Midway's Playbook: 100T misses the mark at Champions 2022 - let's break it down
By Trevor "Midway" SchmidtOctober 21, 2022
Coming into the Istanbul 2022 Valorant Championships, 100 Thieves was considered the 6th most likely time to win according to betting sites. For them to bomb out of groups while winning only two maps in the entire tournament doesn’t seem to fit that narrative. Add to that the two maps they won were against a team that was considered better than them according to the odds, Fnatic.
It’s been a long time since I personally have written a playbook article (CS 1.6 long ago), but I’ve been lurking on Valorant since day 1. For those who have never read a playbook article (which is most of you) back in my GotFrag days, the primary purpose is to look at what teams are doing and evaluate what is working and what is not. We aren’t here to pass judgment, just the “post-scout” team's successes and failures. I also will spend less time discussing Agents and more focused on high-level strategies and decision-making. My goal is to do a series of playbook articles on different teams, so feedback is very welcome, don’t hesitate to share thoughts on my Reddit Thread or my Twitter.
So let’s get started, first let's take a look holistically at what they did at Istanbul from a map point of view.
These are pretty stark numbers and when going through the VODs these are pretty obvious, sidenote: I WANT DEMOS PLEASE RIOT!!! The numbers can be slightly misleading as their poor match play on Fracture Map 2 against DRX and Fnatic second match map 1 both started out on defense. If both of those games are played out, do these results normalize into a sub-40% success rate? That’s hard to say but we can only use the rounds 100T put on tape to judge. Baseline fact, 100T didn’t win a single defensive side on any map at VCT Istanbul. They tied a few but never won one.
In all of 2022 leading up to Istanbul, they have won 1,715 defense rounds across all maps and lost only 1,368. That’s a 55.62% winning percentage. Their Istanbul performance was a drop of nearly 19% in effectiveness on one side. Compare that to the offensive side where 100T in all of 2022 posted a 52.6% effectiveness that was nearly identical to their Istanbul success rate.
So why was the defense so poor?
Let’s walk through some of the more key points in order of the matches played. In the opening game against Fnatic, the series opened with the new map Pearl. Fnatic picked Pearl after banning Breeze, followed by an Icebox ban from 100T. Clearly, both sides felt each other out in this game not sure what to expect on a new map and a huge stage.
Fnatic started on offense and both teams seem to have early successes they could point to but 100T got the round wins. Fnatic got the bomb planted in both rounds and even in a losing effort scored significant kills racking up nearly 10k in money heading into the first gun round.
This is the initial setup for 100T on defense as the round opened. They largely remain pretty aggressive on defense throughout the rest of the half. There’s a theme here that we see moving forward on defense for 100T which is to play Will on Raze and Bang on Astra together but move them around the map. In this round Asuna on Sage and Derrek on Fade play middle while Stellar on Viper plays bombsite B and Will plus Bang play bombsite A.
Here are the openers for rounds 4 and 5:
Overall we see a lot of variety in defense. My guess is that Sean and the coaching staff had scripted positioning and locations a bit early on to not show any tendency or the players were much more freelance internally on their strategies either way it was working so far with a 4-1 lead.
Here’s where the seeds of concern for 100 Thieves for the entire VCT start to show up in rounds 6-8 coming right after a Fnatic tactical timeout.
00:00 - Fnatic made its first bombsite A hit of the map in round 6. Derrek and Asuna got run over, both dying right on the outset of the attack leaving no chance for a rotation from Will and Bang in site B. This extended a streak to 6 straight bomb plants in the first 6 rounds for Fnatic. The seventh round was a forced save for 100T and wasn’t able to guess right on positioning as Fnatic held back and walked into Bombsite B on a delay. As round 8 opens Fnatic gets an early pick on Stellar who was aggressively pushing out of bombsite A. As the gif below shows, this left again Will and Bang on the far side of the map on an aggressive push of their own well out of position to help on a rotation. 100T didn’t even attempt the retake in round 8 conceding it.
