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Preseason 2019 First Impressions: 100 Thieves Patch 2.0

Izento 2019-01-18 04:21:13
  100 Thieves came into 2018 as a new organization, looking to make waves, and even though they ended on a downward spiral, all things considered, their Season 8 year was great for such a young brand. Behind all the victories and playoff runs, problems were looming, such as the departure of Meteos and the benching of Cody Sun. With Season 9 in their sights, 100T have assembled a roster that many herald as being top 2 with the amount of star power and cohesion they bring. We'll be taking a quick look into each player, address their Season 8 condition, and how they will fit into this current lineup.  
Some day
Ssumday became a candidate for MVP of the Summer Split, being beaten by Doublelift, but also showing that he was considered the most valuable top laner during the regular split. Ssumday has traditionally proven to be a flexible top laner in both playing carries and tanks, but 100T weren’t able to function during the early game unless Ssumday got a lead. Ssumday did have his moments to shine and carry the team, such as his games on Darius or his performances on Gnar and Gangplank, but the team was still criticized for not playing through his lane enough. What should be considered with Ssumday in the new 100T lineup is that his jungler will not have changed, so he should be able to build more synergy with AnDa, along with a presumably stronger bot lane to have even more security for late game. Ssumday is the single piece in the entirety of the team that doesn’t necessitate a change in behavioral playstyle patterns to function in this new lineup.  
Opaque Role
AnDa was thrust into the 100T squad during Season 8 Summer Split after the departure of Meteos. He had previous experience on FlyQuest, but 100T performed so well in junction with Meteos’ style that it begged the question if AnDa could properly fill his shoes. While AnDa can function on tanks, he’s had carry games which ultimately didn’t result in victories due to poor team macro and transitioning his lead into safe objectives. The interesting thing will be if 100T can change their playstyle from Season 8 and work in more early game carry threats from the jungle role. AnDa will most certainly be drawn towards mid and bot lane, given the inherent synergy and willingness of those lanes to be vocal about their game plan, but with Huhi’s roam-heavy style, this could be a great benefit to the team in transitioning into mid game. AnDa will once again have to tweak his style to accommodate a new mid laner.  
How Things Used to Be
Huhi had such a haphazard year in 2018 on Counter Logic Gaming. From his jungler being unable to move away from a pure control style, to problems with developing a leadership role, the team was a failed experiment. CLG couldn’t produce the tools to close out games and seemed to be lost when the mid game rolled around, which is assumed to be in some capacity due to Huhi’s inability to captain the team properly when he decided to take on the role. Reunited with his former teammate Aphromoo, Huhi’s primary weakness of being unable to lead a team to a decisive victory is being unburdened by his longtime friend. Huhi is expected to perform much better in this 100T lineup, and along with being a slightly better upgrade over Ryu (certainly debatable), we could actually see a breakout year from Huhi. With the newcomer in the ADC position, Huhi can help Bang transition to life in NA, along with any translation issues that could arise from being freshly imported. Huhi is set up for success in Season 9 and with his ability to create leads in other lanes, we could see splendid synergy from the solo lanes to carry the game.  
Buying a Worlds Title
Buying world champions is kind of like playing the lottery; the more NA buys, the more likely it is to win…right? At least that’s what we tell ourselves. Bang has made his way from SK Telecom T1 to NA and the 100T organization. Formerly he had been playing with Wolf for six years, and I previously talked about this duo and how they developed a style which was focused on being a stable bot lane, holding out for late game to be SKT’s insurance while Faker played a precarious style. Bang was one of the few redeeming qualities on SKT for Season 8, but with him joining 100T, his style has the potential to slot right in. After playing with someone for six years, I echo my concern that veteran bot laners could have overwhelming barriers in adapting to a new partner; this is the biggest question mark with Bang on this lineup. If he can easily adapt himself to Aphromoo’s style, this duo can overtake almost anyone and be top 3 in NA at minimum. Many are also assuming that with the way 100T played in Season 8, heavily relying on drawing games out to then conclude them in an epic teamfight, Bang is an ADC which thrives in the teamfight phase.  
Director’s Cut
Aphromoo is one of the most highly rated supports in NA and he once again has the job to be the leader of 100T. Having a new lane partner with Bang, along with being the shotcaller of the team, he’s got a lot on his plate to facilitate proper team macro and quickly come up with how the team should develop their identity. Going from CLG to 100T, Aphromoo hasn’t transitioned his philosophy away from resources allocated to the bot lane and if there’s any doubt in this player’s ability, it’s his inept skillset to be selfless; but with such a great lineup to play towards bot lane, in this circumstance it’s a benefit. ________
New and Improved
100T, together with coach of the Spring Split, Pr0lly, will have to help change the predicted style of the team, which is slow early game and wait for late game teamfights using mid lane control to toggle baron. Many fans and even players and analysts are placing 100T high in their power rankings—as essentially this team is just a better version of the Season 8 lineup—but with how the gamestate is trending with solo lanes having more power and early skirmishes being heavily rewarded, 100T could have a difficult time until ADC itemization buffs arrive. The most advantageous efficacy of 100T is that they are combining old components with the Season 8 lineup and legacy synergy with Huhi and Aphromoo all topped with one of the best teamfight ADCs to ever play the game. 100T certainly have a recipe to win the Spring Split, but the race is on to add to their bag of tricks and not be reliant on only one win condition. ___ Izento has been a writer for the LoL scene since Season 7, and has been playing the game since Season 1. Follow him on Twitter at @ggIzento for more League content. Image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

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