With some of the most experienced players joining the team, 100 Thieves made their first NA LCS debut in 2018. After going through quite a long EU journey, pr0lly decided to continue his coaching career in NA. The veteran 100 Thieves players and pr0lly together succeeded to advance to the 2018 Spring playoffs on 1st place. Although they did come in a close 2nd place in the playoffs, it was indeed a surprising debut for a rookie team.
The team also did well on the Summer split. Eventually, they succeeded to get to the 2018 Worlds on 2nd place in the 2018 Championship Points rankings. Like their fellow NA Worlds participants, 100 Thieves also visited Korea to set a boot camp.
On the 27th(KST), we got the chance to shortly meet the 100 Thieves team. Although the interview was scheduled rather early in the morning, the 100 Thieves crew greeted us warmly.
The following is the interview with 100 Thieves.
Can you guys give us a brief introduction of yourselves?
pr0lly: Hi, I’,m pr0lly, head coach of 100 Thieves.
aphromoo: Hey, I’m the support for 100 Thieves.
Rikara: Hi, I’m the AD carry for the team.
Cody Sun: I’m Cody Sun, AD carry.
Ryu: I’m currently playing mid for 100 Thieves.
AnDa: Hello, I’m AnDa, the jungler for the team.
Ssumday: Hey, I’m Ssumday, top laner for 100 Thieves.
Reinfcmnt: Hi guys, I’m the performance coach for the team.
How are you guys preparing in Korea, for the Worlds?
pr0lly: I think we’ve arrived here 5 days ago. Some of the guys were here a couple of days earlier. Scrims are going well. We’ve not faced any Korean teams; we played with one EU LCS team and a Turkish team. So, we’ve not faced every region yet. I’m excited about going against them later on.
Did you guys have any free time since you’ve got here? Well, there was one of the biggest Korean holidays a few days ago.
Cody Sun: We didn’t have a lot of free time yet. Everyone usually stayed in for the whole day for practice, and also played a couple hours of solo queue. But, before our practice started, AnDa and I stayed in an Airbnb, tried out Korean PC bangs. We also walked around the Hongik University district. There were a lot of cool stores there.
Ssumday: Although it was a Korean holiday, I had to practice so I couldn’t go home. Insadong, the current place we’re staying, is quite a popular place. I saw a lot of people having fun.
Ryu: I had to practice here as well. Still, my mom came here to see me and brought some traditional food.
How did you guys feel after finishing the Summer split? Was it any different compared to Spring?
aphromoo: Well, for me it was basically the same.
pr0lly: Summer split compared to Spring was itself challenging because of the big meta change. We knew what to do in the Spring split whereas there were a lot more guessing to do in Summer.
What are you trying to focus and improve in this boot camp?
Ryu: I’m trying to play a bit more aggressive. When we were back in NA, the opponents weren’t that aggressive. However, I felt that the teams we’re facing here are really aggressive. In order to win, I believe that we have to play like that as well.
What kind of team color do 100 Thieves have?
AnDa: We’re a team that excels on the mid to late game. That’s why the team tries to play more aggressive and make plays in the early game as well. I also try to make some team plays early.
100 Thieves is currently an affiliation of the NBA team, Cleveland Cavaliers. Were there any unique benefits that the team received from a pro sports organization?
pr0lly: I can’t talk a lot since there’s a video coming out about it but to be brief... Towards the end of the Spring split, they did something really cool where they flew us out to Cleveland to give us a chance to watch one of the NBA games. It was an interesting and totally new experience because most of us aren’t really into traditional sports.
Ryu: We had the chance to watch the players on the 1st floor. Well, they seemed really tall. I was kind of afraid if I’ll get hit by the ball; it was that close. Overall, it was fun and interesting.
There are some highly experienced players currently playing for 100 thieves. How would experience help in the 2018 Worlds.
Ssumday: In important tournaments such as Worlds, the pressure will get to you. However, the opponent suffers the same amount of pressure as well. That’s why it’s about feeling less pressured and making fewer mistakes… This is what makes a strong team. I do think our experience will help out. However, personally, even if I did perform in a lot of big stages, I don’t have a lot of experience in Worlds. I’ll have to see what happens since I sometimes do feel pressured in important matches.
Compared to the experienced players in the team, the team itself is rather new to the NA LCS. How did you guys shape this team into an ‘LCS contender’?
Ryu: Since most of us were experienced, we didn’t do anything special. We just tried to do things together in order to shape the teamwork.
Now that the meta became a bit more stabilized, how do you think the Worlds meta would be like? As a matter of fact, some of those tanky supports just got buffed.
aphromoo: I don’t really like the meta right now. Personally, it’s a bit boring. There were some rune changes and buffs; in general, it’s mostly focused teamfighting. It definitely benefits us since it requires a lot of teamwork.
100 Thieves will face Fnatic and iG in the group stage. What came up to your minds once you guys saw the group results? Did the team feel confident?
Rikara: I was pretty confident. Well, iG and Fnatic are pretty good teams but we’ve been practicing and we do think the team has a good chance against them
What would be the key matchup for the 2018 Worlds?
Cody Sun: If the Worlds meta gets stabilized and follows the ‘top tank, aggressive mid-jungle, carry bot lane’, I think the mid-jungle would be the most important.
.Are there any other team or particular player you want to face in Worlds?
aphromoo: Currently, I don’t really care about who we’ll be playing against. I just want to experience some good matches.
Cody Sun: I’m excited to play against Fnatic and iG because I’ve been watching how their bottom duos have been playing this year. I really like the playstyles for both teams. I do want to play against Rekkles again; I played against him last year.
