While there were plenty of noteworthy moments in the most recent week of LCS Summer Split 2019, the one which grabbed a lot of attention in the League of Legends esports community was the sudden improvement of 100 Thieves.
To say the team has struggled in 2019 would be an understatement. After an incredible debut season in 2018, when the North American outfit made it into the LCS Spring finals and even attended the LoL World Championship, the expectations were understandably high. Those reached new peaks when former SK Telecom T1 star Bae “Bang” Jun-sik joined the team.
But expectations are one thing and reality is another, as 100 Thieves found out when they wound up dead-last at LCS Spring 2019. The jungle role was singled out as the biggest issue, which led to the recruitment of Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider. Team management hoped the German veteran’s experience and leadership skills would help steady the ship, yet there were no signs of improvement as 100 Thieves started the Summer Split with five unanswered defeats.
A series of roster shuffles eventually saw Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook and Aaron “FakeGod” Lee called up from the academy. It was a return to the main team for Ryu, who was a midlaner for 100 Thieves last year, while FakeGod was an unknown quantity in the top lane.
Since that switch, 100 Thieves have looked like a new team. They bounced back from five straight losses at LCS Summer to win the next three, which included a huge win against NA heavyweights Cloud9.
When asked how 100 Thieves managed to improve so drastically in the span of a week, Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black stated that there was no special recipe and the team just found its “groove” by experimenting with different combinations of players. He added that the squad’s desire to succeed also played a huge role.
With all the wheels spinning as they should, 100 Thieves will hope they can extend their run into the upcoming weeks. But with fixtures against TSM and Team Liquid on the horizon, the real test is yet to come.