100 Thieves claim second in ESL Pro League Season 12 after FURIA deny lower bracket run

The Australian squad went missing in the lopsided North American decider.

100 Thieves fell at the final ESL Pro League hurdle in Season 12, after Brazil’s FURIA delivered them a convincing 3–0 defeat in the grand final to end the Australian squad’s lower bracket run.

FURIA began the series with a single-map advantage, thanks to their wins in the upper bracket against Evil Geniuses, and their top spot finish in the regular season.

100 Thieves looked red-hot coming into the decider, and had the confidence of ousting FURIA just a week earlier in their back pocket. AZR and the boys had turned around their shaky start to Season 12 with a fiery back-end run to the decider.

In the lead up to the S12 playoffs, 100 Thieves had to march through must-win fixtures against Cloud9, Triumph, and FURIA. The Australians pulled off three straight victories in style, sweeping FURIA and Triumph, and edging Cloud9 in a three-map series.

The season finish earned them fourth in playoffs. A lower bracket run stood ahead of them.

The ESL playoffs began against Liquid, and though the boys dropped their map pick Vertigo against the North American hopefuls, they were able to scoop up wins on Mirage (16–13) and Inferno (16–9) to move on. Gratisfaction and Liazz made the difference in the series.

In the upper bracket, FURIA stormed through Evil Geniuses in two ⁠— 16–5, 16–7 on Inferno and Nuke ⁠— and sent the Stanislaw-led US team right into 100 Thieves’ playoff path.

Evil Geniuses were unable to lock down a single map against the Aussies in a nail-biting two map battle. 100 Thieves opened the lower bracket final with a tight 16–14 win on Dust II, and doubled-down with a 16–13 victory on Inferno to seal the deal.

Justin “jks” Savage went on a tear across the two maps, denying Evil Geniuses the chance for revenge against their Brazilian rivals from the upper bracket.

It was a big win for the Australians, who have been focusing on mental health and fitness behind the scenes. It’s that key focus, as well as the chemistry the team has built, that saw 100T deliver on the day time and again in the ESL Pro League. 

“We’ve been playing a lot of scared Counter-Strike in our recent matches, so it’s good to see us having the confidence to take the fights required to win,” in-game leader AZR said.

“We’re going into the match [against FURIA] planning to play our own game, and our 2–0 victory against them a couple of days ago gives us even more confidence in the matchup.”

Aaron “AZR” Ward

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be on the day. 100 Thieves began on their map pick, Vertigo, starting on T-Side for the grand final opener.

Despite starting on the right foot, a stunning three-man boost spot on the A-Ramp from FURIA was revealed. It caught 100T out multiple times due to its shock nature. The Brazilians added to the hurt with unrelenting aggression, and took Vertigo by nine.

On Inferno, 100 Thieves had another CT start, and managed to claw out a nine-round CT half. In the second half, the Thieves dug deep, but FURIA kept things competitive with very aggressive rushes and P90s. The Brazilians tied to the game at 10–10.

The game slipped away from 100 Thieves in the end, as FURIA kept their foot on the pedal all the way to a 16–10 final scoreline, and a 3–0 triumph over the Aussies in the final.

Second place in the ESL Pro League’s twelfth season was a disappointing end for 100 Thieves, who had chalked up a convincing set of wins in the back-end of the North American event. Their placing is the team’s highest since IEM Beijing 2019, where they lost to winners Astralis.

Photography100 Thieves
ProducerJosh Swift
Ash Whyte
Ash 'Shhlee' Whyte is all about Counter-Strike and its stories. While he did look at playing League of Legends at some point, he soon opted to specailise in CS after being told Shyvana top was apparently not 'viable' and that Bronze was not a 'good' rank.

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