100 Thieves have become the talk of the LCS in the last few weeks with their 7–2 start to Summer firing them into second behind TSM, but it’s presented a new challenge — Choi ‘huhi’ Jae-hyun says he’s wary of an “ego trip” bringing down his high-flying League of Legends team.
Team SoloMid may hold the top spot in the LCS right now with a 19–8 record, but there’s another team many have tipped as true frontrunners: 100 Thieves.
Nadeshot’s League of Legends lineup has struggled to kick it with the big boys over the past few seasons. The squad — a very different looking team to today’s outfit — finished top in their very first split, but have failed to live up to that early promise ever since, and have languished as league also-rans ever since.
All that is changing in Summer, however.
The team, which was already loaded with bonafide stars like Kim ‘Ssumday’ Chan-ho and Victor ‘FBI’ Huang, added German playmaker Felix ‘Abbedagge’ Braun. It was the missing puzzle piece many tipped they’d been lacking.
It has, of course, paid off: they’re sitting second and boasting an 18–9 record.
Now they have another off-the-Rift aspect to deal with though, Huhi told Dexerto after their barnstorming TL win — they have to build confidence, without ego.
“The moment we let ourselves buy into that hype everyone is talking about, we’ll start playing worse,” the French-born Korean star explained.
“It’s easy to fall into that ego, everyone knows. Every team is talking about how good you are, the best-looking team. There’s lots of praise for us, but we have to make sure we don’t let that affect us. We can be happy hearing it, sure, but we’re not working to hear how good we look. We have bigger goals.
“Our goal is to win everything — here, and overseas.
“To do that we have to be the best versions of ourselves, we want to get better. I have been talking to Victor [FBI] and we agree that this can be the split for us. This is the season, we feel it already. We can achieve the goals that we’ve wanted, for a long time.
“We’re not trying to build an ego, but we’re trying to build up confidence. No matter what, we have to keep working, not thinking we’re the best already.
“If the team can keep mentality, I believe we will be really strong.”
So far, it seems to be paying off in spades.
Cloud9, Liquid, TSM, Evil Geniuses: all the heavyweight North American teams have fallen ahead of 100 Thieves. Only Immortals and, more recently, a resurgent CLG have made 100 Thieves watch the heartbreaking “defeat” animation.
Even then, huhi says he left those games — especially the CLG loss — brimming with confidence; his team had done very little wrong, in his eyes.
“We got stomped by CLG, so I was a little worried about our team morale, but it actually turned out to be a positive thing, in a way. We turned around and delivered, in a big way, in the games that we thought would be the tough ones,” he said.
“There wasn’t any special reason to the CLG loss. They just did well. The comp they’ve been playing has been looking good. Maybe it gets banned out now, I’d say.
“Like I said, I was more worried about us [after the end of their five-game winning streak] but things turned out well in the other games. I didn’t really look that good on Ziggs, which I’m sad about, but Can [Can ‘Closer’ Çelik] absolutely smurfed it [against Team Liquid] in a totally sick game.
“We were always going to be okay [looking back]. Can, Victor, me, we’re really close out of the game. We tell each other things straight, positive criticism. It helps.”
Huhi did circle back around to his “disappointing” Ziggs pick too. While he may not have found much explosive success on the vintage champ, like he was hoping, it still opens a door for him.
“It’s been pretty exciting [playing more off-picks]. Because I played mid before, I had big expectations on myself that I didn’t really live up to. That’s okay though because I can learn from that. That’s an aspect of my gameplay that I can work on. If teams don’t ban my pocket picks, that can be a huge weapon for me.
“Whatever makes me the best version of myself, I will do.
And, of course, Aurelion Sol came up. Huhi laughed: “He’s my representative champion, so I always try it out, here and there. Keep an eye out.”