After watching 100 Thieves pull off a reverse sweep against Team Liquid, head coach Bok ‘Reapered’ Han-gyu spoke with Dexerto about reaching the LCS Finals and his expectations for the title decider.
In their exhilarating reverse sweep over Team Liquid, 100 Thieves extended their hot streak further into the post season, taking their record since the start of the second round robin to 14-3. What started as a shaky season for the defending champions has quickly turned into a promising chance at a two-peat.
But like their regular season, the series against Team Liquid wasn’t all good all the time. After the first two games, it looked like it would be a clean 3-0 for Liquid, which would have sent the Thieves off to Houston to play Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket finals.
“In Game 1 and 2, our team made a s**t ton of mistakes, to be honest,” Reapered said of his team. “We saw everything, but still died — like inting out of our mind. So I didn’t actually go into a desperate kind of zone, I just thought, ‘Maybe we should play better with a little bit better draft in this specific series,’ and then the players finally woke up after Game 2.”
The change in draft strategy helped, and the first two games served as a warmup for 100 Thieves, who turned things around from there, stringing together the next three wins. Despite how dominant Liquid was in those first two games, and despite that image of him showed on broadcast, Reapered really wasn’t that nervous for the rest of the series.
“When it came to the 0-2, it was more comfortable because I knew all the data I needed, what kind of champions are pretty good in this series, and what kind of things that we have to work on,” Reapered said. “So then after a two game sample size I thought about certain champions that we have to draft around.”
The series stabilized for Reapered and his team, but their three wins definitely didn’t come easily. In the final game, Liquid had a team composition that outscaled 100 Thieves, but they were behind in game pressure, with an open Nexus and a need to answer a play at the dragon pit. The game was on a knife’s edge, but when the chaos reached its peak, the Thieves’ mid laner, Felix ‘Abbedagge’ Braun, used his Twisted Fate ultimate to teleport into the undefended Team Liquid base and win the game.
BACKDOOR.REVERSE SWEEP.#100WIN#LCS pic.twitter.com/01FkPXFiUe
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 17, 2022
“I was just hoping that they realized they can backdoor with the TF ult,” Reapered said, remembering the series-winning play. “I was glad that they were using their bit of brains a little bit.”
Fixing their issues
Moving forward, it’s clear 100 Thieves still have some things to work on. The first two games of the series left a lot to be desired, and if Liquid or Evil Geniuses come in a bit more prepared, 100 Thieves won’t find it as easy to pull off a reverse sweep in the Finals.
SHOWTIME! #100T pic.twitter.com/uxZBDplcQ5
— 100 Thieves Esports (@100T_Esports) April 16, 2022
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However, Reapered wasn’t too worried about their ability to clean up some of those issues before their title match.
“I have a lot of confidence in our players, but still, we are showing a lot of bad things and bad habits,” he said. “We have to work on a lot of things. But I am very confident that we will clean up those kinds of things before our final games.”
He thinks his team will be able to run out victors in the Finals, be it the rematch against Team Liquid or their first playoff series against Evil Geniuses, but he noted each of them were worthy opponents and should be respected as such. (At the time of the interview, C9 had not yet been knocked out of the playoffs, but he was confident in being able to prepare for and take them down, too.)
“Team Liquid, C9, and Evil Geniuses have different styles and the preparation is not going to be easy for any of those teams,” he said. “Obviously, they saw our draft and playstyles today, so they can prepare for us. And for our side, we are going to see one more best-of-five, so we can prepare from there. So there’s no easy way to prepare for any of those teams. But still, I believe we can do it.”
Luckily for him and the team, they’ll only have to face one team this upcoming weekend, the winner of Liquid and Evil Geniuses. One is a team full of veterans, each with vast experience and pedigree. The other is a volatile mix of boomers and zoomers, with a 27-year-old world champion and a 17-year-old rookie on the same roster.
Despite Liquid’s veteran status and familiartiy playing on a big stage, like the one they’ll be seated in at NRG Stadium, he expects to greet Evil Geniuses in the Finals. “[They] actually have a decent shot to make the Finals in my opinion. But if they do, I think we will take the Finals.”
100 Thieves was the only team not to make a roster change this off-season. And they’re the defending champions from last summer. If anyone is supposed to win in theory, it should be them, but all season, Liquid and Cloud9 stood clearly above them. Now, though, 100 Thieves has knocked both of them aside to become the team to beat once again.
With one series left, everything is on the line. Three more wins sends them to Busan, Korea, but three losses will leave them with nothing more than a bitter taste and a long break back in LA.