Hey guys! My name is Magical, PBP caster for C9's academy team. I do other casting stuff across the League of Legends scene, but that's not important. Instead, what I am going to do is try to solve the problem with 100T's main roster. Call me a traitor to C9, but just hold on to your pants and/or skirts. I have my reasons that might become obvious as I go through my thoughts.
100T is a brand that I have a lot of respect for. Of course, I am biased and love my C9 brand and the sponsorships they have gotten (shoutout to Puma and BMW), but when 100T joined I loved the baseball style jerserys they first had, I like the clothing line they made and they started their LCS journey on fire by being able to go to Worlds in their inaugural season.
But now we see they are struggling badly. Spring was incredibly terrible and Summer is looking just as bad. I thought they made some good calls by bringing in Amazing to add to Bang and Ssumday. But the move to have Soligo be their starting midlaner was premature. Soligo just isn't ready for it at this time and needs to be in academy so he can continue to learn/grow. This is where the next problem of 100T roster moves comes in with the recent move to have FakeGod start over Ssumday so they could have Ryu play over Soligo. Due to import rules, 100T had to make a choice between Ssumday/FakeGod and Bang/Prismal. I think personally I would have gone for Prismal over Bang and even go with Stunt over Aphromoo, but that's neither here nor there since I don't think it would be enough for them to fix their innate problems within the team anyways.
Instead, I want to talk about the drastic changes that 100T needs to explore if they want a chance at making playoffs. If they end this weekend 0-6, they would have to go full C9 in order to even get to playoffs which I don't think will happen without a major change to roster or staff. Of course, I don't want to advocate for someone losing their job, but 100T need to get a midlaner that will not take up an import slot.
That's the tricky part, finding a midlaner that could be picked up and fix the problems of 100T who also is not an import is difficult to find. We can look at academy and there is (to me) only one obvious choice. GoldenGlue is someone that has had a lot of experience on stage as well as has been growing well in the C9 brand. As of late, he has been on a tear in academy looking like the best midlaner bar none. The problem with picking him up would be that he is under the C9 banner and if C9 is smart, they wouldn't let him go for cheap (hell not even for overpriced). 100T would have to probably rip off both arms before C9 would give up GG as he has fit well with the team and the org. Plus, I don't know how receptive he would be to the idea either as I think he would love to aim to compete for the starting mid spot on the main C9 roster. That is not something I am privy to so I can't speak for him (and for any thinking about what if C9 sold the whole academy team, I'm sure that would be much better than the current 100T team as well, but with how much 100T spent on some of their current players that is HIGHLY doubtful).
If not GG, then we have to keep digging. Maybe insanity on Team Liquid Academy's roster could be a good option. He and ablazeolive would be the next two I would look at in academy for players to pick, but sadly they have a bit too maybe inconsistencies for my taste to be confident in fixing 100T immediately. Maybe good options for 2020, but that's not what I am after fixing yet.
The other option that I had considered was KatEvolved. If you don't know him, look up his streams. Once a Katarina OTP, now arguably the best midlaner in NA solo queue. I casted a few games of his a year or so back when he was just starting to branch out from Kat and into a more competitive scene. His growth since then has been NUTS. The problem with someone like KatEvolved is a similar case to insanity and ablazeolive unfortunately. It would be a huge gamble due to how inexperienced he would be with this level of competitive play. It is one thing to play from the comfort of your home, and a different beast to that of a stage with a live audience (yes, he plays for Radiance and has done some live events with the team such as PvP.com, but that's still nothing compared to a Riot studio). Just ask someone like Dopa. Hell, I have had those nerves myself from moving from casting from my bedroom to studios. It is really hard and not everyone can make that transition so 100T would be betting a lot on that. But with that all said, he is still looking like the most likely bet. He is with Radiance, so would have to buy out that contract, but that's probably a cheaper option than buying an academy player.