This leads to maybe the most interesting moment of the entire tournament for 100T in a positive light. Interestingly that comes right after a tactical timeout for 100T.
01:10 - 100T goes super aggressive on what is basically an eco round. The stats show 100T with 7.1k money but 100T treats it as an econ using four pistols, only Will on a rifle. Will goes aggressive and grabs an early kill in the middle and spooks Fnatic who was setting up for a bombsite B rush. Fnatic fearing a stack makes a rotation to Bombsite A but had already used up most of the round timer allowing 100T to predict their actions due to the limited time left on the clock. This retake works flawlessly as they are all together and gives Asuna an OP/sniper rifle for the next few rounds. In retrospect, Fnatic probably had a better chance to win the round if they had just forced bombsite B with their gun advantage instead of trying to rotate to bombsite A.
A major shift in defensive strategy for 100T happens here as they post up Asuna in bombsite B largely alone with the sniper rifle. In round 10 this works, and nets a nice win as Fnatic rushes into a four-man bombsite A stack.
01:31 - In round 11, it doesn’t work as Asuna gets picked off and Fnatic is able to secure and hold bombsite B after pulling out of a failed Bombsite A attack. Still, it's an interesting strategy to see the use of the sniper rifle on a new map like Pearl to hold an entire side of the map. Mixed results here and I’d argue it might be a winning strategy or at least a success strategy to mix in more long term. This could especially be true if a different agent such as Chamber or Jett was used in this position instead of Sage. That said it does have its risks which played out here. A team would need to be confident that the OP player can get at least an exchange on the initial attack and preferably even better than that.
If you’ll allow me to make one critique, rather than an observation, I was surprised by the lack of adjustment in the last round of the half. It didn’t come back to bite them as 100T’s offense was good, winning the map 13-10. But it feels like 100T gave away this last round of the first half. They stuck with Asuna in the same Bombsite B position even though he didn’t have the OP anymore. After Fnatic’s previous round ran into difficulty attacking Bombsite A, round 11 saw Fnatic pull out of a Bombsite A attack and win with a plant in Bombsite B. 100T should have seen this adjustment and countered it either placing two players in Bombsite B or at least playing much less aggressive in Bombsite A. This failed to be noticed and they were caught out of position for a quick Bombsite B attack while 100T used the exact same defense as the previous two rounds.
Speaking briefly to 100T’s offensive rounds on Pearl. They attacked Bombsite A a total of seven times in 11 rounds and has a 71% success rate. On the other side, they attacked Bombsite B only three times and had a 67% success rate. In round 21 they attacked up the middle and honestly having watched it a few times, I can’t tell you which bombsite they intended to attack even if the last player died in Bombsite B but either way they lost the firefight and the round.
Bind was quite a bind
Moving over to Bind, 100T started on offense and really looked pretty bad. They only picked up a few major wins. In round 3 they outgunned Fnatic and were very fortunate that Fnatic with nearly 5 seconds elapsed on the bomb timer still hadn’t rotated from bombsite B to bombsite A, not sure what they were waiting for. They also had a great attack of bombsite B in round 8 and then an econ win in round 11 which led to a round 12 win. Overall it was 7 attacks of bombsite A to 5 attacks of bombsite B. Success rates for the two sites were 28% for Bombsite A and 40% for Bombsite B.
On the defensive side, we saw further signs of poor rotation, whether due to communication or bad reads is really the big question.
00:00 - Opening pistol round, Mistic picks up one kill for Fnatic before this click and three more during the clip itself. Sometimes in high-level esports, you just shrug when you outnumber a team 4v2 on a retake and you still lose to a guy pulling off a 4k. That said it's for sure a missed opportunity and after the poor offensive side, this might have sacrificed any chance for 100T to get back in the map.
Following a save round that saw Fnatic risk all-out rifles with only two of them dying, we headed into the gun round, 3rd of the half and 15th overall. The standard setup here from 100T we see basically the entire half. Will on Raze partnered with Bang on Brimstone in bombsite A defense while Stellar on Viper works with Asuna on Skye. Derrek seems most of the half plays the rotator based on calls and he’s a key guy to watch but there are occasions where Will or Bang will rotate based on positioning.
