100 Thieves Exit CSGO in Wake of JKS Transfer Rumors
100 Thieves are set to drop their CSGO roster in the wake of reports that Complexity is set to sign Australian phenom Justin “JKS” Savage. The move was first reported by Jarek “Dekay” Lewis, but news of 100 Thieves exiting CSGO comes from HLTV.
Complexity seemingly confirmed the move with a tweet featuring owner Jason Lake in a hot tub with an unnamed figure, presumably JKS, toasting and saying that “he loves when a plan comes together.”
Should that move go through, he will fill the slot left open by Owen “Obo” Schlatter, who stepped down in late September for personal reasons. JKS had been a member of the 100 Thieves roster since its inception, and has played with the same team for the last four years.
Why Is 100 Thieves Exiting CSGO?
“Unfortunately, 100 Thieves is exiting CSGO. I think the most glaring issue that our organization has faced has been COVID-19,” Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag said in 100 Thieves’ announcement of their exit. “2020 was definitely not the year that any of us anticipated. I think the entire esports industry, along with every business in every vertical, has been affected negatively because of COVID. FOr us specifically what went wrong has been multiple reasons – number one, 100 Thieves is a North American organization. We have loved and cherished every moment that our CSGO team has competed at the 100 Thieves Cash App compound. That’ s where we want our teams to be, that’s where we want our players to be, we want to give them the support structure they deserve. We want to integrate them into our culture, for any problem they might have, big or small.”
This unfortunately does not align with what’s going on in CSGO, which is currently seeing one of the largest exoduses in the history of the game from North America.
“What’s happening right now in CSGO, everything is transferring over to Europe,” Nadeshot continued. “We talked to our players about what solutions we can find because they’ve been competing their butts off. They’ve done the best job they could to bring 100 Thieves results that we strive for. Unfortunately, we’ve fallen short quite a bit. Even if we wanted to make roster changes, there were still hurdles in our way. Right now, with the qualification and point system for CSGO majors, any roster movement we made could have jeopardized our position or our opportunity to even compete in a Major. And that was a gigantic roadblock. As we talked to our players and discussed their options, it led to them deciding they need to be in Europe. And for all the reasons why we want them in LA and want to be able to be there for them, we can’t do that. We can’t provide that for them while they are competing in Europe. We did not want to stand in the way of their career success and the next chapter for them.”
With JKS’ fate decided, that leaves the destination of the rest of the CSGO roster, which includes Aaron “AZR”Ward, Joakim “jkm” Myrbostad, Jay “Liazz” Tregillgas, and Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai up in the air. This is in addition to Chet Singh, their coach who left to coach NRG’s Valorant squad. Nadeshot elaborated that not being able to support their players while living in Europe was a prime reason for trying to find new homes for the players.
“We felt like we were in a position where our hands were tied,” Nadeshot elaborated. “Not only can we not support them in Europe, but a couple of our players can’t even be in America right now due to travel bans and visa issues. So what we decided to do was have conversations with multiple organizations to see if we can find them a proper home and give them all the things that we can’t right now. At the end of the day, we believe that our players’ success whether they are competing for us now or in the future is the number one priority. And them being in Europe with other organizations was the best solution we could find.”
100 Thieves Could Come Back to CSGO, Eventually
“At the end of the day I will always cherish the moments we had with these players and the sheet grit they’ve shown day after day in practices that you guys don’t see, and the tournaments you’ve been able to watch. That’s been my favorite part of this entire experience. I know that every individual player on this team is going to go on to do great things and I can’t wait to see it happen as a spectator watching from afar. I’ve loved every moment we’ve spent in the CSGO community. We’ll continue to support it, we’ll continue to keep our eyes on it, we wish nothing but the very best for the players and coaches, the teams that they will spend the rest of their careers on, the continued success of tournaments and majors. We went htem all to succeed. We might find ourselves in this game and involved with this community with another iteration of our roster, there is just too much ambiguity, too much uncertainty, too much vagueness for us to be involved right now.
As is stands, ESL One New York North America will be the last event that these CSGO players play together under the 100 Thieves banner before the roster is dropped. It’s unclear what will happen to the roster, if the core sticks together to maintain their Major qualification points, or if the roster will be siphoned off to other squads to make up for a talent exodus to Valorant. Either way, they likely have a long and bright career ahead of them, despite some missteps while a part of the 100 Thieves roster.
“It just sucks,” Nadeshot said in closing. “We wish there was a better answer, but this is the right answer for our business, our teams, and the players.”