Cryo of 100 Thieves spoke with esports.gg following a loss to MIBR that dashed any hopes of making the VCT Americas playoffs.
100 Thieves season was on the line in their final match of the VCT Americas regular season. Despite some incredible plays by Matthew "Cryo" Panganiban, the Thieves fell to MIBR. That removed them from playoff contention and sent Evil Geniuses to the post-season.
It is never easy to speak directly after a loss, but esports.gg sat down with Cryo to discuss the match. He went over the wild plays he pulled off, if he feels like the season was a complete failure, and what he thinks needs to be done for 100T to make it through LCQ.
100T Cryo discusses huge plays, overcoming criticism, and prepping for LCQ
"Let's talk about that huge Ace on Pearl. It secured the overtime victory and took the series to a third map. It got a little flashy at the end their with the knives. The crowd was going nuts and it very well might have been the best play of the entire league. So just talk me through it. From that first collateral kill to the fifth with the knives, what was going through your head, what were the comms like, and how did your teammates react when the final kill came through?"
Cryo: "Yeah, it was one of the OT rounds and what was working for them was just hitting sites. So, I just started on one of the sites at the start of the round and they came into me. I got the first two kills and then asked Sean (bang), our Viper, to put his wall up. Then I got out and from there it's a 5v3. All three are long and we knew that. So, it's really hard for them to win. It's just a matter of everyone playing together. One of us can flank and keep that space. And then all four of us are just on B and they're just gonna run into us."
"And a similar question from Lotus. Four detained by the Lockdown and you hold the line. Not a single teammate lost during that. What was that play like in the moment?"
Cryo: "I was getting out of the Killjoy Ult and I'm looking at my mini map. I was seeing all my teammates, they're all going to get detained. So, it's up to me to just kind of spam. Go for spam kills on the bomb, but they actually didn't go for the bomb at all. They all kind of ran at us, which I was pretty surprised by. But I mean, they pretty much just lined up. It was the most freest 4K that anyone can get in the league. I just held Mouse-1 on that smoke."
"Moving on, I spoke with coach Mikes after the FURIA game. He said he felt like the team wasn't utilizing you correctly early in the season and that you have very high standards for yourself. Clearly, whatever needed to happen to get you comfortable did. But with such personal high standards, how do you feel when you're performing well, but the team results aren't reflecting that?"
Cryo: "Man, at the end of the day, it's still a team game. It doesn't matter if I'm doing well or another individual's doing well. If we still lose, then we lose. Not much to say about that."
"Mikes also said to me that the plan going into this match was to try and control your own destiny as much as possible, but MIBR decided to take control of it instead. What's it like to go into a game with everyone expecting an easy victory and it being the exact opposite?"
Cryo: "We prefer if we know, that if we win the match, we get into playoffs. And if we don't win, then we're out of playoffs. I'd rather have it be that than just giving it up to random chance through the head-to-head or ties or whatever. We honestly prefer that, but we just didn't show up today. Honestly, I don't think we deserve the last playoff spot."
"With a lack of success, whatever the reason behind it may be, comes the criticism. There was a lot sent your way to start the season. How did you avoid that or shake it off to keep your mental in check as you played through these important matches?"
Cryo: "I don't spend too much time on social media. Twitter, Reddit, or VLR threads. At the end of the day, it's just coming from people who don't understand the game. They're just spectators. They're just fans watching. They don't really understand what's going on, so you can't really take it too hard on yourself. But at times I still did. That's probably the thing I did the most, just stay off social media."
"So, this was the final game of the season. Considering everything that has happened to this point, do you deem this first VCT Americas season a failure for 100 Thieves?"
Cryo: "I wouldn't say a complete failure, but it's definitely below expectations. We were really hoping to get into playoffs at least. So, I guess it's a failure in that aspect, but we still showed some pretty good moments of some great teamwork in VALORANT."
"When the season started then, was it Masters and Champions or bust? Is that the only way you would have seen it as a complete success?"
Cryo: "No, not necessarily. Even if we made a deep playoff run and like lost to like NRG or LOUD. It's not a complete failure. We just didn't win the games that we needed to win during this stage."
"For you personally, what's your biggest focus between now and LCQ?"
Cryo: "Just been doing the same thing I've been doing. Trying to communicate more, make more plans, mid-rounds, and just trying to make space for the team."
"And the team as a whole, what needs to happen during this downtime for 100 Thieves to win that Last Chance Qualifier and get to Champions?"
Cryo: "I would say just play better, more off of each other. Just have better teamwork in general in all the aspects of the rounds. Early round, mid-round, late rounds, post-plant, retake, everything."
"That's something I've heard a lot from your teammates when I spoke with them. From bang, from Derrek, even from your coach, a lot issues with just not playing together and not playing off of each other well. Do you have any explanations for why that that was the case throughout the season?
Cryo: "Oh man, it's easier said than done. I mean, in the heat of the moment, you have to make a split second decision in these rounds. It's not easy. It's really not that easy. We just have to work on playing those situations better and playing the rounds so we don't even have to be in that situation."