League of Legends

100 Thieves GM PapaSmithy explains surprising choice of LCS mid-laner

by Joe O'Brien
Riot Games

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100 Thieves' League of Legends general manager Christopher ‘PapaSmithy’ Smith has explained the decision to pick up Tommy ‘Ryoma’ Le as the team’s starting mid-laner.

The acquisition was a somewhat surprising one, as Ryoma is an Australian player who will be making his LCS debut for 100 Thieves.

Not only does he not have experience competing in a major region, but he will also fill an import slot for the team. Historically, LCS squads have preferred to use their available imports on talents proven in more competitive regions, such as Korea and Europe.

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100 Thieves are completely rebuilding their LCS roster after a disappointing 2019.

Following the announcement that Ryoma would be rounding out 100 Thieves’ LCS squad, PapaSmithy was quick to explain why the decision to pick him up had been made – especially considering that notable domestic mid-laners, such as Eugene ‘Pobelter’ Park and Tanner ‘Damonte’ Damonte seem set to miss out on a place in the LCS for Spring 2020.

According to the general manager, Ryoma’s selection was a result of him impressing during tryouts, including demonstrating a “high baseline of skill”. The team also seems to be prioritizing communication, with English fluency also a factor in Ryoma’s favor. PapaSmithy also states that the decision to sign Ryoma was “unanimous”.

Ryoma won’t be the first Oceanic player to compete in the LCS, with fellow Australians Lawrence ‘Lost’ Hui and Ian ‘FBI’ Huang – a former teammate of Ryoma’s – having previously represented Echo Fox and Golden Guardians respectively.

It is the first time, however, that an Australian player has been signed as a starter for an LCS squad at the beginning of the season – heading into 2020, he will be 100 Thieves’ first choice of mid-laner for the Spring split.

With the addition of Ryoma, 100 Thieves have now completed their starting roster for the 2020 season. For fans of the team, the line-up may well seem familiar, with three players from their original 2018 starting squad – Ssumday, Meteos, and Cody Sun – all making a return for 2020.

100 Thieves full LCS roster:

  • Kim ‘Ssumday’ Chan-ho
  • William ‘Meteos’ Hartman
  • Tommy ‘Ryoma’ Le
  • Cody ‘Cody Sun’ Sun
  • William ‘Stunt’ Chen