This past weekend, 100 Thieves became the first team to beat Cloud9 this Summer, knocking them down in the first game of the second round robin of the Split, and tying up their head-to-head record at 1-1. Just a week before that, 100 Thieves made a roster change, adding Juan "Contractz" Garcia and Philippe "Poome" Lavoie-Giguere to the starting roster, replacing William "Meteos" Hartman and William "Stunt" Chen. Since then, they've won three out of their last four games, including the LCS favorites, Cloud9.
After their game, we spoke with Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho to figure out what all this roster has in store and how they were able to focus and defeat Cloud9 cleanly, despite nobody else being able to do so before them. Read the full interview below.
When you were preparing for this match, did you expect you'd be the first team to take down Cloud9?
I was watching their game yesterday against TSM. I was imagining that we would get the first win against C9, but I didn't expect that it would come that easily.
Did your mindset or gameplan change once you got a lead knowing it was against Cloud9? They often get behind early game but always come back. How did you stay focused and how did you prevent them from retaking control?
Cloud9 is usually playing really aggressively, but despite that, we were not playing passively. We just kept doing what we needed and played around our tempo. Because we were winning every fight - and C9's strategy is to just fight a lot, even if they're losing - and they just kept contesting everything, we just kept matching every fight and talking about how to play them out.
So you just matched them and played against them in their own game, then.
This has been a bit of a rougher split than most expected from 100 Thieves after the end of last Spring, but you did just take down Cloud9 which is great! What is your thought about how much the team can improve and get top three to go to Worlds this year?
Well we're kind of far away from that, so my goal is making Playoffs first and then we can go on from there. We'll have to play against all the top teams.
Well this win is big though, what does that say about 100 Thieves' updated roster's strength, and how do you feel about playing with the new guys?
Yeah we won against two top teams, C9 and FlyQuest, so we showed our potential and how high we can be. Stunt was a veteran and he knows a lot about macro and how to play the game, but Poome and Contractz also know how to play the game, but they each have a much broader champion pool and they're really accepting of others' opinions too, especially when they want to change something. And that makes the space more positive in the team.
I know this year you re-signed with 100 Thieves and they made you the kind of figurehead of the team. You're like the Faker of 100 Thieves.
I don't know, it's just if we win together then it's good. If we win, I'm good. But yeah, maybe it's because they've changed their roster and I'm like the original thief.
Compared to your time with some of the same members in your first year, in 2018, how is it playing for 100 Thieves this year?
Back in the day, I was a little shy and I didn't know very much English. I actually learned a lot of English from my teammates and coaching staff, so now even when I say troll s***, I am comfortable saying it. I don't have to worry about what they're going to think about me because we know each other better now.
You spent a little time in Academy last year, what are your thoughts on the difference in level of play between LCS and Academy right now?
Honestly, there's not a big gap between Academy players and LCS players as far as mechanics, but there's a lot of difference in other things. Like how they play, when they play aggressively, how do you snowball faster... There's a lot of things, and that makes a big gap. So if they take your time to learn about those things, they can be LCS players too. Also, their champion pools too are very different.
After your win against Cloud9, you said this is just the beginning, what did you mean?
Well it's still just half of the split, and we have a lot to work on. We played well, but it didn't mean we played perfectly. So we're just trying to get to a higher level. We still have a lot left to prove. Plus this game I didn't play well, too. I mean, I played decently, but I made mistakes I shouldn't, so I have to improve on that.
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