100 Thieves advanced to the semifinals of the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split on Sunday with a decisive 3-0 victory over FlyQuest.
The odds seemed stacked against FlyQuest from the beginning, as a string of weak performances against the other top teams late in the split left serious doubts about its viability as a playoff team. Jang "Keane" Lae-young, FlyQuest's mid laner, had dominated the scene early on in the split but flamed out by the time the season came to a close. The story could be no more different on the side of 100 Thieves, who finished the split with some disappointing defeats against top teams, to be sure, but also took two tiebreaker victories on the final day, which lent it the air of momentum coming into the day.
If the teams' previous performances weren't enough to tip the scales in 100 Thieves' favor, the beginning of the series certainly was. FlyQuest began with an early lead thanks to its semi-global composition featuring Lucas "Santorin" Larsen's Nocturne and Keane's famed Taliyah, both of which allowed FlyQuest to turn an early 100 Thieves tower dive on the bottom lane entirely around -- an advantage that should have in theory sealed the game. Instead, FlyQuest lost ground after taking an early initiative for the first of many times on the day and slowly allowed 100 Thieves to farm its way back into the game. That allowed Cody "Cody Sun" Sun to get his Tristana online and come knocking on the doorstep of his opponent's base. 100 Thieves claimed total victory in a bit over a half hour after a dizzying array of turnabouts that left expectations for FlyQuest even lower than it began.
Game 2 did little to turn those expectations around, as FlyQuest inexplicably decided to run back the exact same composition once more and was defeated in surprisingly similar fashion. This time, however, there would be no enormous early lead for Keane or Santorin, and was instead just a crushing performance from 100 Thieves, who smashed FlyQuest's lanes from top to bottom.
While FlyQuest nearly pulled the game back from the brink of oblivion with a pick onto Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho's Ornn at the beginning of a teamfight, its hopes were smashed by Yoo "Ryu" Sang-wook's Ryze, who picked himself up a quadra kill with his quick feet and quick thinking. All that could be said for FlyQuest is that it managed to survive for nearly a minute longer in Game 2 than it did in Game 1, as 100 Thieves once again claimed victory in a bit over 32 minutes.
The final game would play out far differently, however, as FlyQuest finally realized that its initial plan wasn't going to cut it and instead pivoted to a split-push strategy featuring Lee "Flame" Ho-Jong's Camille. To its credit, it spent nearly the entire game in the driver's seat thanks to a phenomenal performance by Jason "Wildturtle" Tran, whose Ezreal was all but unanswerable for the better part of the game.
Things started to fall apart after FlyQuest claimed the Baron, however, as Flame was picked off the moment he returned to split pushing and died a second time a couple minutes later while FlyQuest sieged the 100 Thieves base, opening up an opportunity for 100 Thieves to counter-push. The push broke the FlyQuest base and claimed the life of Santorin just in time for the Baron and Elder Dragon to spawn, both of which were immediately claimed by 100 Thieves, who used them to close out the series.
100 Thieves will move on to play against Team Liquid at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.