100 Thieves’ victory over T1 puts them in the final four of the First Strike: North America main event. But it wasn’t easy.
After falling behind 9-3 in the first half, 100 Thieves showed plenty of resilience to come back and win the first map. And while they’re confidence took a hit, team captain Spencer “Hiko” Martin says it was important to remain collected.
“Anytime you go down that big, I think it’s very important to stay in it,” Hiko told Dot Esports. “We definitely were not confident [after the first half]. I think that’s a reason why we went down super big early on. But nobody gave up, everyone still remained calm.”
The team had to put the situation in perspective, however. Hiko says they understood if T1 could win nine rounds when attacking on Haven, they could do it too. So they forgot the first half even happened and surmounted a comeback.
A big part of remaining level-headed fell upon the shoulders of the team’s three vets, according to Hiko. Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella had a rocky start, but made a complete turnaround and finished the match with a game-high 23 frags. The team captain also praised IGL Joshua “steel” Nissan for not letting the pressure of losing affect his calls.
“I know how taxing it is as an in-game leader, when you’re losing a lot of rounds and you think you’re making the right calls,” Hiko said. “You can very easily fall into the trap of ‘Oh, is it me?’ But steel’s able to come in each round with a clear mind.”
In one especially crucial round, both nitr0 and steel held down Haven’s garage and C site on their own. Steel fought off two enemies in garage despite being outnumbered and blinded. And nitr0 used Omen’s Shrouded Step and steel’s Cypher traps to perfection, taking out three in quick succession. That play put 100 Thieves within one round and helped them pull away for the rest of the match.
The second game on Bind is just as close, but 100 Thieves was able to win 13-10 and complete the sweep.
100 Thieves takes on Sentinels in tomorrow’s semifinals match, while Team Envy will face off against TSM.