Returning to the rounds themselves, these two rounds couldn’t have turned out more different. Round 15 turns into one of 100T’s best defensive rounds of this match while Round 16 ends up a pretty bad loss. The economy Fnatic plays a part here after their risky rifle buy in round 14 but the main issue here remains rotations.
00:25 - You see here in round 16 Stellar and Asuna get crushed in Bombsite B while Will made an early rotation due to positioning in the other bombsite. Derrek and Bang opted for the fast rotation through the teleporter and that pays off with two early kills but sets them up for a 2k by Mistic as they both drop down. Not having a different angle either by one of them rotating through spawn or Will staying alive really dooms this retake.
100T decides to hard rush middle on defense in round 17, seems like a bit of a throw of the dice and it works as Will goes ham and wrecks Fnatic, this forces a Fnatic save so this risk nets two rounds.
00:45 - Fnatic's hard attack of Bombsite A really catches 100T in bad positioning as Alfajer grabs two early kills on Raze with Bang and Asuna. Honestly, 100T is lucky Will doesn’t get taken here as well as he was just outside the damage range. It can’t be in Sean’s plan for strategy here to have three guys this close on an entry. Yet even with this there’s a chance to save the round as the bomb plant doesn’t go down right away and Will plus the bombsite B defenders have Fnatic in a crossfire. That ends though when Stellar dies to Derke and Will falls shortly after leaving Derrek in a tough 3v1 clutch that he’s not well positioned for and being flanked. That really kills the map and moves us on to Heaven tied 1-1.
Haven starts strong, ends with a dud
Agent changes heading into Haven included the following;
Will goes from Raze to Chamber
Asuna goes from Skye to Raze
Derrek staying on Fade
Bang goes from Brimstone to Omen
Stellar goes from Viper to Sage
Opening up we see Bang playing Bombsite C while two play middle/Bombsite B and two play Bombsite A. There’s not a ton of strategy here in the pistol round, Derrek just decides to play hero ball and gets two entry kills followed by three more mop-up kills. An ace in an opening round is always impressive but those first two really won the round. Standard eco second round although 100T did give up the bomb plant but still won the round easy.
We see a base defense form for 100T in these two rounds which saw Stellar play Bombsite C, Will play Bombsite B and Derrek plus Bang play bombsite A. A bit of floating by Asuna and Bang also see them rotating into Bombsite B at times but for the most part Stellar is all alone in bombsite C. Fnatic doesn’t really make them pay for this for the first five rounds.
Overall 100T does two really good things in rounds 3 and 4, both Bombsite A rushes by Fnatic. In the first attack on round 3, 100T aggressively flanks getting players behind Fnatic coming from offensive spawn. This sets up the next round.
In round 4, 100T controls the window overlooking the site and really dictates the retake on their own timing allowing them to make a few pick-offs and then push the site as a team once full rotations happen.
Things got progressively better as this time Fnatic opens up attacking middle with the bomb but diverts back into Bombsite A attack for the third time. Fnatic didn’t even make it to the bombsite, getting shut down by 100T in the initial defense. Now you can debate up to this point if Fnatic has played badly or if 100T has simply outplayed them. Either is true but the simple breakdown shows three straight Bombsite A attacks by Fnatic, three straight losses. This is where things change.
This was an extremely interesting round as 100T came into this round with 6 straight wins. Maybe I’m overthinking Asuna’s reaction at the start of this round (see the hilarious clip) was shared by his team and they decided to get aggressive. But looking at the round in retrospect this was a mistake. As a defensive team, trading kills pre-plant is always problematic. It allows the other team to take bombsites and create a defense, switching from offensive to defense to protect the bomb plant. If the defense has fewer players that switch is easier, and less painful. In this round 7, 100T crashed middle and traded three frags for three deaths. The balance of that is keeping the other team honest and not letting them attack without the fear of being counter-attacked. Fnatic’s last two players took Bombsite C and positioned one above the site and one below the site. Derke pulled a really cool fake (go watch the clip if you didn’t see it live, really slick) but that’s largely a distraction from the fact that Fnatic had a chance to set up a defense in an optimal way and really this was a round they should win 9 out of 10 times once it reached this point.
