Following 100 Thieves’ performance at IEM Beijing, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jay “liazz” Tregillgas to talk about the team’s performance at the event, and get his view on joining an organisation like 100 Thieves. While I had him, we also talked about his thoughts on the Australasian scene and how he compares it to the environment he is now in.
Announced on October 31st, 100 Thieves officially acquired the former Renegades line-up, with their first event under their new organisation being IEM Beijing. Expectations were high, as Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, CEO and Founder of 100 Thieves, expressed his intentions of acquiring a championship line-up when re-entering the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive title. Previously, 100 Thieves had acquired the former brazilian line-up of Immortals, which unfortunately ran into plenty of road bumps, thus ending 100 Thieves’ run in Counter-Strike before it even started.
Although the team didn’t leave IEM Beijing with a trophy, they still managed to finish as runner-up and ultimately gaining their highest placement at an event to date. This achievement was incredibly impressive considering the event was stacked with teams such as Astralis, Team Vitality and FaZe Clan. Nadeshot came out on Twitter throughout the tournament, rallying behind the team and supporting them in their efforts, especially when facing the powerhouses of Astralis.
Opening my interview with Liazz, I asked for his thoughts on the team’s performance at the event and what he thinks needs to be done to secure their next championship. He went on to say “I think IEM Beijing was great for us. We ran into quite a few issues over the course of the event, but it felt like our game and our mentality only got better and better.”
“Playing Astralis when they’re in form really does feel like running into a brick wall; they’re a f**king machine,” continued Liazz.
“I think the trophies will come with more work and experience. We’re definitely on the right track, our results are improving and we’re beginning to find a level of consistency. We’ve just got to trust the process,” concluded Liazz.
Given that the team was preoccupied with changing organisations coming into this event, I asked Liazz what the preparation was like, and what they did to get ready for an event like IEM Beijing. “Our schedule coming into Beijing was a bit nuts. Going from tournament to tournament, and travelling around trying to sort out last minute visas hurt our prep a little. But we had enough left in the tank that we still felt as though we were in a pretty good position,” said Liazz.
Continuing on the same topic, he then went on to state “we just did the usual, with Azr and Kassad going over the game plans without straying too far away from what we’ve practiced. Lately we’ve been cleaning up our strats, which is definitely something we’ve overlooked a little in the past,” finished Liazz.
Something that has really stood out with the 100 Thieves roster as of late is the fact that Liazz is really making an impact on the server; prior to the Berlin Major it seemed it was off his game. Seeing as he had a massive impact when playing on the ORDER roster, many were questioning if he was either thrown in the deep end of playing a role he isn’t used too when initially joining the Renegades, or if he just hadn’t moulded in yet.
I simply asked Liazz, what has changed? He went on to state “before the Berlin Major, I made a point of focusing more on my individual game. Deathmatching more, surf, kz, and just more Counter-Strike in general. For a long time in the team, I was scared to make plays or take duels; because I didn't want to be the person ‘responsible’ for losing a round or whatever. Having more confidence in my individual ability really helped me get over that hump.”
“I’m feeling like a new man now,” finished Liazz.
Liazz maintained a 1.16 rating throughout IEM Beijing, with stand-out ‘carry-like’ performances on multiple maps during the duration of the event.
On the topic of teams, Liazz then went on to compare his experience on the 100 Thieves roster to that of the Australian teams he’s been a part of. “The most obvious change would be moving overseas full time, away from friends and family. It takes more of a toll on you than some people tend to believe, and it’s still something I’m learning to deal with,” said Liazz
“In terms of in-game, things really didn’t seem all too different on a macro level. You’re still playing the same game, and I’m a believer that the limited experience and opportunities that Australian teams have had in the past was the biggest factor in the disparity. Looking at Grayhound now, with a few tournaments under their belt, they’re a formidable team. Honestly, the gap isn’t that big now,” finished Liazz.
Talking on the signing of 100 Thieves, I asked Liazz what it has been like to be a part of a family like 100 Thieves thus far, how the transition has gone, and what the signing process was like from his perspective. “Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and accommodating, they went all out to make us feel like part of the family from day one. Top notch,” said Liazz.
“The thing that blew me away was the sheer size of the project, they have so many people plugging away behind the scenes. It gets you excited and more motivated to put your best foot forward for the brand,” continued Liazz.
“As for the signing process, it was mostly done behind the scenes over a few weeks. But from my point of view, it was smooth and easy,” concluded Liazz.
Closing out our interview, I asked him if he has any words for those back home and in true Liazz fashion, he said “love you hunks and babes xoxo.”
100 Thieves are currently competing in the ESL Pro League, where they are fighting for a spot at the ESL Pro League Finals in Odense, Denmark, later this year. They are also set to compete at DreamHack Open Winter on November 30th. You can stay connected with all their results by following them on Twitter.
Be sure to follow Liazz on Twitter as he looks to continue his rampage in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive space.