100 Thieves announced Sunday afternoon that it would be parting ways with Support Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black. Aphromoo was the first player signed by 100 Thieves after the organization's revival in the form of an LCS franchise slot in partnership with NBA organization Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split.
100 Thieves published a video on its official twitter account announcing the separation, and thanking Aphromoo for being the first player to take a chance on the organization. In 100's first split, Aphromoo led the team to a 1st place 2018 NA LCS Spring finish. Aphromoo was named the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split MVP, and was nominated to the All-Pro Team along with his duo partner Sun "Cody Sun" Li-Yu.
100 Thieves qualified for the 2018 League of Legends World Championship as the 2nd seed from North America, but sudden and peculiar roster changes and increasingly poorer performances led to the community at large to suspect internal issues were plaguing the team. Even after rebuilding its roster for 2019, things only continued to get worse. 100 Thieves failed to qualify for any of the 2019 post-season, and at one point in the spring, went over 100 days without winning a game.
100 Thieves seems aware that even more extreme changes than the previous off-season would need to be made, and that starts at the General Manager position with Chris "PapaSmithy" Smith. Head Coach Neil "pr0lly" Hammad was released in favor of Tony "Zikz" Gray, who most recently coached TSM in the 2019 LCS. Top Laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho was re-signed by 100 Thieves, and Jungler William "Meteos" Hartman and Cody Sun were also signed.
PapaSmithy's design almost looks like a 2018 NA LCS Spring rebuild for 100 Thieves, but 100T Academy Support William "Stunt" Chen was promoted to the starting roster in favor of Aphromoo shortly before the latter's release.
100 Thieves has now confirmed four of its starters for the 2020 LCS Spring Split, and according to a report by ESPN Esports' Jacob Wolf, has signed former Bombers Mid Laner Tommy "ry0ma" Le from the Oceanic Pro League.
Aphromoo's 2019 season was without a doubt the worst of his career, but 100 Thieves late summer surge was primarily off of an increased priority around Aphromoo and Bot Laner Bae "Bang" Jun-sik. Should Aphromoo continue to play professionally, he is absolutely worthy of an LCS spot. Should Aphromoo retire, he will hang up his mouse and keyboard as the greatest North American Support of all time.
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