100 Thieves Damonte Benched in Favor of Ryoma
If you plan on watching 100 Thieves compete this week, don’t expect to see Tanner “Damonte” Damonte in the mix. That’s because he’s getting benched in favor of Tommy “Ryoma” Le, the man he effectively replaced.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
In all fairness, Damonte hasn’t been performing all that well lately. He was never the epitome of consistency, to begin with, but his stellar play throughout the first-ever LCS Lock-In was more than enough to get us hyped for what’s to come. But then, for one reason or another, his aggression subdued, and so did his effectiveness. He didn’t look like the same player. Some of it came as the result of teams banning out his most potent comfort picks — champions like Galio and Twisted Fate. Certainly, he can play any standard mage as well, but he’s not as good or impactful when he can’t roam the map and set his teammates up for success.
His recent stats tell the same tale as well.
If you’re playing for one of the best and (presumably) most cohesive teams in North America, these numbers are pretty damn underwhelming. Damonte has barely been scraping by, and that’s not something that you want to deal with if you aspire to win the LCS. Calling him a weak point isn’t exactly fair either, but he just wasn’t good enough to compete with the likes of Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, Luka “Perkz” Perković, and Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage. A couple of flashes of brilliance aren’t enough to warrant our benefit of the doubt, and, by the looks of it, it isn’t enough for 100 Thieves either.
The bigger picture began to unravel once we took a more in-depth look into Damonte’s overall stats. He’s dead-last in Gold and Experience Difference at the 10-minute mark out of all mid laners. His second-worst Damage Per Minute numbers aren’t anything to write home about either, and the same goes for his downright horrendous Damage Share (21.9%).
As far as the 2021 LCS Spring Split goes, Damonte hasn’t been an LCS-worthy mid laner, and it’s hard to pinpoint what made his play deteriorate so sharply in such a short amount of time.
A Strange Move
Still, benching 100 Thieves Damonte in favor of Ryoma doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either, especially not right now with just two weeks of (regular season) play left. One could go even further and call it a tremendously unwise decision. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here.
Firstly, Damonte has more than enough synergy with the rest of the team. That, in itself, is a huge boon for 100 Thieves. They were able to get this fair precisely because of it. 100 Thieves Ryoma isn’t better than Damonte. At best, he’s a sidegrade, and having him start over Damonte won’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. He’s not better nor more experienced, so what 100 Thieves are looking to accomplish is anyone’s guess at this point. Maybe they’re hoping that by switching things up, they’ll reinvigorate the team? Perhaps they think that a fresh pair of eyes (and hands) will do them good? But these are the eyes of Ryoma we’re talking about — not some competitive mid lane behemoth.
The young Australian is pretty good, but he’s nowhere near as capable as most of his peers. That is why he was relegated to playing in Academy LCS — he still needs time to mature and grow. Making him a starter with just two weeks of play left won’t do him any good, and, odds are, the same goes for 100 Thieves as well.