× Disclaimer: This interview was conducted right after 100 Thieves' win on July 1st. Inven Global is currently attempting to contact with 100 Thieves to further clarify the situation.
On July 1st, 100 Thieves won against OpTic Gaming and scored 4-2 in the ladder. However, something peculiar happened long after the game.
Although Meteos had performed exceptionally well in both today’s game and previous ones, Meteos had tweeted that his contract was traded to FlyQuest. While there is no solid information to help understand both the decisions of 100 Thieves and FlyQuest, Inven Global was able to grab an interview with pr0lly hours before this all had happened.
Let’s see what 100 Thieves’ coach, pr0lly, has to say about Meteos, Levi, and Rift Rivals.
¤ In today’s game, both sides used gold funneling. Was there any pre-orchestrated strategy going against a gold funneling comp as a gold funneling comp?
Most of our plans focused around the gold funneling strat going up against standard team comps. This is most of our knowledge regarding gold funnel right now. There are not too many American players playing it. Hence, it is difficult to have a funnel vs funnel scrim match going. When it comes to other teams matching our strategy, we don’t have any tricks yet. Hopefully going into Rift Rivals, it is something that we need to figure out. This is because G2 is a big gold funneling team. Right now, I believe NA is a little bit behind when it comes to gold funneling. As or against it.
¤ A coach’s responsibility spans all the way from picks/bans to basic strategy and roster changes. Where do you think the coach’s grasp really begins and ends?
I believe it extends to the limitation of the players. In other words, how much help they really need. There are players that don’t need that much help. This is where you kind of cut off what you do because you don’t want to micromanage too much. It just comes down to adaptation. As a coach, you need to completely immerse yourself with the player. If a player cannot properly assess the meta, that is something you need to take on for yourself.
All the way up to the tiny micro details, a coach should be able to do. The bigger thing is judging how much you need to do that. Sometimes you can get away with not doing anything at all.
¤ Although a coach has influence over the draft and early game tactics, there is only so much a coach can do for the late game. Would you agree that a coach has no meaningful control over the late game?
Yeah, that is hard. As the game goes on, the number of variables just multiply. Once you pass the 30-40 minute marker, the normal macro changes a lot. You see a lot of ARAMs because it is the safest possible play. I believe the best way for a coach to influence mid-late game is to get the fundamentals on what their brains should be focused on. You kind of leave that up to the players to create a scenario.
You can’t coach a player how to backdoor or something similar. Those are a lot harder things to coach. What I would focus on for that is to show them what ‘pictures’ to find that unlock this sort of play. Instead of teaching a backdoor play, I would show them “Look at these waves. This is what we can do with this.”. I would then just leave it up to them. Just the amount of change that happens in 30-40 minutes, you can’t go super hard into detail for each one. You have to pull apart the patterns to show to your players.
¤ Talking a bit about the roster changes for Rift Rivals. Could you tell us the reasoning behind putting in Brandini and Levi?
First of, the roster decisions were initially made last week. Brandini and Levi have been putting in a lot of work in the Academy team. Since we are right next door to them, we can actually see their gameplay. The way that Levi plays is individually a lot different from Meteos. On the other hand, Brandini plays quite similar to how Ssumday does. The reasoning behind the changes was to really see how this all changes everything. I believe last week, we used our Academy ADC, Rikara, instead of Cody Sun for a day of scrims.
What I found was that there was not only a change in the bot lane but also to the entire team. I thought this was very interesting because it was the first time I have used a sub in that way. For my whole coaching career, I have always had one roster and stuck with them to the end. This was the first time using this kind of experiment. It was really eye-opening for me to see the rest of the team change. My assumption was it would change how bot lane would communicate as a team. I did not expect it to have such a ripple effect on everything else.
Changing out for Levi and Brandini, I am really curious on how they impact the rest of the team. Also on how the team reacts to two whole new players as well. The plan is to have Meteos and Ssumday will be participating in scrims too. It is not like we are missing a lot of main team practice. It is just having them gaining a new perspective on how our team works without them.
¤ Since Rift Rivals this year is more of an event match style, it is understandable to have the need to experiment with the roster. However, there are still things like pride and snowball effects on the line. Do you still think it may be worth the risk?
I believe in our case, it is. Despite this, you could make the argument that winning Rift Rivals would give a lot of pride and momentum. Going into week 4, the team could possibly snowball a lot. In regards to our team, the atmosphere for our team has been a bit unstable for the past few weeks. My biggest fear with continuing with this roster was burnout over the weeks. They might be so focused on beating EU that they won’t focus on beating the NA teams.
The difficult part about Rift Rivals is that the information you gain can only be used now. We will study the European teams but until we get to Worlds, all that information is going to be useless weeks 4, 5, and 6. You are essentially practicing for something that has diminishing returns.
If you do have a good team atmosphere and there is no risk of burnout, I think going to Rift Rivals and taking it seriously has its benefits. We are using it the other way. We are using Rift Rivals to rejuvenate the team a little bit and get some more perspective. More self-awareness than performance.
¤ What really changed when adding someone like Levi to the team?
It is even more curious now because of this whole gold funneling strat. Right now, the strategy could change with Levi. He could be better at a position in mid-jungle, and I could pair him up with Cody. Maybe Ryu will move back into the mid-funnel position. It is less about Levi himself and more towards Levi being a different player with different skill sets to Meteos. Now that the game is not being played standard anymore, we can try a lot more things.
It is a lot more different than before when changing junglers. Instead of “We need to find his jungle champion pool”, it is “We need to see what he brings to the table on the funneling strategy.”. Levi will bring his own perspective on gold funneling from Academy since it is so new. There are a lot of moving pieces. Swapping a jungler for a team is a big decision for any team. We need to run at full speed to catch up with everything for Rift Rivals. I just hope this revitalizes us and gives us more energy as a team.
¤ Were there any complaints from Ssumday or Meteos regarding them not being able to go to Rift Rivals?
They were actually very mature about it. Ssumday had shown some emotion when I told him, and Meteos had an apathetic reaction. Neither were negative by any means. Ssumday was actually very polite and respectful towards my decision. But, I could definitely feel his sadness. I could tell he was hiding it just to be polite. I told Ssumday that I was sorry because I knew he was sad. Despite all this, they were very mature. I am sad that we won’t be able to see our whole roster perform at Rift Rivals. However, I am excited that they get to join me as coaching staff for a week.
¤ Lastly, is there anything you want to say going into Rift Rivals?
I am really scared for NA at Rift Rivals right now. I believe the gold funneling strat is extremely important, and EU just has a better grasp on it. Hopefully, in the next few days, NA will take it more seriously and catch up. I would love a good performance from NA because I need to beat my former players who are still in EU. I have a lot of reasons to win Rift Rivals.