In a surprising announcement, Golden Guardians announced they were releasing their entire 2020 lineup… only for 100 Thieves to recruit 4 out of 5 members hours later. The news was confirmed last night by Jacob Wolf and his now-notorious Wolf Bombs on the Free Agency show hosted by Evil Geniuses.
Both Closer and FBI have been officially announced by 100T, but there has been no announcement about Damonte and huhi as yet which means things could theoretically change even if deals are expected.
- Read more: Golden Guardians’ Damonte: "The best mid laners in the LCS right now are Nisqy and Jiizuke"
Golden Guardian shocked many when they finished 5th in the Summer Split and made Playoffs in Spring, despite a distinct lack of faith in the roster going into the season. In a video from Golden Guardians explaining the release of the roster, they note that the players wanted to stay together and that was not something GGS could offer with COVID related budgetary restrictions. Cue a deal with 100T.
Assuming the rest of the signings pan out, that would leave 100T with a roster consisting of 2020 GGS roster plus Ssumday, which on paper is a formidable team.
Closer was known for his imperious carry jungle performances as the meta shifted more towards picks like Graves, while FBI and huhi quietly became one of, if not the most, respected bot lanes in the LCS. Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith, GM of the Thieves, has already touted FBI as the best teamfight ADC in the LCS as a case in point.
Ssumday, on the other hand, has been a shining light for 100T when their roster was otherwise struggling to perform, matching and outclassing nearly every opponent in the league despite critical issues across the rest of the squad.
His versatility across multiple styles of play is well known, but it was his carry play on the likes of Lucian towards the end of the Summer Split that really saw Ssumday flex his talent.
(Picture: Riot Games)
Add in a roaming mid laner in Damonte, who will happily follow up on Closer whether he chooses to prioritise top or bot, and 100T seem to have a well-rounded roster that can play to either side of the map. It helps that both FBI/huhi and Ssumday are capable weakside players which should help facilitate whichever game plan the Thieves decide to prioritise.
The Thieves are not alone in making big off-season moves though: Alphari and Santorin are allegedly signing for Team Liquid, Perkz is all-but official at C9, TSM has made bold (if more volatile) moves in picking up Huni and SwordArt.
- Read more: FlyQuest to sign Licorice, Palafox, and Diamond from C9, completing roster with Josedeodo and Deftly
Those are world-class talents and former World Champions, and while Ssumday is something of a legend, the same can’t be said for the rest of the roster - yet. 100T will be hoping that “yet” quickly becomes next season.