100 Thieves' mid-season signings have paid off. After acquiring mid laner Felix "Abbedagge" Braun from Schalke 04 Esports and signing Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu as its new head coach before the start of the 2021 League Championship Series Summer Split, 100 Thieves finished 2nd place in the regular season.
The top 2 finish100 a first-round bye in the LCS Championship, and after winning its first match of the post-season 3-2 against Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves has become the first North American team to qualify for the 2021 World Championship. This is the first time that 100 Thieves has qualified for Worlds since the organization's inaugural LCS season in 2018.
After sending Evil Geniuses to the lower bracket, Abbedagge joined Inven Global for a brief chat about 100 Thieves' epic 3-2 win, qualifying for Worlds 2021, and his thoughts on the rest of the post-season.
Congratulations on your win and Worlds qualification, Abbedagge. Did you expect Evil Geniuses to put up as much of a fight as they did?
We definitely thought that we shouldn't underestimate them, but we also came in with the expectation of winning.
100 Thieves is the first North American team to qualify for Worlds 2021. I assume your expectations were high upon joining 100 Thieves mid-season, but did you expect to be the first team from the region to qualify for the World Championship?
One of my goals when coming to 100 Thieves was making Worlds, so I'm not surprised that we're making Worlds as the first team from the region. [laughs] I'm very happy that we were able to make it this early. We just have to keep on practicing and working, and we'll do well at Worlds.
Does qualifying for Worlds before the LCS Championship is over take some pressure off of the shoulders of you and your teammates?
It definitely feels good that we already have this achievement in the bag, but the big goal for us as a team is still to take the NA championship and take that trophy home. Then, we will go to Worlds with an even stronger achievement.
Your next match will be against the winner of Team Liquid vs TSM, which takes place tomorrow. Who do you think will be your opponent?
I feel like it's going to be very close. Both teams are strong. I think it's going to be a 3-2 for TSM.
In that scenario, if you were to then beat TSM and go to the finals undefeated, do you think EG has a chance to meet you there for a rematch?
I think EG has to improve a lot if they want to win against teams like TL and TSM. I don't really think we'll meet them again.
Because of all the banter between you and Jiizuke, as well as your elite performances, of course, the mid lane was a big focus of today's series. How did Jiizuke play compared to what you expected?
I think he performed pretty close to how I expected he was going to play. I wouldn't say good or bad — I think their play around mid was very strong, and when we didn't adapt or match it, they kind of took over from the mid lane. It was definitely one of the rougher days for me, personally, because I also kind of put myself in some losing matchups.
Over in the LEC, Rogue and MAD Lions have qualified for Worlds. In terms of mid lane matchups you'd like to play at Worlds, which team would you prefer to take the 3rd Worlds seed for the LEC?
Most obviously, it's probably Caps. I think he's always been a very interesting player. I would like to play him in another best-of-five.
Thanks for your time, Abbedagge. Is there anything you want to say to the 100 Thieves fans now that you've helped the team qualify for Worlds since joining this summer?
Thanks for believing in me and believing in us. We hope to make you guys proud at Worlds.
All images by: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games via ESPAT