Bang plays middle here and Fnatic decides that since they won in Bombsite C, they’d hard attack it again this round. This was the first true test of Bombsite C defense on the map. If you were following the previous screenshots you’ll notice that 100T had stuck largely to its Stellar-only defense in Bombsite C. I found in the analysis a key decision by Asuna here.
In the clip, you’ll notice that Asuna went toward the defensive spawn in his rotation while Derrek went to flank. With the long Bombsite C plant, the worst outcome would be no flank pressure and this is exactly what happen when Derrek died early. So Asuna’s decision to go spawn left all the defensive players coming from spawn on the retake.
This made the retake nearly impossible. Most of the focus from the broadcast was on the rolling thunder stun of all three of them, but the death by Derrek and the Asuna rotation choice was arguably a bigger factor.
In response to back-to-back losses in Bombsite C, 100T moved Bang back to Bombsite C for round 8. Remember he started there in the pistol round. Sadly for 100T, Fnatic picked Bombsite A to attack and won the round. The win largely happened on the back of Fnatic getting a clean entry into the bombsite and 100T was not able to control the window or get any kind of flank. 9th round was an eco that 100T put in a strong effort but clearly was doomed. Round 10 was interesting as Bang again moved back to Bombsite A and Fnatic attacked Bombsite C. Part of me wonders if 100T believed that Bang was in the bombsite that Fnatic attacked they would win. That seems odd to me but the way they kept moving Bang around sure indicates that they were trying to guess which bombsite Fnatic was going to.
Another save round for 100T in Round 11, led to the final round. 100T finally stacks two guys in Bombsite C guessing Fnatic will go there, they were right. Will really wins this round for 100T, grabbing two entry frags, and the rest of the team rallies to clean up.
On offense, this was a walkover. 100T only lost one round, round 16 (5th of the second half). Impressively, 100T spread their attacks very well, twice attacking Bombsite B (including the pistol), four times to Bombsite C, and twice to Bombsite A. Very impressive spread and really kept Fnatic completely clueless about its attack pattern.
From ok to…well it's getting concerning
Moving into the DRX match, 100T banned Haven which seems curious after winning it against Fnatic on the offensive side so clearly. They must have had a read that DRX was strong on that map which makes sense as the stats show they have a 86% win percentage in 2022 on the map but DRX only went 2-2 at Istanbul against stronger competition. DRX banned Pearl so 100T picked Breeze and DRX picked Fracture.
Arguably this is the map that breaks 100T. It lasted a total of 34 rounds and by my clock, there were over 67 minutes of match time from the opening round to the last round. A lot of emphasis will be put on overtime because those are the “exciting” moments but really looking back on the game, 100T was up 12-9 and lost the last three rounds. If you pick up one more defense round in the first half or another round in the second half offensively this is a map win.
The pistol round was a bit of a poor showing from 100T. They went aggressive in the middle with two members, got caught out and DRX made them pay with an easy Bombsite B push and plant.
Watching the gun rounds, I didn’t see much consistency in locations for players. No one seemed to stick with either bombsite round after round. The most consistency I saw was Bang on Viper playing Bombsite B. The rest of the team really floated positions a lot which seemed less optimal to me than instead forming a more defined defensive positioning. In Round 3, Will went aggressive which seems to be a tendency that has cropped up map after map. Sometimes his aggression results in big wins and other times bad outcomes. In this case, his early death was covered by his teammates and 100T pulls out the round.
