100 Thieves vs Team Dignitas
100 Thieves vs. Dignitas. What a strange Mid-Season Showdown clash, one that leaves so much to be desired. There's no hype whatsoever and nothing to get excited about. We won't witness any huge, mind-blowing Best of 5 that'll enter the annals of competitive League, nor will we stand in awe at some of the cleanest and most commanding gameplay of the year. 100 Thieves and Dignitas are, simply put, gatekeepers. There's just no other way to put it.
Still, if you're a fan of fiestas, of skirmish-heavy brawls that are decided by the slimmest of margins, if you're a fan of crazy, off-the-wall drafts and team comps that'll make your head tremor, then there's definitely a reason to tune in. The thing is, neither 100 Thieves nor Dignitas have the nuance which is necessary to compete at the highest of levels. They might come close, but they're just not there yet. And at the pinnacle of competition, these nuanced differences always end up being the determining factor.
More often than not, they're like blunt instruments — they bulldoze through or they implode trying. And, well, there's no third option. 100 Thieves are obviously a bit more layered (a by-product of having more veterans within their ranks), but you can't always tell given just how inconsistent they can be and just how bad their drafts can get. It's a tragedy, really. It seemed as though they had all the potential in the world -- at long last! -- but it just wasn't meant to be. They imploded and regressed in quite a disheartening way. And it wasn't much of a fight, either -- more of a whimper.
At least Dignitas had the "good fortune" of not being battered and outclassed by Cloud9 last week. It's not much, but at least it's something. Their confidence is still intact, unlike 100 Thieves who have very little to look forward to. The fashion in which they were outclassed definitely hurt their stock, and the few good plays and moments of brilliance just weren't enough to warrant any benefit of the doubt. They're struggling in every which way and are all but guaranteed to lose — if not tonight then in a couple of days' time for sure.
But what about tonight, in particular? Who's got the edge? Well, that's pretty much impossible to assess given just how inconsistent and flawed both of these teams are. Throughout the regular portion of the split, it was 100 Thieves who were able to get away with the win (twice), but that means very little in the grand scheme of things. Plus, it happened back when they had Damonte in the mid lane — not a huge benefit (as it turns out), but it was definitely a much more potent and aggressive line-up than the one they'll field today. Damonte is by no means a top-tier behemoth, but at his best he could definitely tango with the LCS mid lane pantheon. Ry0ma, on the other hand, is merely passable — no more, and no less.
So we'll side with Dignitas on this one, even though they're not favored in any concrete way. They had more time to prepare, to recuperate and come up with a gameplan — an invaluable position to be in, all things considered. They also looked quite impressive as the season developed and have a surprising amount of depth despite having three Academy standouts and just two seasoned veterans (who, by the looks of it, still aren't past their prime).
This is by no means a wise choice, but betting on 100 Thieves makes even less sense, so we're going with the underdogs on this one.