The organization announced on June 12 that AD Carry Bae ‘Bang’ Jun-sik and mid-laner Max ‘Soligo’ Soong would be moving down to the Academy team for their match against Golden Guardians Academy.
While fielding these players in the Academy matches doesn’t necessarily prohibit them from also playing in the LCS, the move does suggest a dramatic shift in 100T’s squad is coming in response to another poor start to the split.
Whether or not Academy players Jacob ‘Prismal’ Feinstein and Ryu ‘Ryu’ Sang-wook – who was the starting LCS mid-laner in 2018 – will be called up in their place remains to be seen, although fans have also speculated that 100T could be testing out Bang’s synergy with Academy Support William ‘Stunt’ Chen as they consider him as a replacement for LCS captain Zaqueri ‘aphromoo’ Black.
The organization will announce their line-up for the week three matches on Friday, June 14.
This week, we’re experimenting with changes across our League of Legends teams. For today's Academy match vs. GGSA, we’ll be starting @Bang & @Soligoms.— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) June 12, 2019
On Friday, we’ll announce our LCS line-up for this weekend. pic.twitter.com/t6o8FXU0Ug
The addition of former SK Telecom star and two-time World Champion AD Carry Bae ‘Bang’ Jun-sik was 100 Thieves’ marquee signing for the 2019 season, expected to elevate the team even further after an impressive debut year in 2018 saw them reach the LCS Spring finals and compete at Worlds.
This year, however, the organization has struggled to find its footing. In the LCS Spring split, they finished in last place with a record of 4-14. Now, after the first two weeks of the Summer split, they’re the only team without a win at 0-4.
100 Thieves did make roster changes during the mid-season break, bringing in veteran jungler Maurice ‘Amazing’ Stückenschneider and promoting Soligo, who spent most of Spring on the Academy team, to the starting LCS spot over Choi ‘Huhi’ Jae-hyun.
With results failing to improve, however, it looks like the team could be attempting to course correct early, before the deficit in their record becomes too great to have any hope of recovering for a spot in the playoffs.
If 100 Thieves have any ambitions of repeating their Worlds appearance, a successful Summer split is also crucial. While winning the split would guarantee a place, 100 Thieves will need to pick up some championship points with a decent playoff finish if they’re to even qualify for the Regional Finals and have a shot at securing the third spot.