For Round 4, one of the few times Bang wasn’t in Bombsite B, DRX attacks taking down Stellar and Will in exchange for only one DRX member. If I had to guess, one reason Bang plays Bombsite B most of the time was how bad the entry control on this round was. Ironically though, 100T still manages to win this round with a very strong retake and a 3K by Derrek who did an extremely good job predicting/tracking where DRX players were in the bombsite.
Normally we start videos at the beginning of maps but this was such a critical round it only made sense to start here. This round is really what might have cost 100T its tournament life. DRX after losing the last two rounds decided to eco, while 100T lost all but two players in the previous round’s heroics from Derrek.
This was the situation pre-round money wise which shows that it really was strongly in favor of 100T. BuZz for DRX comes in fast and gets the drop on Bang in Bombsite B but honestly fails to get the kill. At this point based on BuZz only having a pistol and the expected money situation from losing the last two rounds, 100T has to know DRX is saving. DRX pauses outside of Bombsite B intending to pick off any flanks that never come. So they move into Bombsite B, the video shows the initial bombsite taken and it's from the POV of Bang doing his job. The issue is Derrek and Will. Both get picked off without any kills. So after Bang’s 3K and death you're left with an extremely tough 2v2 where DRX has the bomb down and guns now. We don’t have a good view of positioning here but clearly no flanks, poor positioning contributed to a key loss against an eco, that said some love for Mako and Stax with 2k each and impressive aim.
100T has to eco with a few players broke. They can’t return the favor and lose for the 3rd time in Bombsite B out of six rounds.
So with three losses in the first six rounds in Bombsite B, where is DRX going to attack? Yep, Bombsite B. 100T seems ready, they stack Stellar and Asuna there. Stellar holds strong getting a 3K allowing the remaining 100T’s three players to face only two for DRX. Sadly they can’t even win this as Mako, who is on a hot streak here, isolates them around the center pillar in 1v1 fights rather than forcing a trade.
100T calls a timeout and then eco’s. DRX decides Bombsite B has taken enough punishment and goes back to Bombsite A finding a largely easy win. Recapping, the single eco loss in Round 5 ended up contributing to another two losses in eco rounds. Really a three-round swing in a game that 100T lost in overtime.
Now overcompensating for Bombsite B in round 9, 100T watches as DRX hits Bombsite A. Unable to rotate or support much they are forced to concede the round and save guns.
Saving guns in Round 9 really comes back to help 100T save the half. 100T goes aggressive which I’ll speak to more in overtime as a trend here. The aggression wasn’t the key, a good retake of bombsite A was the deciding factor. This came from four members of 100T all being near each other due to the aggressive middle push.
The big weakness of the defense for 100T seems to be a hard push Bombsite B on the left side. Lucky for them, DRX never did that again. Round 10 was the Bombsite A plant, and Round 11 was a split B attack which allowed 100T to pick off and harass DRX’s entry. Round 12 was Bombsite A plant after an exchange in the middle that DRX got the better of. 100T still won the round, as Bang came from Bombsite B and 100T retook the site.
Overall it was a 5-7 score for 100T. But looking back on it this could have easily been a 7-5 result if they hold the DRX’s eco round and the resulting eco rounds of their own. The underlying strategy issue seems to be uncertainty about controlling Bombsite B and the changing defense player assignments.
On offense, 100T really shines in rounds 13-21. They look in control including a 2v1 win by Bang and largely controlled the game. Their offensive strategy featured 8 Bombsite A attacks for a 62.5% winning percentage and 4 Bombsite B attacks for a 50% winning percentage. Yet even with this they STILL lost another DRX eco in round 19 which set up the previously mentioned 12-9 score heading into the last three rounds. There’s no other way to say it other than 100T looked tight and nervous. DRX played with its back against the wall and pulled out the overtime result.
