100 Thieves vs Edward Gaming
North American fans might want to avert their gaze as the odds of 100 Thieves pulling off an upset are so slim they might as well be non-existent. Now, that last sentence *was* somewhat playful and daring in nature, but it's not necessarily incorrect. EDward Gaming are entering 2021 Worlds as the number one seed and, well, they've earned this luxury fair and square. Moreover, the fact that they had beaten the who's who over in the LPL only further solidifies their position as one of the best and most dangerous teams in the entire world.
Their Best of 5 win over FunPlus Phoenix was by no means perfect, but they got the job done and that, in short, is the only thing that matters. Even when they were 7k gold down they still found a way to claw back and turn the tides of battle, so imperfect though they are, their feistiness and resilience are deserve respect and admiration.
Whether they're the best team from the LPL at this particular point in time is less important — they'll first need to get through T1, 100 Thieves, and Hanwha Life Esports before advancing further into the tournament. Once that happens, *then* will we start comparing their stats and assessing their shot at winning Worlds.
In any case, they're stupendously powerful and have all the right tools to leave a mark and outclass their peers over in Reykjavik, Iceland. Whether they'll deliver still remains to be seen, but it's nigh impossible to doubt the LPL champions seeing how they had to go through hell to ascend the throne. Plus, with players like Scout and Viper, they're no doubt equipped to tango with the very best teams in the world.
100 Thieves, on the other hand, are still a question mark. They're the LCS champions which, in all fairness, means very little given whom they're up against. They've yet to play on the Worlds stage in this specific incarnation, so experience and mental fortitude will surely be lacking once the pressure reaches its zenith. Still, they're talented and fairly creative, too, so it's not like they unworthy or incapable of going blow-for-blow. Plus, in all fairness, these are Best of 1s we're talking about — 100 Thieves definitely have a shot if they prepare well, draft for comfort, and execute to the best of their ability.
Whether that'll happen in their very first outing remains to be seen, but we're not all too optimistic. Plus, it's not like they're the de facto best team from North America — they had lost to Team Liquid (in quite convincing fashion, one might add) just a week prior to winning the LCS, so it's not like there's a large gap between them and everyone else. It all boils down to preparation and who's able to execute on that given day and, well, 100 Thieves had the better game plan coming into the finals and delivered. That, however, isn't going to be enough against the very best teams in the world, the kind that exploit and punish even the smallest of weaknesses and openings.
If 100 Thieves want to stand even the slightest chance of leaving a mark at this year's Worlds, they'll need to be as precise and in sync as possible, and, frankly, we just don't see it happening. Still, as previously mentioned, these are Best of 1s, so anything can happen. This time around we'll side with the LPL champions, but keep an eye on 100 Thieves as they might end up surprising further down the line.