The offseason trended in vastly different directions for Leviatán Leviatán Latin America South Rank #1 tex Ian Botsch kiNgg Francisco Aravena Mazino Roberto Rivas aspas Erick Santos C0M Corbin Lee and 100 Thieves 100 Thieves North America Rank #8 bang Sean Bezerra Cryocells Matthew Panganiban eeiu Daniel Vucenovic Boostio Kelden Pupello Asuna Peter Mazuryk , but in their opening match of 2024, it all came back together in a nail-biting series where LEV barely snuck by 100T.

After dominant showings on Bind from LEV and Split from 100T, both teams finally showed up together on Icebox in a back and forth battle that went the distance in regulation. It was a dominant showing from aspas as he once again showed that he ranks among the world's best superstars.

Perhaps the most hyped offseason acquisition was superstar duelist aspas to LEV, joining a core that put up huge numbers in 2023. The new look lineup went a perfect 8-0 in maps against fellow partnered teams, but then the organization made a shocking last minute decision to replace nzr , a player who rated in the top five of the Americas League last year as well as one who dominated alongside aspas during the offseason. Bringing in a world champion like C0M threw expectations into chaos, but this initial match indicates that they may be able to survive the loss of nzr.

On the other side of things, 100T floundered in the offseason at multiple events as they tried to piece together a final roster, and their main hope was that a new IGL and coaching help could turn around a sinking ship. While they showed much improvement against a heavy favorite, it wasn't enough to net them a win.

With Skye nerfs pushing her out of the forefront of the meta, both teams brought Gekko to Bind. Since Jett is a weaker pick on the map, Cryocells pivoted to controller while Asuna took over the duelist role.

The entirety of Bind was the aspas show. He finished with 31 kills and a 10-1 first kill record as an oppressive presence in nearly every round. Whatever 100T tried on either half ran a serious risk of being dismantled by multikill. An 0-9 start from kiNgg and a couple of timely Sheriff rounds from Boostio weren't enough to keep 100T afloat against the onslaught, and LEV took the map 13-9.

This man provided a much needed breath of life into 100T.

LEV's attack on Split in 2023 was characterized by passive default spreads nearly every single round. While there was a little more variation this time, the echoes of past failures remained. Throughout the half it often felt like an aggressive 100T defense took more map control than LEV outside of site executes.

Split was over almost before it began as LEV completely crumbled. 100T were handed full control of the initiative, and all five of their players finished with a positive opening kill differential. Cryocell's first attempt at Astra wasn't really tested as the game ended without significant attempts to challenge his site anchoring.

Both teams brought new ideas to Icebox. Mazino continued to be one of the last holdouts from the Harbor-Viper meta, but LEV's big play was bringing aspas back to his roots. The man who made his name in Brazil playing Reyna finally brought it to the biggest stage.

The lack of a Sage or Harbor to get safe spike plants forced 100T to commit many players to the site executes even when Asuna's Wingman did the planting for them. LEV dominated the early rounds towards A before 100T found success getting the spike planted on B. An early scare for LEV came when bang nearly netted himself an ace clutch on an eco round to clear all of LEV's weapons, but aspas immediately relieved that economic pressure in the next round with a 4K while holding LEV's only rifle.

The most fearsome Reyna in all the lands.

The second half was a back and forth brawl with 100T continuing to threaten to mount a comeback. LEV's Harbor pick allowed them plenty of easy postplants towards A with the entire team bailing to passive positions, but 100T found openings rushing back in on the retake with Wingman defusing.

Despite Cryocells' return to Jett giving 100T a boost, LEV had a much more complete team effort along with a great showing from aspas and C0M to convert the map 13-11 after some chaotic 100T retake attempts fell just short.

Across the series, aspas was the clear cut MVP with a 1.33 rating despite a dud of a second map. Although both kiNgg and tex struggled individually, the star performances from 100T never materialized when it mattered.

LEV move on to face LOUD in the winners match while 100T drop to face SEN in an elimination brawl that would cut the first half of one of their seasons short almost before it finally got started.

Banner image credit: Tina Jo/Riot Games