100 Thieves is making moves ahead of the 2020 Spring Split, with the team announcing Zikz as the head coach for its LCS team. Zikz is joining 100 Thieves after an underwhelming year with TSM. Hiring Zikz is the first deal closed by the newly appointed general manager and former broadcaster Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith.
According to PapaSmithy, the team is taking a completely different approach to Legaue of Legends in 2020 and beyond. The organization will look to develop North American talent instead of relying largely on expensive imports to win tournaments. The team wanted a North American coach that knew the scene and had the respect of the players, so Zikz was the perfect candidate.
“My offseason coach search started and ended with Tony – I could not ask for a more perfect Head Coach for 100 Thieves 2020,” wrote PapaSmithy on Twitter.
In the video announcement, Zikz shared that his philosophy aligns perfectly with PapaSmithy’s, so joining was an easy decision. The coach also addressed his time with TSM and said that within the team he didn’t feel an alignment with the organization. That comment adds to the ongoing theory that TSM’s team culture has become difficult to traverse for players and staff alike.
100 Thieves’ new vision doesn’t include jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, who joined the team recently in Summer 2019. Amazing came in at a time of distress as the team was struggling to find its identity after finishing the spring season in last place. Amazing was a breath of fresh air for the team, but it wasn’t enough for 100 Thieves to make it to playoffs.
According to rumors, 100 Thieves might be looking to go for a young roster with potential and room to grow in the future. The team is allegedly looking to transfer former World Champion bot laner Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and star top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho for an immediate cash infusion.
The new roster won’t be confirmed until after November 18 when free agency officially opens.