Each week at CheckpointXP we bring you a moment in esports that’s too close for comfort. This week the 100 Thieves Valorant squad made the cut as our Close Shave. The NSG Showdown went down over the weekend and 100 Thieves had an uphill battle that they didn’t quite make. But the reason why had less to do with who they were facing and more about what some would consider the wrong move the entire 100 Thieves organization recently made.
Close Shave of the Week
The NSG Showdown tournament for Valorant is one of the first big events in the space. Riot Games, developers of Valorant have decided to take a hands-off approach. They want to let the scene grow naturally and develop some grass-roots. The NSG Showdown had a prize pool of $50,000. One of the largest prize pools in the Valorant space so far.
The true surprise, however, out of the newly formed Valorant scene is just what team composition is going to look like. With the advent of the scene, the esport has seen an influx of players from varied professional backgrounds, including Overwatch, CS:GO, PUBG, and Apex Legends players all attempting to make a go of it, and even Fortnite getting its own shake thanks to huge names like Ninja and others joining up to play. However, so far the higher tournaments have been dominated by former CS:GO players like Brax, AZK, SkaDoodle, and more, showing that having a team of players used to making call outs and executing together does absolutely make a difference.
100 Thieves Fall Short
100 Thieves is an endemic esports organization but their roster for Valorant is questionable. The squad is led by Counter-Strike veteran Spencer “Hiko” Martin. When he was named captain of the team he said he would also have input on the rest of his squad, however, 100 Thieves filled out the rest of the squad with veterans from the PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s scene, something Hiko most likely would have advised against behind closed doors. The skillset from PUBG to Valorant isn’t exactly 1 to 1, and it showed in the tournament with a lukewarm outing that ended in pretty dismal failure when compared to the high aspirations of the team and 100 Thieves organization.
Hiko and his squad did alright in the group stages, coming in second place just under T1. But in their match against T1 it was like watching one pro try to operate against another pro team with only 4 bots on his team. T1 took the win, but there was a moment when 100 Thieves looked like they might be able to make something of themselves. In the final round of the first game, 100 Thieves stole back 6 rounds before T1 but them to bed.
T1 would go on to lose to TSM in the finals. 100 Thieves were knocked out in the losers bracket in the second round by Immortals. 100 Thieves have a long way to go if they want to remain competitive in the Valorant scene.
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Check out our archives of Close Shaves here.