After three grueling days straight of matches, including two wins in best-of-fives, 100 Thieves will join Optic and XSET in Istanbul as the NA LCQ champion.
In a miraculous run through North America’s Last Chance Qualifiers Lower bracket, 100 Thieves sent Sentinels, Cloud9, Faze Clan, and The Guard home empty-handed. After narrowly avoiding the Sentinels’ upset bid (2-1) in Lower Round 2, 100 Thieves went on a rampage, not dropping a single map against NA’s best teams the rest of the way.
100 Thieves win four straight to qualify for VALORANT Champions
In round differential, 100 Thieves ended with a staggeringly positive +53 in 11 maps. The strength of this roster was on full display – whether that be on contact plays, executes, retakes, or in clutch situations, they were dominant. Even with The Guard having an extra map ban in their pocket for Grand Finals, it didn’t matter for 100 Thieves and Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk.
Asuna sums it up in one sentence for this 100 Thieves marathon run. It was a statement win. For a team that formed in late April of this year, which was one map away from elimination in Open Qualifiers #2, to reach VCT Champions in such a short turnaround is a remarkable feat. The improved mix of raw mechanical skill and playing more succint with one another is showing on the scoreboard.
It’s all coming together for 100 Thieves. Even in the mere months, this team has been together, they’ve climbed the NA ladder to put themselves in a position to compete for a VCT title. The development in their play has hit its peak heading into the most prestigious event on the VALORANT calendar.
“Once LCQ hit, we knew we were a top three team in the whole tournament. We all expected to be in the finals for the work we put in. I think we were pretty disappointed that we actually didn’t make Copenhagen because I think we had the skill. We didn’t really have the match experience yet”100 Thieves Brendan “stellar” McGrath
The Clutch Impact of Derrek
Moreover, former Rise player Derrek “Derrek” Ha was activated this weekend. A year prior, Rise Nation finished second at the 2021 NA LCQ to Cloud9, one map away from Berlin. Despite that loss, Derek showed his resilience to once again help carry a team to the brink of greatness and push over it.
In fact, his clutch round win percentage at this event was an absurd 31%, ending with 18 total clutches in 58 rounds. Many of those clutches in 1v2 situations. The next closest player in total clutches was his teammate William “Will” Cheng with seven.
Overall, 100 Thieves showed a readiness to perform late in rounds, in disadvantageous situations. It was not only Derrek contributing, but stellar, and Sean “bang” Bezerra stealing rounds 15% of the time, respectively.
For stellar, it’s less about the moment and more about Derrek being unstoppable in the one-vs-one regardless of the situation.
“Derrek, even if he wasn’t in a clutch, his 1v1 gunfight percentage is probably insanely high too. So, if you want to think about it like that. It’s just natural. It’s not like he’s in high-pressure situations, he’s just taking another gunfight for him,” said Stellar
Asuna Tops ACS at the NA LCQ
Aside from the clutch factor, 100 Thieves entered the Grand Finals with extreme confidence after decimating Faze a day earlier. Asuna’s performance was akin to a 2021 Asuna showing, as he ended the event with the top ACS (252.2 ACS). It’s the first time Asuna has ended the event with a top three in ACS since North America Stage 2: Challengers Finals in 2021.
In the post-match press conference, Asuna partially credited the win to falling into the Lower Bracket, which forced 100 Thieves to play stronger teams with a lot on the line.
“I think us going to lower bracket was a lot more helpful than other teams because we kind of needed it. Then we kept feeding off of it. Then it was, ya know, ball rolling down at the end that there wasn’t really anything Faze or Guard could do to stop us because we knew how we all wanted to play, how we should play. It was like high-quality scrims,” said Asuna.
With each win, the stats improved dramatically for 100 Thieves. The team hit their stride at the perfect time and carried that momentum to a 10-1 map record and a spot in Istanbul. There, they will join Masters Reyjavik champions Optic and NA Stage Two champs XSET. It’s unclear what this 100 Thieves ceiling is, but if they have a similar showing at Champions – watch out.
Featured image courtesy of 100 Thieves Esports Twitter.