For the first time since 2018, 100 Thieves will be heading to the World Championship as the first North American representatives to earn a spot at the tournament. They will be joining the LEC’s MAD Lions, Rogue, and the LCK’s DAMWON-KIA as the only teams so far to lock a place in the bracket.
The team started 2021 with a revamped roster which had Ssumday as the only player remaining from the previous year. New faces like Closer, Damonte, FBI, and Huhi took the stage, and for a few weeks, the roster was able to piece things together by winning six of their first nine games.
Unfortunately for 100 Thieves, the competition adapted and improved their play throughout the 2021 Spring Split, while the team stagnated. Issues started to crop up across the roster, from inconsistent performances to incompatible playstyles, which led to the team bouncing out of the playoffs in the second round. It was a disappointing finish after such a promising start, which led the management to make some sweeping changes to the team.
The first significant change came in the coaching department, with former Cloud9 head coach Reapered stepping in to take the reins instead of coach Zikz. The second change came in the mid lane with star European mid laner Abbedagge taking his place on the starting lineup. With one of the best coaches in LCS history and a strong replacement in mid, 100 Thieves took hold of the league with a consistent iron fist.
By the end of the 2021 Summer Split regular season, the Thieves finished with an 18-9 record, which had them tied for first place along with TSM and Evil Geniuses. In the overall yearly standings, however, they were only one game away from taking first place behind TSM. The changes they made at the mid-year break had a massive impact on their playstyle and strengths, which helped them establish their identity as a strong early game team—in fact, they had the second-highest average gold difference at 15 minutes, according to Oracle’s Elixir. It also helped that they had some powerful late-game insurance with FBI in the bottom lane.
Although 100 Thieves can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to Worlds, they must now prepare themselves for their next matchup in the playoffs. Next week, this roster will continue their heist of the LCS championship by facing off against the winner of TSM’s match against Team Liquid.
Catch all the action when 100 Thieves takes the stage on Saturday, Aug. 21.
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