Back-to-back grand finals appearances and an upset opening win on Nuke gave 100 Thieves fans hope of a fairytale finish, but Brazilian squad FURIA once again proved too strong for the Oceanic lineup, defeating 100T 3-1 (9-16, 16-14, 16-4, 16-11) to claim the North American division of IEM New York.
In their final event under the North American-based organisation, and their last as a squad of five, 100 Thieves could not capitalise on a clinical performance from Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai (1.98 rating, 34-12, 114 ADR) in the series opener. Meanwhile, FURIA moved to establish a dynasty at the top of the region with two straight event wins, both coming at the expense of 100 Thieves.
The loss spells an end to an Oceanic CS:GO core based overseas, at least in the interim following 100 Thieves’ withdrawal from the esport and the subsequent rumours of star Justin ‘jks’ Savage’s move to Complexity Gaming — ending a six-year duo partnership with teammate Aaron ‘AZR’ Ward.
100T came out firing on FURIA’s pick of Nuke; Gratisfaction’s 26-kill effort led 100 Thieves to a remarkable 13-2 lead on the CT side, and while FURIA closed the gap to seven rounds the lead was insurmountable. Gratisfaction would finish with 34 kills in the 16-9 win as the battle entered Inferno.
FURIA led 4-0 before Jay ‘Liazz’ Tregillgas (1.20 rating, 20-17) and Gratisfaction (1.03 rating, 22-24) combined to level the scoreline. FURIA were then immediately reset, and for a moment it seemed 100 Thieves may just run away with the entire series at 8-4.
But the Brazilians bounced back with their own solid T side; recovering the opening half, FURIA took the pistol then won seven of the next ten rounds to throw 100T onto the back foot. A FURIA change-up at 14-14 after a slight recovery from the Aussie core threw them again, and 100 Thieves failed to hold on, dropping the map 16-14.
The loss in full regulation seemed to blow all the air out of the sails for 100 Thieves as FURIA moved to secure a foothold in the series on their pick of Vertigo. Fast-paced T-side rounds from the Brazilian lineup across the map thwarted the 100T lineup who simply couldn’t keep up with FURIA’s ferocity.
100 Thieves fell flat on their own T-side in their attempts to recover the map as FURIA ran away with Vertigo 16-4. Mirage would be next and, while 100T managed a win against FURIA on the map at ESL Pro League last fortnight, the Brazilians were out for revenge.
At 3-3, FURIA stepped up on CT, all but locking 100T out of the bombsites. Switching to early mid control, 100 Thieves failed to find an opening advantage as the Brazilian squad opted for a triple AWP setup that was nigh unbreakable.
100T threatened a comeback on CT with four straight after the pistol round, with jks (1.08 rating, 21-19) and Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad (0.96 rating, 15-23) the major contributors. But despite their best, FURIA proved better; in-game leader Andrei ‘arT’ Piovezan opened up the bomb sites himself and constantly kept 100T second guessing as to FURIA’s plans of attack.
FURIA ultimately held off a 100T resurgence 16-11 to take the championship 3-1, and in doing so, locked in qualification at this year's IEM Global Challenge in Cologne — likely 2020’s only remaining offline event.
While many are singing the praises of FURIA’s rise to the pinnacle of regional Counter-Strike, the Oceanic fanbase remains focused on 100 Thieves disbanding. Early signs indicate the players will remain in the North American region, save for jks’ move to Complexity and a reported return to Norway for jkaem.
Nevertheless, from Vox Eminor to 100 Thieves, from the humble London stage at Gfinity Spring Masters in 2015 to the raucous Mercedes-Benz Arena at the StarLadder Berlin Major — it’s been one hell of a ride for Oceania’s first overseas core.
And through the highs of their achievements, the lows of shocking defeats, the roster iterations and organisation switches — Oceania couldn’t be prouder of the players in their quest for esports greatness.
Yeah the boys.