100 Thieves came into week 8 of the 2022 LCS Spring Split already qualified for the post-season, but that doesn't mean their last three matches meant nothing. 100 Thieves specifically made a statement in their win over Cloud9 last Saturday, in which the defending LCS champion showed that C9's Park "Summit" Woo-tae could be made mortal, shutting down the star top laner to the tune of a 0/7/1 scoreline on Graves by the time his team's nexus was cracked.
After 100 Thieves' stomp of Cloud9 in the final week of the 2022 LCS Spring Split, 100 AD carry Victor "FBI" Huang spoke to Inven Global about his and support Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun's late-split resurgence as well as the defending LCS champion's odds to defend their title.
I'm here with 100 Thieves AD carry FBI after an impressive win over Cloud9. How did this game go compared to your expectations?
I think the game went pretty well for us. I feel like Summit got very overhyped. I feel Ssumday is the best performing top laner in the league right now. I think that Cloud9 is a pretty bad matchup against us role-to-role, so the game kind of went how I thought it would.
We've seen teams try to exploit Summit, but no one has managed to keep him down on stage the way 100 Thieves did today. Was that immediately the gameplan going into this match, or did his blunder that led to giving Ssumday a solo kill early on lead to a further exploitation of his disadvantage on the fly?
I wouldn't say there was any focus on Summit. We did ban Gnar and Jayce; I think he plays very well on those two champions. From there, I feel like Ssumday is the better top laner, so it was kind of the expected result in the top lane. The solo kill was obviously a very good thing and once he got that we just started playing around keeping the Graves down.
It feels like your top laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho might be having his best split in a 100 Thieves uniform. Is there something that has changed about him as a player or his approach to competition in 2022?
I think Ssumday has really worked on his communication from last year until now. I think he's really worked on that in terms of playing with and around the team, so I feel like our top/jungle synergy has drastically improved when compared to last year. It's been really great for us because I think huhi and I have been slumping pretty hard. I feel like we are starting to get back into form, but it's been really nice having Ssumday as an insurance policy. He's always solid.
Was this win a statement win from your perspective or more just business as usual?
We definitely wanted to beat Cloud9. We did want to prove that we were capable of shitting on them, which we kind of did, but at the end of the game, because the game was really one-sided, the emotions weren't that extreme. However, it's still a really good feeling to take down the top team.
You said you and huhi had been slumping this split, but many bot laners I've spoken to have mentioned that you're still the benchmark of competition in your roles as a duo. Where do you feel you and huhi have slumped in terms of certain areas, and what has caused that?
I think in terms of laning we had a very good understanding of pretty much every matchup that was in the meta last year. Our level of understanding is not quite at the level it was last year. In addition, there have kind of been some int moments from our bot lane. That was still present last year, but this year, I feel it has been a bit excessive and egregious. I think it's just about working on our focus and I think that we are starting to get there.
Despite your self-admitted slump, you've managed to stay in the top AD carry conversation along with LCS newcomers in Team Liquid Steven "Hans sama" Liv and Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol. What are your thoughts on those players and how they measure up to you currently?
In the current state, I still believe that I am the best AD carry in the league. However, I will say that Hans and Berserker are both really good players. I think they kind of have different strengths. Hans seems to have a better laning phase, but Berserker's positioning in teamfights is generally pretty rock solid. They're both good players but I'd say they have different strengths.
There seems to be a clear gap between the top 3 of Team Liquid, Cloud9, and 100 Thieves. Do you think there's a fourth team in the LCS Spring Playoffs that can challenge this echelon?
I would say that team is probably EG. Eventhough EG has struggled pretty hard on stage, they are pretty strong in terms of practice. They have a pretty solid core of players in Vulcan, Danny, and Inspired. Impact and jojopyun are good too but I'd say jojo is very inconsistent.
Danny has improved a lot as a player. I think last year he was a bit of a joke in the laning phase, but he and Vulcan are pretty solid. Danny's always been an aggressive player and a good teamfighter, and the kind of AD carry I respect is someone who is willing to take the game into their own hands and try to carry.
From your perspective, is there an ideal post-season matchup for 100 Thieves?
I guess I'd say Cloud9 since we just beat them today, but I will say that at the same time, we match up very well against Team Liquid. In terms of playoffs, there will be a crowd and you obviously have to factor in nerves into your performance. C9 is full of rookies and TL is full of veterans, so I know how C9 has planned to deal with that pressure yet.
Is there anything you want to say to the 100 Thieves fans before your team heads into Playoffs?
To the 100 Thieves fans: thank you if you supported us or believed in us even if we were playing pretty badly early on in the Spring Split. We're going to go back-to-back.