The scars of the first half were fresh here. The experiment of only Bang in Bombsite B only reappeared in Round 27 but this is partly due to a strong opening attack of Bombsite A by DRX. My guess if this has been delayed we would have seen a more two-man defense. It was really hard to take much out of this overtime from a strategy point of view. Both teams seem to go with their best strats from the first two halves but both teams were playing very tight. The lone exception here was round 29. In that screenshot, you can clearly see 100T pushing forward. Having reviewed four maps of 100T I can almost predict when they are going to go aggressive on defense. It’s roughly every 4-5 rounds, sometimes it's a gun round or sometimes it's a pistol but it's basically always going to happen. If other teams are scouting them heavily I wonder if they are noticing this trend because their success rate on aggression rounds hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive. That said it does have some benefits and the fact they are being aggressive on defense in the 29th round of an overtime match shows they really believe in this. In Round 29, it largely works as Asuna dies but 100T picks up to kills before falling back. They win the round as DRX diverts into Bombsite A from what seemed like a Bombsite B attack at first.
The defense really started to become the problem while the offense kept saving 100T. Both rounds, 31 & 33, were losses here and it’s clear that DRX had figured out that 100T was putting two men in Bombsite B. This made Bombsite A weak and that’s where DRX kept hitting. Individual plays make a huge difference but on the whole 100T couldn’t get its Bombsite B players back to Bombsite A fast enough to get good retakes. It was only a matter of time before DRX managed to stop a 100T offensive round and win the game. That happened in Round 34 as 100T fakes Bombsite B, diverts to Bombsite A but doesn’t have enough time to plant, losing the round. It sure feels like 100T got a little too cute (strategically trying too hard) on offense and this pressure was from their defensive performance simply not being good enough.
It gets ugly on Map 2 of DRX Fracture
This is just an extremely tough defensive half for 100T. Outside of a 3K round for Bang in round 3, there are just so few highlights here.
0:00 - In the above highlight clip, you can see Bang holding the back of Bombsite A. He managed to use that position he was stuck in to really take out the offensive attack by DRX.
As you can see from a scattering of setups there was not a lot of defensive consistency. They tried Bang on Brimstone in both Bombsite B and Bombsite A. Early in the half, it seemed like the plan was to hold bombsites and hope to get entry frags. But later in the map, this idea was given up on.
0:23 - Returning to the clips above in the second clip on Round 6, DRX gets a rather clean entrance into Bombsite A with 3 kills and left a 4v2 which 100T couldn’t retake.
0:45 - In Round 10 the third clip, Asuna pushes and gets picked off allowing DRX to walk into Bombsite B. Even in a 4v5, 100T didn’t really have much success retaking the bombsite.
1:11 - In the last part of the clip we see a full five-man retake by 100T. They basically gave up trying to hold bombsites, in this case, Bombsite A - and went with a full retake. This fails as DRX has good positioning and Zest gets a monster 3K in the back of site - basically a similar place as Bang was in to start the half.
On offense, 100T made this a game - and even had a moment where you thought it might happen. They attacked Bombsite A four times with a success rate of 75%. Bombsite B was attacked by 100T six times but only managed a 50% success rate. With all the success 100T had on eco rounds, the DRX eco win on round 21 was the backbreaker. Really this entire half could have been over much sooner but DRX kept giving up on rounds. DRX would trade rounds for saving guns. There’s no promise DRX would have won those rounds but they gave up on at least 2-3 rounds and might have won one of those by flipping the econ sooner. Either way, the eco win in round 21 did exactly that, giving DRX a full gun round. With that gun run, DRX shut down 100T’s bombsite B attack and ended the match.
Rock bottom against Fnatic
A repeat Bind map against the same team Fnatic seemed like a chance for redemption for 100T. In the first meeting, 100T picked Bind, so clearly they had some confidence. That score ended up 7-13. This was worse.
00:00 - 100T’s strategy in gun rounds was pretty clear, stay back and focus on retakes. That strategy seemed reasonable as some of their successes on non-Bind maps had involved retakes. The problem is it simply didn’t work here and Fnatic clearly had good post-plant defensive strategies.
00:45 - The same outcome 2 rounds later, round 5, but this time 100T had pushed up into showers in front of Bombsite A. Fnatic adjusts and simply pushes towards the defensive spawn controlling the top side of the map. Even with a good crossfire potential, 100T is unable to pull Fnatic out of position and dies at the end with Derrek attempting a heroic defuse.
