100 Thieves qualified for Valorant Champions on August 14 after defeating The Guard 3-0 in the Last Chance Qualifiers Grand Final. The team had an intense rebuild in April after bringing on Sean “sgares” Gares and Michael “Mikes” Hockom as coaches and Daniel “ddk” Kapadia as general manager.
The team went through four matches over the course of four days in the LCQ tournament in their journey to Champions qualification. The quick turnaround meant that the 100 Thieves coaches need to be quick about their prep for the team and led to some late nights according to Gares.
“We’ve gotten a little bit of sleep,” Gares said in a post-match press conference. “But yeah, as you can imagine these back-to-back best of fives, It’s just four straight days of matches. It’s been insane. So yeah, hats off to Mike. He’s put in so much work.”
Mikes has been around the upper echelon of Valorant since the start of the esport, coaching for G2 Esports in 2020 and Team Envy (now OpTic Gaming) in 2021 before joining 100 Thieves. While Gares and ddk often get credit for crafting the current 100 Thieves roster and bringing them to where they are now, Gares said Mikes deserves an “epic f*** ton” amount of props for the team’s wins and performance.
“He literally taught me everything from the get-go,” Gares said. “I didn’t know about streaming practice, I didn’t know what practice schedule we should run, I didn’t know a lot of these things. Day in and day out, still to this day, Mike has an epic impact with the team… if it’s not 50/50 it’s like more towards Mike actually. He deserves a ton of credit that he doesn’t get”
The Guard’s head coach, Matthew “mCe” Elmore, said in their post-match press conference that the media should give more credit to Mikes for how 100 Thieves operate and praised the way their staff constructed the Valorant roster.
“I think they did a great job. They picked up hungry players that had something to prove. A lot of these guys don’t really have egos and I think it’s the future of the game. They went with people that are moldable and willing to learn and listen to coaches,” mCe said.
Going into Valorant Champions, 100 Thieves will represent North America as the No. 3 seed with Mikes and Gares at the helm. The year-end VCT event kicks off on August 31.