100 Thieves announced on Tuesday that they have signed Daniel “ddk” Kapadia and Sean Gares to lead their VALORANT team as the General Manager and Head coach respectively. The two were introduced in their new roles in a video released by 100 Thieves on Tuesday, along with Michael "Mikes" Hockom who will be stepping into an Assistant Coach role with the organization.
"They know this game better than I could ever," Nadeshot said in the video. "Both veterans in their own right in esports. This is a player-owned organization. I have always been a big supporter that players know what is best for their team. What better way to bring two former professional players to lead our program itself? I think they are going to bring a level of structure, communication, and professionalism that we haven't had yet."
Gares is a former professional CS:GO player turned esports commentator with over a decade of experience as the in-game leader for his many teams that included Misfits, Cloud9, Complexity, and TSM. The 33-year-old coach brings plenty of tactical shooting experience and knowledge to the table. ddk also hails from the CS:GO professional scene, and is best known for serving prominently as a commentator in CS:GO before jumping to commentary roles in VALORANT. Mikes formerly served as the coach of Team Envy's VALORANT team before coming to 100 Thieves.
Gares and ddk both recently were working as VALORANT Champions Tour broadcast talent, but caused a stir in the scene when they left their broadcast roles after learning they both wouldn't be able to be a part of the upcoming VCT LAN Major in Iceland. ddk said on Twitter that he was unable to reach an agreement with Riot, while Sean Gares was apparently not offered a role according to his statement on the matter.
The two will now join 100 Thieves' embattled VALORANT team, which has seen a rough start to the VCT 2022 season. The team was given an automatic slot in the VCT Challengers Stage 1 group stage, due to their strong performance last year. However, they bombed out of Group A with a 1-4 record, including a definitive loss to The Guard that prompted the team to make roster changes in the middle of NA Challengers. They ended up replacing Hunter "BabyJ" Schline and Adam "ec1s" Eccles with Sean "bang" Bezerra and Noah "jcStani" Smith, who are both on loan from TSM and Pioneers respectively.
That move drew criticism from the 100 Thieves community, many of whom saw the decision as rash and driven by the emotion of loss, rather than as a sound decision based on the trajectory of the players. However, Nadeshot in a statement said that the decision was not based on the performance of the team, but rather the teamwork dynamics at play. Regardless, the sudden switch in players left the team unprepared for the rest of Challengers 1, so they will have to wait until the NA Challengers 2 to truly put their new team, coach, and GM to the test.
The addition of ddk and Sean Gares signals a direction shift for the team. The team is replacing their former Head Coach Jovi. They did not formerly have a dedicated GM before ddk. Time will tell if the new organizational structure, along with whatever new players 100 Thieves signs to their roster, can help turn around the 2022 VCT tour for 100 Thieves.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.