Grounding the Rocket: 100 Thieves’ Quest for LCS Glory Cut Short by North American Underdog

Golden Guardians surprised the North American League of Legends landscape by ousting 100 Thieves from the LCS playoffs in five thrilling games, which has been one of the more surprising results of the 2023 Spring Split thus far.

100 Thieves’ talent-laden roster was expected to level up heading into the post-season, especially after they ran through the final week of the regular season on a seven-game win streak. With best-of-fives on the horizon, many fans and analysts believed that the experience from superstars like Bjergsen, Closer, and Doublelift would be all the difference the Thieves needed.

In this series, however, Golden Guardians showed a different level of confidence and coordination that seemed to take the Thieves by surprise. Additionally, 100 Thieves seemed to stall out during the fifth game of the series, and even with significant early leads, the team slowed down and became a lot less proactive on the map.

As a result, the Guardians were allowed some time to scale up with their team composition, and a superheroic moment from Stixxay would seal the win. The 26-year-old veteran has had a career resurgence over the last split, and he finally broke into the region’s upper echelon by taking down Doublelift in one of the most exciting games of the year so far.

This loss will be incredibly disappointing for 100 Thieves fans, especially after all of the hype that was garnered during the offseason with the acquisition of Doublelift. Not only was the 29-year-old reuniting with Bjergsen, but they were joined by an MVP-level jungler and two promising rookies.

All the hype did place a ton of pressure on the roster’s shoulders, and although Bjergsen, Closer, and Doublelift are used to this level of expectation, both Busio and top laner Tenacity have never experienced intensity like this before. They will have a long time to recuperate and rebuild a solid plan for the 2023 Summer Split, where they’ll aim to rebound into the winner’s circle in time for Worlds.

Golden Guardians, on the other hand, stunned the LCS community with this victory. They still have plenty of work ahead of them, but after a win like this, they’ll probably need to buy a bigger bandwagon for the incoming influx of fans that are going to be jumping onboard for the rest of their playoff run.

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