Octane: “Before the change with Preston and Chris we all had a lot of animosity towards each other just from how badly we were playing”
We talked to 100 Thieves Sam “Octane” Larew, who reflects on their recent roster move, Pro League and his expectations for franchising.
myst: Before your split of the Pro League commenced you guys made a significant roster move in removing Fero and adding Priestahh. How has the adjustment been and what initially sparked the reasoning behind this move?
Octane: Preston’s addition thus far has been much more than I initially thought it would be. I’ve never played with him before he joined the team and I didn’t know him very well personally so I really didn’t know what to expect, but he’s been a major part of our success at the pro league. He brings a great attitude to practice every day in terms of personal improvement and the ability to take criticism well which is a trait a lot of pro Call of Duty players don’t have, so right from the gate it’s been great.
Speaking on Fero’s move from the starting roster: it wasn’t an easy decision by any means. We had a few days of deliberation between the team and 100T management and ultimately arrived at the decision to move Fero to the bench because of some in-game issues and the possibility to add Preston to our starting roster.
myst: After a shaky first week in your Pro League Split, you guys bounced back immensely going 5-2. In your eyes what were the biggest differences between Week 1 and 2?
Octane: Week 1 was the same as week 2 minus the ability to close. Barring the Splyce series which was our first series on LAN with the new team, we 3-0’d Denial pretty easily and lost a game five series to eUnited which, if you ask anyone, we should’ve closed the series arguably 3-0. Moving into week 2 we understood our issues (communication on stage was number one for us) and quickly turned that around and began to play like the team we knew we were. I think we all just started to gain confidence again which was something we were lacking pretty badly prior to pro league.
myst: In addition to adding Priestahh to your roster, you guys also added Crowder as your coach. Amidst his addition, you guys have looked immensely better in hardpoint compared to the PLQ and Vegas. How much has Crowder helped in improving your respawn game?
Octane: Chris’ addition was felt on the first map of day one of him joining the team. Being a player not even 3 months ago, and an amazing player at that, allows him to understand the game beyond just what spectators or coaches that haven’t played may see. He understands the intricacies of respawn game modes which was something we were lacking pretty heavily (spawns/rotations/optimal pushes etc) and I think he knows how to explain things really well so it allows us to learn it at a faster rate than if anyone on the team were to try to do it. All in all he brings a great objective mind to the game, and he’s a neutral voice we all respect and it’s made us better without a doubt.
myst: Does having a proper coach now allow you guys to see points of error in your game that you would not see otherwise?
Octane: I think we all could see the issues in our own game, but I think before the change with Preston and Chris we all had a lot of animosity towards each other just from how badly we were playing so it hindered us from improving by a lot. We all knew the problems that we had and we were just too stubborn to actually attempt to fix it so having Chris as a voice of reason in a lot of these situations definitely facilitates conversation a lot better than before.
myst: I wanna ask you what are your general thoughts/concerns about the recent news of a franchising system being implemented for the next game being developed by Infinity Ward. Do you think this can increase viewership and offer more long-term stability within the scene?
Octane: Franchising is something that’s been talked about in CoD for a while now and now that it’s been announced I think a lot of people in the community are excited for sure. I’m not sure how the system will work or anything like that but the main thing I’m happy about is *hopefully* there will be more protection for players for the next few years.
Obviously, it’s our job to read contracts and negotiate but there are players that have made the league this year and been immediately dropped or organizations have just taken control of players futures with no consequence for them so I’m hoping there’s some change on the way. As for long-term stability, CoD is a VERY year-to-year Esport so if the system they implement gives us some longevity or planning beyond whatever the next CoD is I’m all for it.
myst: At the end of this interview, I would like to say thank you for partaking in this and do you have anything to say to your fans out there?
Octane: I appreciate everyone that’s stuck by us through the thick and thin to get us to where we are right now. I don’t wanna sound like we just won an event at all, but the progress we’ve made as a team to get to where we are now from where we were just two months ago is crazy. So to all of you spamming 100Ls in Twitch chat- I appreciate you. To those of you tweeting me some awesome stuff when we’re down and arguing with the people spamming 100Ls in Twitch chat, I appreciate you as well. There’s nothing more I want then to bring a championship to 100 Thieves this year.