There is an option I had been considering when I went to type all of this out and that is possibly getting someone from LLA or CBLoL. In the past, LAN had not be considered an import slot for players if they were chosen. But starting in 2018 (at least if I recall correctly) LAN and LAS became import slots with the changing of the wording to the rule set to read as "United States and Canada" residents only. Sad that wasn't extended to Mexico and Central America. I do understand that going into 2019 that the LLA merger happened which moved the teams to Chile and thus removing the LAN region that could be considered North American. Honestly, I want to argue that players in LLA should be considered options for LCS without taking up an import slot since there is a good amount of talent now playing in the LLA that would still be considered a part of the NA continent. A midlaner like Seiya would have been a viable option for 100T due to him being from Mexico. I'd like to argue in favor of players like Emp or Plugo, but both players are from Chile, so they'd probably need to be considered imports in order to keep the ruling simpler.
Now I will move on to my final option that 100T can do and it is extreme (well, not Echo Fox yeeting Fenix and Altec extreme, but I'm not that cruel). It is the trade option. They have to do something and if they can't get a player for a reasonable or even inflated price (GoldenGlue, insanity, ablazeolive, or KatEvolved) then they need to trade an import to open up for a new import. Ssumday or Bang would have to be traded in order for this to work which would mean a team being willing to take them. Honestly, I would trade Ssumday not because he is bad, in fact quite the opposite. He is one of the best top laners. A team that is struggling might be willing to trade for him if they don't already have too many imports. Looking to see a team in need in NA aaaaaaand…nothing. Not only would no team really be looking to trade out their top laner from someone like Ssumday, but those that might (Echo Fox or OpTic) already have the max import slots. Only team that doesn't that is struggling at the moment is FlyQuest, but I think they are happy with V1per. Well fine, what about Bang? You got OpTic or FlyQuest (again) that could. And I doubt either team want to trade them out.
The final nail in the coffin of the trade idea within NA is even this, what would it do to fix the problems within 100T? You swap out for a new player? Midseason? Only really for Jungle or Support do those sort of changes have meaningful impact. That's where we should look. As stated before, I don't think Amazing is the problem with the team. I think a lot of it rests on the community scapegoat of Aphromoo. Not because he is bad or washed up. He just doesn't fit with 100T. He worked with CLG cuz he seemed closer with the team. Now it is more professional for him and that kind of grind can mess with performance.
So I rambled for a bit on different ideas that could be explored, but I still haven't figured out how to fix 100T. I do want to say this here, Soligo is NOT the problem of 100T. Ssumday is not. Amazing is not. Bang is not. Aphromoo is not. Soligo is the main target in this not because he is bad but because 100T put him in when he wasn't prepared. He was perfect on 100TA because he was getting to learn a lot more about a team house environment as well as some exposure to stage, but not enough to be thrown to the wolves like this.
I have to solutions to what I think will fix 100T immediately. The majority of this has been on replacing Soligo, so obviously that is my first pitch. Listing the prospects I think are ready: GoldenGlue, insanity, ablazeolive, KatEvolved (to a degree with KE, still a massive gamble). The other is to hire a new coach. I'm not saying fire Prolly. I'm saying they need a Weldon. Someone that is great to be brought on temporarily as a sports psychologist. Prolly should remain as the main coach. But they need a staffer that can get the players to finally become a team and less of bunch of people that just happen to wear the same jersey.
Thank you for reading to my TED Talk
EDIT: Fenix/Yusui. Fenix will become a resident in terms of the Riot Policy in Week 5. He is a solid player and could fit in with 100T, but he would be far more difficult to wrestle away than an academy player. Yusui could be that option. However I may like his odd champion pool and how he likes to play bruisers mid (this was before bruisers mid was a thing btw), I haven't been blown away by Yusui. He either pops off or ints. Too all over the place and more risky than GG, insanity, or ablazeolive. I'd rank him equally with KatEvolved.
TL;DR: 100T need to put Soligo in academy and pick up one of these: GoldenGlue (C9A), insanity (TLA), ablazeolive (TSMA), or KatEvolved (RAD). They also need a sports psychologist for building the team back up
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