Ryu: I don’t have a particular player I want to go against. I just want to win Fnatic and iG in the group stage.
AnDa: I wanted to face Tarzan, but he didn’t make it.
Ssumday: I heard that the iG players perform really well. I’m also curious about how kt Rolster would do. If I’d face them, I’d like to meet kt on the higher stages in Worlds.
Talking about kt, after Score won the LCK, he cried and said that he still can’t forget about his former teammates. As former teammate yourselves, how was it to see Score lift the LCK trophy?
Ryu: Um… I don’t know but I just felt really good for him. I didn’t feel anything particular besides that.
Ssumday: I also had a similar feeling when I was in kt as well. You know, this scene is all about results… Well, there were a lot of players who joined kt and also left… Still, it’s good to see Score performing well.
Do you guys think the NA teams will perform well in this Worlds?
pr0lly: I predict that us and Team Liquid will do pretty well. I think that C9 can drop into group B which is the hardest group and I do feel bad for them. Team Liquid will do good in this meta if it becomes more stabilized.
Rikara: Team Liquid will do pretty well. I think C9 is doomed. (laughs) I also predict that they’ll go to group B.
Reinfcmnt: I haven’t thought about this much from the other teams' perspectives, but I’ll say I have similar thoughts as pr0lly.
What if 100 Thieves went to group B? Would you guys be able to perform well in it?
Ryu: (after a long pause) I think it’s going to be tough…(laughs) It’s definitely going to be tougher than the other groups.
AnDa: If it’s before the boot camp, we won’t be good in group B. It’s about how well we practice.
Next, we’re going to give you each a brain map. On the paper, just write down whatever is currently on your mind. After everyone is finished, please share it with your teammates.
pr0lly: What was this called again? (Q: Brain map.) Okay, this is my brain map. The first one in the middle is ‘pride’. Well, I was in EU and now NA…This is the first time representing NA. I did hope of getting a European team in my group to show off what North America is capable of. In general, I hope that I’d feel good of what the team did; at least I want to show what we can do and I also want to prove what North America is capable of.
Communication is something that’s always around my mind. To my players, I talk about communication more than anything else. Also, in the group stage, our momentum will be important, especially starting from game 1. The little guy right here is ‘stress’. It’s just always there. We’re in a stressful environment.
aphromoo: The first one is ‘vision and awareness’ since I like to be aware of everything. Another thing is ‘mood’. I get angry when anyone or the enemy team disrespects me. On the top, I wrote ‘empathy’. If you’re having a hard time, you got to talk and try to fix it; I’ll try to be on his side. Another part is ‘confidence’. I like to give other people confidence. The bottom ones are ‘frustration’, ‘stress’ and ‘depression’. The tiny dot is ‘calm’ since I try to stay calm no matter what.
Rikara: ‘Communication’ is the most important for me. We’re working on communication in the team and it’s getting a lot better. I’ve been focusing on it a lot since it’s an important thing for us to succeed. The second most important is ‘companionship’. Also, ‘understanding’ is really important as well. We make a lot of mistakes in practice and you have to be ready to understand. Some of the other things I wrote are quite depressing. We’re not going to win every game so I wrote ‘grief’. On the dot, I wrote down ‘emptiness’.
Cody Sun: The most important for me is ‘League’ and everything that has to do with it; practice, solo queue… I try to focus on those the most. The second one I wrote is ‘my team’. In this part, things like team dynamics, environment and communication can be related. Another one is ‘friends’. Whether it’s my friend in the League scene or my old high school friends, they’re all important for me.
I also like Korean food, so I like to try out all the different food. I also wrote down ‘mental’. Solo queue here is really hard compared to NA… Everyone here seems really serious and tries not to surrender much as possible. Other than that, I try to find ways to relax and enjoy myself outside of League, so I wrote down ‘entertainment’. I like to watch movies, anime and YouTube clips.
Ryu: The middle one is to ‘win’ against Fnatic and iG. Another one is ‘sleep’ since I really want to sleep a bit more. I want to eat ‘food’ too, especially healthy food. Well, going to the ‘army’ is something highly important… (laughs) I just want to go to the military as late as possible. I also wrote down our sponsor as well. (team: nice!) I also do want to ‘work out’, but my mind doesn’t allow me to.
AnDa: The most important for me at the moment is ‘Korean solo queue’. Also, ‘K-pop’ is something I like. Having a ‘good mental’ is important. I really like Korean food, especially I like to buy random Korean beverages at the convenient store. This is my rookie year and my first Worlds… I just want to play ‘confident’ in general. The small one is ‘free time’. For the past 3 times I’ve visited Korea, I didn’t have that much time to explore.
Ssumday: The middle part is ‘Worlds’. I also wrote things like ‘future’ since I’d be concerned about my future until the day I die. Another thing I wrote down is ‘army’ because it is a big thing for me. I don’t have a good way of releasing my stress so I need a ‘hobby’. Oh yeah, I saw Ambition and Score having a ‘girlfriend’…They looked so happy. (Ryu: (whispers) Isn't Score's girlfriend a secret?) No it isn’t. He told this in a live interview. (laughs) Returning to this, even in the streets, I can see a lot of couples… And they look so happy. I think I’m kind of lonely.
Do you have any words for the fans?
aphromoo: I love Korea!
AnDa: I want to perform well in Words for myself and my team; I don't want to be any burden.
Ssumday: This is what I said to the fans before I left Korea: "If we focus on what we have to do, we'll someday be able to meet again." The chance to meet my Korean fans again came earlier than expected.
Reinfcmnt: I've told my guys that this is the dessert that they've earned. So far, it's been sweet as I expected; I think it'll continue to be like this.
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