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100 Thieves will not be the Group D first seed heading into the Champions Istanbul playoffs after suffering a loss to DRX. The 2-0 loss to DRX means that 100T will have to make playoffs by winning an elimination match against either Fnatic or FURIA Esports.

Fnatic are favored to win against FURIA, which would lead to a rematch between 100T and Fnatic with the last playoff slot on the line.

“Obviously we’ve played against Fnatic already,” 100T’s Derrek “Derrek” Ha said in an interview. “We’ve beaten them. We’re definitely going to be watching that series closely and taking notes.”

Fnatic are the hometown heroes in Istanbul thanks to their Turkish duelist Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder. Derrek is not concerned about knocking out the crowd favorite before there’s even a crowd at Champions.

“I don’t care,” he said. “I do not care. Sorry, it’s us or them. Sorry.”

100T Derrek
Derrek “Derrek” Ha of 100 Thieves competes at the VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Groups Stage on Sept. 3, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff. Provided by Riot Games.

100T’s stage debut

Thanks to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team, the match against DRX was 100T’s first one on stage. At least, it was for Derrek, William “Will” Cheng and Sean “bang” Bezerra; the rest of the team is still playing from their hotel practice room, waiting for a negative COVID test.

Derrek, who also had COVID, said he’s almost completely recovered.

“I’m feeling pretty much 100 percent,” he said. “The guys back at the hotel might be a little fatigued. I feel like we were coughing a little bit towards the end and energy was getting a little bit low. It’s kinda late, but that’s no excuse.”

As for playing on the big stage, Derrek and his teammates are still getting acclimated to it.

“To finally actually play on stage in an international event, it’s a crazy feeling,” Derrek said. “It was more than I expected it to be … I’m still a little bit shaky.”

100T lose to DRX

The series that sent 100T into the lower bracket was closely contested for a 2-0. The 100T map pick of Breeze went through a slew of overtimes before DRX came out on top. Fracture looked like it would go cleanly to DRX before 100T rampaged back in a massive comeback; unfortunately, 100T fell short at the finish line.

“I felt like we had a bunch of unlucky rounds, and we were kind of uncoordinated that entire series,” Derrek said. “Definitely think we should have closed out Breeze, and that definitely would’ve pushed us forward to close out the series.”

DRX felt the same way.

“The moment that we won Breeze, we knew that it was going to be a 2-0 for us because we’re really confident in our Fracture,” DRX’s Byung-chul “BuZz” Yu said in a press conference.

According to Derrek, 100T knew DRX were a strong team that emphasized site executes. He said that they managed to figure out how to stop those dangerous executes, but by then it was too late.

DRX Champions
Kim “stax” Gu-taek (R) and Byung-chul “BuZz” Yu of DRX at the VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Groups Stage on Sept. 3, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff. Provided by Riot Games.

So far, North American teams have had a strong showing at Champions. 100T is the first of the three NA squads to drop a series. Ironically, they do it against DRX who have had massive struggles against NA teams in the past.

“This is our third or fourth time facing NA teams and we were never able to beat them before,” BuZz said. “Taking 100 Thieves down gives us that mental edge. So I think it’s going to give us a lot of confidence moving forward and facing other North American teams.”

DRX are 4-0 in the group stage and advance to playoffs once again. In the past, the Korean powerhouses have performed well in groups before faltering when they come up against opposition in playoffs.

“All of those matches that we lose in the playoffs, they’ve been really really close,” BuZz said. “I know that as we’ve advanced to playoffs, we’ve exposed our weaknesses. But this time around, we’re just going to show you [that] we’ve become stronger and stronger.”

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