Can 100 Thieves’ New VALORANT Roster Return Them To The Top?
New year, new teams aiming for VALORANT Champions Tour glory. After a mixed bag in 2021, 100 Thieves have finalized their retooled VALORANT roster and early reads place as contenders for North America’s throne. However, can they live up to the hype and recapture their position at the top of the domestic rankings?
Returning members Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, and Counter-Strike legend Spencer “Hiko” Martin are will reprise their roles on the team while former FaZe Clan member, Hunter “BabyJ” Schline, and VALORANT veteran Adam “ec1s” Eccles joins the team fresh from his stint Team Liquid. And yet their starting roster was not the only thing that changed.
More importantly, the team’s coaching staff has seen an equal refresh as well with Jovanni “Jovi” Vera joining as 100 Thieves new head coach and David “Rocket” Spencer as an assistant coach. This not only should catalyze their new identity but also allow for that change to be done in a healthy and productive way–which should shine through in their results. To top it all off, their team’s evolution is only the tip of the iceberg as to why they can climb the North American ladder over the coming year.
Undoubtedly 100 Thieves looks improved on paper, but one of their biggest votes of confidence is how uncertain North America looks as a whole. As the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour begins to spool up across the world, more and more we’re seeing shifts in regional power. With G2 Esports’ early defeat and questionable form during EMEA’s recent closed qualifier, it poses the question; is North America set for a similar stage?
Take for example a team like Cloud9 or Rise, one of these fairly untested teams who seem like favourites on paper to advance but who could also fall prey to a hungry team like 100 Thieves. Also, take into consideration the sheer firepower that they’ve added with BabyJ and the added leadership that ec1s brings from some of the most successful VALORANT rosters at the beginning of the game’s competitive life cycle.
100 Thieves carried marquee names that jumped off the page before, now they’ve put together a team that will likely do some impressive things. However, expectations should likely be tempered especially during North America’s first open qualifier.
We have to remember; this is their first game out since Last Chance Qualifiers. Not only that but this, for all intents and purposes, is a brand new team and should be treated as such. That shouldn’t mean they get embarrassed and eliminated early, but dropping maps here and there against teams you wouldn’t expect is possible.
This new 100 Thieves core is a team that can grow into a top contender over time and the odds of them sprinting off the line during the first open qualifier are tight. While they will dent some teams and leave them bruised, we’re taking 100 Thieves during NA’s second open qualifier and beyond as the team to keep your eyes fixated on this season.
With fresh new talent combined with veteran experience, 100 Thieves has a recipe for success.
Images via Riot Games