For our first match of the day, we have a fairly interesting clash between Team SoloMid and 100 Thieves. Now, on paper, there’s quite a lot to like about this one, although it probably will end up being rather one-sided. Team SoloMid are entering this match with a lot more hype and momentum, especially after handing Evil Geniuses their most emphatic loss yet. It was an evergreen showing, really, and it gave us a quick glimpse into what’s possible with such a talented TSM line-up. Each and every member of the team carried his fair share of the weight, their draft was cohesive and had clear win conditions (which is often a rarity for the boys in black and white), and their play — although still flawed — was miles better than what they showed us last week.
In other words, they’ve finally gelled enough as a five-man unit and are looking like a top-tier challenger. Now, make no mistake: they won’t be dethroning Cloud9 any time soon, but they’re definitely a force to be reckoned with when they play their cards right.
100 Thieves, on the other hand, was once again on the receiving end of things against Counter Logic Gaming yesterday, and it was by no means a good showing. Their play is, at best, pretty mediocre. Heck, that might even be an optimistic stretch — 100 Thieves regressed far beyond what anyone expected in a bafflingly short amount of time. It seems as though they’ve forgotten some of the basics, and while they’re still capable of creating leads and pulling off nice plays, they’re almost guaranteed to make an egregious mistake or two in the mid and later stages of the game, regardless of whom they’re up against.
Because of this, we simply have to side with Team SoloMid. They are by no means the strongest or most consistent team around, but they’re at least far less volatile and have fewer glaring weaknesses. That said, this could end up being a lot more competitive than people expect.