sat down with Boostio of 100 Thieves to talk all things VALORANT just days before the start of VCT Americas 2024 Stage 2.

100 Thieves is back in VCT Americas after a solid showing at Masters Shanghai. Led by Kelden "Boostio" Pupello, the team placed fourth after gaining the first seed of their international league.

Now, they'll look to continue their success on their way to Champions. But first is Stage 2, and we spoke to Boostio just prior to the start on how the team plans to pull it off.

Boostio feels very confident that his upcoming VCT Americas opponents are bad

(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)
(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)

"100 Thieves has bounced back fairly well following the Kickoff tournament elimination. Compare the start of the year to now. What’s different?"

Boostio: "I feel like we just got a lot more reps in matches in like Kickoff. We were pretty new team, hadn't played on the VCT stage together, we go into Kickoff against two of the arguably top three teams at the time. Like LEV was supposed to be super good, and Sentinels ended up winning Madrid.

"If we had a different group, we could have looked better, but probably still not have made, it to be honest. We just weren't playing that well. We could've beaten like MIBR or Cloud9, but we just didn't get that chance.

"We were just, like, in the Group of Death. So, I mean, I think it was just being unlucky. And getting that group and not having that much experience as a team at the very beginning of the year. That definitely is kind of what's different. We got to play a bunch of matches together now. And we just have very good synergy together now."

"And on the contrary, what remained the same among the team? What worked originally that continues to work now?"

Boostio: "I think our solo plays. My teammates have very good individualistic plays, they do by themselves, which ends up netting them a lot of kills. And I think back then, that's what we were best at.

"When we had to play as a team, we were terrible at it in Kickoff. Now, that we have a lot more synergy, we can play solo, play super aggressive, or play as a team and play together, swing together. So, it's kind of like the best of both worlds."

(Photo by Liu YiCun/Riot Games)
(Photo by Liu YiCun/Riot Games)

"Let’s talk about Shanghai a bit now. Fourth place isn’t bad from a viewer’s perspective. But how far away from the team’s goal there do you feel you were?"

Boostio: "Just making the international was hard to get enough. I mean, it happened last year, I think it's going to happen every year that I play VALORANT. If I make the international I think I'm going to be happy in the long run.

"Even if I get grouped, I'm sure at one point in my career I would be sad, because I got grouped, just upset, and thought we could do better. But like, realistically, just making the international stage is what really matters in this game.

"And being able to win domestically, and then just go to an international is enough for me. Top four is even better. So, for me of course, I would like to win it. But top two, top four, top eight, it's all the same unless you win. So, I don't really care where we place if we don't win, so I'm just I'm happy so far."

"Was there anything that happened in Shanghai that drastically altered your approach to the upcoming Stage?"

Boostio: "I do think we learned a lot about ourselves as a team. We hang out a lot with each other in America. But it's a little different at these internationals, because you're literally in a hotel room for 24 hours, like you literally live in that hotel.

"So, you're in a hotel room, either in your practice room, or when you're sleeping. And it can feel funny, like, it doesn't feel good to live in a hotel, to be honest. But to experience that with your whole team, and then the only thing you can do is hang out with them and play the game is a big thing.

"Because you're literally with them for like 14 hours, 16 hours a day until you sleep. So, you do get to learn a lot about people. And I feel like we learned a lot about each other, had a couple of really good talks throughout the tournament, just about how we should be.

"And I think in the long run, Masters Shanghai, we're going to look back on it as a team and be like, 'Damn, we really needed that to win this tournament,' which could foreshadow Champs or any tournament in the years to come with 100T. But I think Shanghai really is like what the start of everything is going to be."

(Photo by Lee Aiksoon/Riot Games)
(Photo by Lee Aiksoon/Riot Games)

"To keep on with the team’s approach for Stage 2, what can you tell me about how the team will adapt to this so-called ‘Duelist Patch’ you’ll play on?"

Boostio: "There will be a lot of Neon. I think you just have to play a lot of rank. To answer this question simply, you have to play a lot of ranked to play against Neon, against Iso, to know what they do for one. Two, I think Iso is probably not going to be played as much. If he does get played, it's bad.

"I don't think in competitive it's going to be very good. You might see like aspas on Icebox playing it or something, but besides that, it's not good. I mean, we just keep doing our own game plan and just playing like we normally do.

"Just for ourselves and not for the enemy, we will just destroy all these team. We're just about so much better mechanically. And we just have so much better team play that we if we play to our game, we will just win."

"And it’s a new map pool, with Abyss slotting in during the playoffs. As the IGL, is it frustrating when these changes happen to the game, or do you find it exciting?"

Boostio: "Well, these changes are definitely stupid. The Duelist one is fine. I don't know where you would implement it. So, it's like fine, you buff the characters. We had like two weeks of the characters, that's fine. Or like a week-and-a-half or something.

"But with the maps, it's a little different, though. Because there's seven maps, and you have to prep a lot on those maps. And then you get a random Haven in. We're super late, because we're in Shanghai until like the 10th. So, we didn't get to practice it for way longer than everyone else.

"And then also, the Abyss stuff is even more stupid. It's like, Haven just come back, let's do a bunch of work on that. And then scrim the whole regular season without playing Abyss. Then first round of playoffs Abyss is in?

"You want us to scrim eight maps? Seven maps is already a lot, but I think seven maps is perfect. Then when you go to eight, it's like you don't have time in the week to actually practice and get good at these maps. It's going to be interesting. There's going to be some funny series, I think."

(Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games)
(Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games)

"Alright, well, with your record carrying over and the schedule ahead, not to jinx you, but 100 Thieves will probably make the playoffs. You mentioned how mechanically better the team is. How confident are you in running it back against the other VCT Americas teams?"

Boostio: "I mean, I definitely think we can win. If you look at our group, Sentinels is the only real competition when it comes to Championship points. They have a very hard bracket. Our group is relatively easy. We have some really bad teams in our group.

"So, we're tied in Championship points, and we're very looking very good. I think a lot of the teams in my group are terrible. I think even LEV, who has the best record in our group has been looking very shaky. Then LOUD, who knows how good they're going to be.

"They can be amazing. LOUD always ends up pulling it out. They're very good. I wouldn't be surprised if LOUD were to make Champs. But the rest of our group is just so bad. So, we're looking very positive, we're going to keep trying our hardest because we know nothing's free in esports."

"You just said how you feel LEV is shaky and you aren’t sure how good LOUD will be. So, any particular matches in Stage 2 then, that stand out to you as either tough or even just an unknown?"

Boostio: "Regular season? No. I will say everyone should go watch the NRG and SEN match. That is going to be the best match of the year. I don't care, that will be on the second monitor during scrims. That match is going to be f*cking amazing.

"I think, I've been saying this, whoever loses that doesn't make champs, because their record is going to be even worse than it already is. So, it's going to be good because they have low games in that group, and you have to be top six of every team.

"Other teams have good records. So, whoever loses that first one between them really lowers their chances. And they're such fun teams to watch, with FNS and s0m back, Sentinels that won Madrid. Can they like perform?

"It's going to be so fun for me. To answer your question, though. No, I don't think there's going to be any surprises in our group. I think our group is relatively easy. LOUD's the unknown."

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