And so begins the countdown to the start of the 2020 Spring Split for the LCS, and I’ll be analyzing the roster changes for each team as we approach the split. Starting off with my favorite team, whom I have high, high hopes for.
100 Thieves came into last year looking like they made some moves that could be unrivaled. Their roster was *seemingly* stacked and they should be top dogs. Well…that didn’t pan out. Their roster initially was as follows:
- Top Lane- Ssumday
- Jungle- AnDa
- Mid Lane- Huhi
- Bot Lane- Bang
- Support- Aphromoo
This roster was supposed to be great, superb, AMAZING. Did that happen? Not at all. Huhi was brought in to be 100T’s saving grace in the mid lane, as they’ve had serious issues there. Let’s just say he was far from good, and it didn’t last long before he was out. In addition to Huhi being brought in, after the mess of a roster at the end of the 2018 season, 100T went BIG and brought in former world champion bot laner, Bang, to replace Cody Sun/Rikara. The spring split went horribly wrong, finishing 4-14 and having their roster consist mostly of Academy players by the end of the split.
The roster got a sort of overhaul between Spring and Summer Split, with FakeGod coming in for Ssumday (mind-boggling since Ssumday is arguably the best top laner in NA), Amazing coming in for AnDa in the jungle and Ryu coming out of retirement to be in the mid lane over Soligo (who temporarily replaced Huhi).
The results were relatively better, with the team finishing 8-10 and just narrowly missing playoffs. It was clear that there needed to be an overhaul of the team at an organizational level, beginning with removing head coach pr0lly. 100 Thieves went above and beyond and brought in PapaSmithy as the General Manager of the team. This was the beginning of a mass amount of changes.
First, Muddawg (Head of Esports) and SAB (Team Manager) leave, and then pr0lly is removed from being the head coach. PapaSmithy brings in Zikz as the new head coach. Shortly after, Papa brings in a familiar and widely loved jungler for the 2020 roster, my boy Meteos. He was a big factor in 100 Thieves 2018 Worlds run, but it was well known that pr0lly and him had some issues.
Following the addition of Meteos, a big worry of the team was cleared up. Ssumday chose to remain with 100 Thieves and was announced as the starting top laner once again! REJOICE for the KIND BOY HAS RETURNED. With these two positions solidified, numerous departures were confirmed:
- Amazing (former jungler)
- Bang (former ADC)
- Aphromoo (former support and captain)
This left an opening in the ADC and support position, and the mid lane was still up in the air but it was assumed Ryu would be at the very least leaving the position. Shortly after these departures, it was confirmed that Stunt would be the starting support. Stunt had been a longtime Academy support player for the Thieves, with occasional showings in the LCS and performing fairly well. His hard work definitely paid off as he was promoted to the starting roster.
In another highly anticipated and appreciated move, PapaSmithy brought back the most successful ADC for the franchise so far, Cody Sun. There were issues within the coaching staff and Cody Sun previously, but having the staff being reworked, it was the perfect time for Cody Sun to return and take back over the starting ADC role.
Finally, the last position was filled, regarding the mid lane. Coming from the OPL, ry0ma took over the mid lane position from Ryu. He was a fairly well known and talented mid laner in the Oceanic league, and there are high hopes for him to perform well in the LCS. It was a rather rare move, bringing in an import from the OPL, but I believe it will be one that will pay off the Thieves.
The final additions to the staff were Assistant Coach, Phantiks, and Strategic Coordinator and Head Analyst to Strategic Coach, JungleJuice. So the roster is as follows:
The roster is looking like it could go back to the 2018 Spring Split form, in which they placed 1st in the league in their inaugural split. Ssumday is arguably the best top laner in the entirety of LCS, and his synergy with Meteos was top notch. He’s able to 1v1 anyone in the league, and I’m confident he’d come out on top. His mechanics are bar none. Meteos is a veteran jungler and has the ability to be a clutch shotcaller, and has been consistently one of the best junglers in the LCS. Newcomer ry0ma is more of a wildcard, but having watched some play of his, I’m not worried. He is able to communicate in English, which has always been an issue with most imports. That’s huge for the Thieves since they don’t have to cross that barrier. Cody Sun has previously played with most of the roster, and was a top performer throughout. He was one of the best ADCs in the Spring Split of 2018, and before the roster issues was arguably MVP worthy. He had a tendency to be reckless and too aggressive, but I’m sure Zikz will be able to reign that in. Stunt was a star on the academy roster, and had performed well the few times he’s been in LCS. I think now is the best time, if any, for him to be given the chance to prove his worth and earn his spot.
I’m looking forward to the spring split, and hoping for the Thieves to run it up and make the finals, if not Worlds in 2020.
Without a doubt, I know I’m thinking Thieves.