an already dangerous team. They defeated all opponents in their path during the LCS summer season to become only the fifth different organization to win an LCS title and head to Reykjavík, Iceland as NA’s first seed. The team, with solid players in every position, looks to prove the haters wrong and show they belong not only in the top 10, but in the top 8, as they look to move past the Group Stage.

100 Thieves (LCS) Worlds 2021 starting roster breakdown

Top: Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho | Signed in November 2017. Formerly a member of Dignitas
Jungle: Can “Closer”  Çelik | Signed in November 2020. Formerly a member of Golden Guardians
Mid: Felix “Abbedagge” Braun | Signed in April 2021. Formerly a member of Schalke 04
Bot: Victor “FBI” Huang  |Signed in November 2020. Formerly a member of Golden Guardians
Support: Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun | Signed in November 2020. Formerly a member of Golden Guardians

How they got here

In 2020, 100 Thieves were a team going nowhere. Although they made the summer playoffs last year, they did it with a below-average record and were bounced, 3-0, by Evil Geniuses. No one expected much from them.

But there was one team many didn’t expect to do well that ended up turning heads last year: Golden Guardians. They swept TSM in the winner’s bracket before losing a heartbreaking series in the loser’s bracket in a rematch. TSM went on to win the title despite Golden Guardians having a 5-3 record against them.

That roster showed a lot of promise going into 2021, but as it turned out, 100 Thieves were the organization that would benefit from their potential. In the 2020 off-season, 100 bought out four of the five members of the Golden Guardians roster, as 100 had a complete rebuild themselves overnight. The team instantly went from pretenders to contenders heading into the 2021 spring split.

With the main core of GG intact on 100, with the only different member being Ssumday in place of Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, 100 got off to a hot start in the spring split by jumping out to a league-best 5-1 record after Week 2.

The team dipped a tiny bit in the next couple of weeks, but going into the final two, 100 Thieves sat at a very good 8-4 record. But then the team decided to make a change in the mid-lane. Tanner “Damonte” Damonte had been the weakest link on the team up to this point, and management decided that Damonte was not  a player that could get 100 Thieves back to Worlds for the first time since 2018. So, they brought up Tommy “ry0ma” Le from their academy team.

With a new mid-lane change at the end of the season, 100 went only 3-3 the rest of the way. They entered the Mid-Season Showdown with an 11-7 record, good enough for the fourth seed. And that’s where they would finish up after playoffs thanks to a 3-1 stomp, courtesy of TSM, in the loser’s bracket.

Another roster change was imminent, and over the break before the summer half of the season, 100 acquired Abbedagge from former League of Legends European Championship team, Schalke 04. They also replaced their head coach, Anthony “Zikz” Gray, with legendary NA coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu.

These two changes not only allowed 100 to capture their early spring form but surpass it. 100 Thieves once again got out to a 5-1 start in the summer, but instead of slowly declining, they shot up the standings. At one point, 100 were 13-2 in the summer season before hitting a rough spot toward the end. But they ended up heading into the playoffs with an 18-9 record in the summer and an overall record of 29-16, which was good enough for second.

Thanks to their second seed, 100 only needed to win a single best of five to qualify for Worlds. In that match, they drew the surging Evil Geniuses squad who ended their 2020 summer season.

After an exciting back and forth series, 100 Thieves emerged victorious in Game 5, securing revenge on EG and earning their spot a Worlds. But their run didn’t end there. After losing to Team Liquid in the winner’s finals, 100 dispatched C9 in the losers finals to set up a rematch for the number one seed and the title of LCS champions. 100 came to play and swept TL 3-0 to become only the fifth organization to capture an LCS title.

Players to watch

Despite the two new additions to 100 in the summer having a significant impact, the players to watch on 100 are in the bot lane. The duo of FBI and Huhi emerged as one of the best bot lanes in the LCS during the summer of 2020 and they have only improved since then. In 2021, FBI proved to be the best bot lane player in the entire region, taking home LCS All-Pro first-team honors in the summer season.

His support is no slouch either. Huhi might not have shared the first-team honors with FBI, but he did earn second-team honors. That doesn’t mean he didn’t play like the best support in NA.

Unlike other roles, where stats like damage per minute and Kill/Death/Assist ratios reign supreme, Supports have statistics like vision score and kill participation to show their impact. When it comes to vision score per minute, the stat is a catch-all that tracks how a player utilizes wards and how they clear them, which is one of the primary jobs of a support. Huhi was the best among all players in the summer season with an impressive 3.05 vision score per minute. There is a bigger gap between Huhi and second place, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in than there is between CoreJJ and seventh place Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun.

This will be the duo’s first-ever international competition as a pair. and they will get to match up with the two arguable two best bot lanes in the world when they square up against Edward Gaming’s pair of Park “Viper” Do-Hyeon and Tian “Meiko” Ye and T1’s best-in-region support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok and their revolving door of raw talent with Park “Teddy” Jin-seong and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong.

How 100T can succeed at Worlds 2021

100 were drawn into the same group as tournament favorites EDG and the Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok led T1. With that said, both of those team’s strengths rely on their bot lanes. If Huhi and FBI can prove they are among the elite bot lanes in the world and outplay their opponents, 100 Thieves have a shot at making an upset or two in the group stage.

As long as they can 2-0 whatever play-in team enters their group, a 3-3 or 4-2 record might be good enough to squeak into the Knockout Stage. However, EDG and T1 have multiple carry threats in all lanes, not just their bot lane. It’s going to take every member of 100 playing the best games of their career just to take a game or two off the juggernauts in their group. If not, 100 will have to settle for an early exit.

ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.