100 Thieves have started the 2022 LCS Summer Split 2-1. The 2021 LCS champions came back against TSM on opening day of the split and finished the weekend with their first win of the year against Dignitas, but dropped a match to Evil Geniuses on Saturday in what was a rematch of the final of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs.
After their first three matches of the 2022 LCS Summer Split, 100 Thieves jungler Can "Closer" Çelik joined Inven Global to discuss his team's first win of the year over Dignitas, his thoughts on the matchup against Evil Geniuses, and what was worked on in the mid-season break.
Closer, you just told Gabriella “LeTigress” Devia-Allen after the game today on broadcast that you felt that you could have beaten Dignitas a little quicker than you did. What could you have changed to end the game faster?
I think we focused too much on Fiora split-pushing. It didn't feel like they had an answer and the game was a free win, for sure, because we were so ahead. The only way we could have lost is if we gave them a free fight. I think what we could have done differently is have better vision control around Nash and have Fiora shift towards Nash so we could do it faster. I still have to go back and look, but those kinds of things are what are in my mind right now.
This was 100 Thieves' first win of the year against Dignitas. Was there some stylistic advantage they've had over you this year or was the previous 0-4 purely a matter of coincidence?
Finally! I don't know, maybe our loss to them in the Lock In playoffs carried over into last split, but I always felt like we could beat them. We finally beat the final boss. *laughs*
100 Thieves ended the week 2-1. How are you feeling about your team's play overall this week?
I think we did not show a strong performance or one that says that we are coming for the title, but internally, I know that we are working on really good things right now on our team. Our progress is good. It's not that I don't care, but I prefer to focus on the playoffs and just get better as much as we can in the best-of-ones. If we can improve on team-based stuff and macro stuff, I think we will be really good come playoffs.
Individually, I don't think our players will have any problems against anyone in the league in terms of skill. I think we just have to be a better team.
What was the mid-season like for you after coming up short in the finals of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs?
Some people went home, but we did have a Korean bootcamp for three weeks before this season started. I think we scrimmed against good teams and learned a good amount. If we had scrimmed LCS teams during that time, we probably wouldn't have learned as much. Hopefully, we can show it in the upcoming weeks. I do think our bootcamp was good.
Is there anything specific that you guys tried to improve on?
Just being a better team. I think we mostly won games because somebody popped off and stuff like that. When we beat Team Liquid to finish our 2021 LCS Championship run, it felt like no one could beat us. I want to get to that point again.
Is playing compositions like the one today that forced you to facilitate the entire map part of your training process in terms of getting better as a team, or did you only pick this composition to win optimally?
I think if we just picked Ornn or whatever was comfortable, we would win these games, but what will it matter? If we do the same old stuff and then lose in the playoffs, it doesn't mean anything. I would rather pick Fiora or stuff we have not shown and lose than win on the stuff that we have already won.
After your loss to EG, Vulcan said he was relieved because he knows that you're coming for him after his trash talk towards you in their championship press conference, and he kind of regrets how much he said in the moment. Does a best-of-one win against EG next time around mean anything to you?
No, not at all. I want to beat them on the big stage, not in a best-of-one. Even if we win in a best-of-one next time we play, I'm not going to trash talk.
You'll wait until the playoffs, then?
The five starters on 100 Thieves have been playing together for quite some time now. What is it that keeps you all together and keeps you believing that you can be the best team in the LCS once again?
I definitely think we can be and we will be once it's time for playoffs. I personally showed that I performed much better in playoffs because it's best-of-five format and you can adapt better the way that we adapted against Team Liquid in the Spring Playoffs.
We are really good friends and I think everyone is individually good enough to win a championship. Since we know each other well, we can also identify our mistakes like the ones that come from things outside of gameplay like mentality. I think it's cool that we've stuck together for a while, we all have a really good friendship and I'm sure it's going to carry over to the game as well.
Few teams made significant roster changes before the 2022 LCS Summer Split. Do you think organizations are more process-oriented than in seasons past?
I think it really depends on the team and on which players are available within that small window. It makes sense that teams like Team Liquid wouldn't want to instantly change things up after building a 'super team' so I think they just want to give it more chances and see what happens.
This past spring, it felt like there was a gap between the top three teams and the rest of the LCS. Which team do you think is most likely to challenge the top 3 of 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses?
I think it's still Cloud9. Cloud9 will be good. There are always strong in the regular split, and while they've lost games to start this split, they have strong carries like Blaber. I think Blaber really knows how to identify what gives him the lead and I think that is a really good factor to have to win best-of-one games. However, we're not sure; anyone could be the best. We'll see when playoffs time comes.
Thanks for your time, Closer. Is there anything you want to say to the 100 Thieves fans?
Thank you guys for supporting. The last final was sad but also an important lesson. That lesson will help us go into the Summer Split, so I just take it as a learning experience. Hopefully, we will be better this time around.