100 Thieves president says LCS team was their most successful gamble ever

100 Thieves at the 2021 World ChampionshipRiot Games/Getty Images

In an episode of ‘The Joe Pomp Show’, 100 Thieves president and COO John Robinson took a deep dive into the organization’s mentality regarding its League of Legends roster.

League of Legends is becoming a more and more expensive ecosystem as it matures. The scene is starting to see contracts hitting multi-million dollar figures, and this rate of growth shows absolutely no signs of slowing down in the near future. The esport’s increasing global reach and viewership numbers have made higher investments necessary to keep up with such rapid evolution.

One such organization that has proved willing to invest in League is a relatively new face on the scene, 100 Thieves. Founded in November of 2017, what began as an org with a single competitive team to its name has become one of the most iconic and well-respected brands in the gaming industry.

However, Robinson explains that the decision to further invest in their League of Legends division was not an easy one. In an interview with Joe Pompliano on his podcast, ‘The Joe Pomp’ show, he described assembling the 2021 LCS squad as “one of the biggest risks” that the company has taken in their short lifespan.

Investing in the future

Robinson explained that going into the 2021 season, 100 Thieves felt that they were finally “getting closer to a championship”, and that they were willing to make the investment on “really strong players that were also pretty expensive” to complete their LCS roster.

In particular, he cites the signing of Felix ‘Abbedagge’ Braun in the mid-season window as the organization’s most successful investment – only made possible by the willingness to increase the budget for the League division.

100 Thieves LoL team with CEO Nadeshot100 Thieves
According to John Robinson, the investment in the 2021 LCS squad was a gamble that has paid off

Earlier in the year, the org had also signed AD Carry Victor ‘FBI’ Huang, support Choi ‘Huhi’ Jaehyun and jungler Can ‘Closer’ Çelik from Golden Guardians. FBI in particular has become one of the LCS’s hottest commodities since his debut in the region at the beginning of 2020. In 2021, he was voted the LCS All-Pro AD Carry, with Abbedagge, Closer and Huhi making it onto the second All-Pro team.

“We said, ‘Let’s commit to this, this is important to our fans, this is important to who we are, this is important to us, this is important to our employees. We’re ready to win,'” he said. “Those off-season acquisitions, I think they were one of the best moves we have ever made.”

This roster revamp paid big dividends for 100 Thieves, as they were crowned 2021 LCS Summer champions after a commanding 3-0 victory over Team Liquid.

After crashing out of the World Championship in the groups, they will be looking to make their mark internationally in 2022. They have kept the same roster for next year, only promoting academy prospect Milan ‘Tenacity’ Oleksij.