100 Thieves owner Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag has revealed the reason why his Valorant team decided to bench in-game leader Joshua ‘steel’ Nissan at such a crucial stage of the season.
On September 28, 100 Thieves announced that steel had been moved to a backup position and replaced in the starting lineup by Aaron ‘b0i’ Thao, confirming an earlier report by Upcomer.
The move came as a big shock to many fans, as the team had just reached the semi-finals at the VCT Stage 3 Masters, their first LAN tournament. They missed out on a spot in the grand final after losing to fellow North American side Envy 2-0 in a one-sided affair.
With steel out of the picture, it is expected that Nicholas ‘nitr0′ Cannella will be taking over as 100 Thieves’ in-game leader.
Why 100T benched steel
Nadeshot shared some thoughts on his stream about steel’s benching when asked by viewers about the decision. According to him, the team “just need something different right now.”
“I love Josh, I think he is an incredible player,” Nadeshot said. “I don’t play with the players every day. I’m not in scrims. I’m not in their meetings. I’m not in any of that.
“If you want to hear more about it, I’m sure will talk about it, to the point they’re comfortable.
“This isn’t the end of steel, this isn’t the end of his career, this isn’t the end of 100 Thieves. We’ve got to try something different. That’s all I have to say.”
The 100 Thieves owner then spoke about the difficulty in managing fans’ expectations, saying that any decision will be received with anger and dismay by a segment of the org’s supporters.
“As soon as we lost the event, everyone was b*tching, like, ‘Things need to be changed,’” he said.
“Then, you make a small move, bring a player up, bench a player, just to try to switch things up, and everybody is like, ‘I can’t believe you did this, we were arguably a top-three team the whole year. We could have won the whole event’.
“People just don’t know what they want until you give it to them. It’s tough. Fans are really hard to please.”
100 Thieves are one of the ten teams that will be competing in the North American last-chance qualifier for Valorant Champions. The tournament will be held in Los Angeles from October 12-17, with only the winner securing a spot at the end-of-the-year event in Berlin.