1:13 - Like clockwork, 100T pushes. I didn’t speak to the previous push in Round 4 during a half-buy. That push didn’t work but it wasn’t quite as bad as this push in Round 10, roughly five rounds later. Fnatic has clearly picked up on this tendency. Derke was ready in the middle outside of Bombsite A picking of Derrek and Bang. The terrible part for 100T was these were the only two players on the team with rifles in what was a forced buy down 8-1 on the scoreboard. They also both died in a place where no teammates could now easily get to those weapons. This double-opening death cost them round 10 and forced an eco in round 11.
100T eked out a final round on defense with a Bombsite B retake and a Stellar 2k but that only made it 2-10. Moving into the offensive side, 100T still showed some life. They won three straight attacks on Bombsite B but lost all three attempts on Bombsite A including the pistol round that was down to a 2v1.
It ended on the Ascent
It’s tough to parse out what went wrong on Ascent for 100T at a strategic level. It would be fair to assume they “gave up” or were burnt out after two tough map losses, DRX's OT loss on Breeze, and Fnatic’s previous Bind win in this series. The broadcast countered that by saying the players were in good spirits after the Bind loss and to put it in context Bind was Fnatic’s map pick, Ascent was 100T’s. Add in that really the first 6 rounds here on the offensive side were a 3-3 score line. It wasn’t until they lost six of the last seven rounds to end the first half on Ascent that their comeback attempt seemed doomed.
What I can point to is that this is really the first time 100T’s offensive performed poorly all tournament. They attacked Bombsite A on Ascent five times for a success rate of 40%and attacked Bombsite B five times for a success rate of 40%. Both are well below their previous marks on any of the three maps against Fnatic before.
As for the defensive side which we have documented here. It’s no surprise that the defensive side was unable to make up that huge deficit. A side tangent, as I rewatched the stream 3-4 times to go through the movements and rounds it was pretty funny listening to the broadcast team talk about how important a 5-7 vs 4-8 final score would be and how 100T prospects would improve with that round difference. The reality was nothing up to that point showed that 100T had the ability on the defensive side to make up two rounds, let alone four. No shady against those guys, I’ve done that job for CS1.6 and the very first CS:GO match in history. Your job is entertaining, so you do your best to keep intrigue but in this case, the numbers just simply didn’t support it outside of a massive miracle.
00:00 - To open the pistol round, I had a major CS1.6 Dust2 flashback moment here. Sean and the team clearly had this in mind. A three-man stack, two in a vertical position close to the catwalk, and one playing back is basically textbook Dust2 catwalk defense. The hope is you get a split push right into you and the two-man stack can absorb an initial entry attempt while the 3rd man can come in and clean up anyone who is left. The 3rd man also provides the necessary utility for extraction. The latter was necessary here as they pulled back. The challenge is it was left long open and Fnatic was able to get a plant and there was no one left flank or create additional pressure from any other direction. 100T was forced to challenge all from Bombsite A rafters and this made it easy for Fnatic to hold. 100T’s loss on the pistol round basically ended the match.
0:30 - I found two more interesting moments though, the first was Fnatic’s effective use of multiple ultis to get into Bombsite B. Their ability to push 100T completely out of the bombsite was impressive. They repeated this strategy a second time in Round 19, both very critical rounds. This time 100T did a good job flanking and creating multi-angles of attack. Neither of the retakes worked.
1:03 - I put this highlight in from Bang killing three Fnatic members stuck in the back of Bombsite A during an eco on Round 16. It’s just brilliant play and I just wanted to speak to the fact that reviewing the entire 100T performance my biggest takeaway was that Bang was their best player. He had great moments like this but he also from a strategic standpoint was treated as their best player. He was moved into critical positions during games when 100T’s thought the enemy would attack there. He has a bright future and I’m very curious to see how 100T continues to build around him.