100 Thieves have qualified for Champions in Istanbul, Turkey after defeating The Guard in the North American Last Chance Qualifier. 100T join OpTic Gaming and XSET as the third team from NA to attend Champions 2022.
As a team that went through a total rebuild in early 2022, 100T defied expectations and became a top three team in NA. For a roster of relatively green players, 100T looked poised and confident throughout their grand final match.
“I definitely think emotions were high, but we do a really good job as staying as calm as we can be,” 100T’s Brenden “stellar” McGrath said in the post-match press conference. “Round by round, we remind each other … just stay calm, do what you have to do.”
100T were knocked into the LCQ lower bracket earlier in the event after a loss to FaZe Clan. They mounted an incredibly comeback and grew a lot as they ploughed their way into the grand final.
“I think us going to the lower bracket was probably a lot more helpful than other teams cause we kinda needed it and we kept feeding off of it,” Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk said.
3-0 TGRD I've never been to Istanbul, happy to have made it with these guys 🙂
— 100T Asuna (@Asunaa) August 14, 2022
Perhaps the revelation of the tournament was 100T’s Derrek “Derrek” Ha. In particular, his monstrous 31% clutch percentage was a talking point throughout the event. Derek’s team had varying ideas about why he’s so strong in 1vX situations.
“He just do that sh*t,” stellar said.
“He literally gets a buff when everyone dies,” William “Will” Cheng said.
“He only tries in clutches,” Sean “bang” Bezerra said.
“He saves all of his initiator utility for the clutch,” head coach Sean “sgares” Gares said.
Whatever the reason, Derrek and the rest of 100T have leveled up massively through the NA LCQ event. Particularly, the team’s last two matches have shown the world a 100T capable of doing damage internationally.
The Guard’s VCT season comes to an end
Few expected the LCQ grand final between 100T and The Guard to be as one-sided as it was. 100T took a decisive 3-0, leaving no doubt as to which team was better prepared.
“I think us beating them 3-0 and them banning our two best maps, or what they think are our two best maps, it’s kind of a statement,” Asuna said.
“They played well and we played bad, and they capitalized on our mistakes,” The Guard’s Trent “trent” Cairns said. “And everything just fell apart.”
The Guard advanced to the grand final through the upper bracket. They had only dropped a single map on their route to the finals and looked to be in top form. Unfortunately, The Guard that showed up wasn’t the one fans had seen throughout the LCQ.
“I don’t know what happened,” The Guard’s head coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore said. “A lot of it was trying to get people to talk, to have fun, to actually get people to play the video game instead of phoning in a performance.”
Despite the loss, The Guard are a team to watch for the future. They have grown massively throughout their short time in the VCT, despite a relatively new and inexperienced roster.
“Nobody can take anything away from us,” in-game leader Jacob “valyn” Batio said. “Obviously not the end result we wanted, but regardless we did pretty good this year.”
100T head to Champions 2022
100T have a few weeks to prepare for Champions 2022, which begins Sept. 2. The teams plans to take a couple days off to relax and then it’s back to practice. Rest is much needed for the team after the gruelling past weeks.
“Four straight days of matches has been insane,” sgares said. “[Michael “Mikes” Hockom has] been putting in so much work.”
“Tons of caffeine,” Mikes, the 100T assistant coach, said of how he was able to manage it. “The milligrams are off the charts right now. Gonna be coming down from that later.”
100T are looking forward to getting in good practice, saying that their scrims suffered a bit not being able to play against their competition.
“The last two weeks we’ve been playing some bums,” Asuna said. “You can’t scrim any LCQ teams and you’re just scrimming Tier 2 teams.”
For a team lacking LAN experience, 100T are looking forward to playing an offline event. In particular, they want to make it deep in the event so that they get to perform in front of an audience.
Asuna is the only returning player from the 100T roster that attended Masters Berlin in 2021. He said that he didn’t expect the new-look 100T to be heading back to LAN so soon, but the more they played the more confident he became.
“All the 100 Thieves fans really need to trust in the process and what the team’s trying to do,” Asuna said. “It feels very reactionary in the VALORANT scene. It makes it really hard for people to do their job and sh*t … If you’re an actual 100 Thieves fan and you stuck by … it means a lot to everyone on the team.”
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.