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T1 2022 LCK Spring Split Preview

T1 2022 LCK

Last year was a wild ride for T1 fans. From the constantly changing roster, to a disappointing Spring performance, to coach issues, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Heading into 2022, a lot of those core issues have been fixed. T1, for now, has a stable roster and stable coaching. In terms of performance, they made it to the Summer LCK Finals and Worlds Semifinals. T1 turned it around. The question is though whether or not T1 can keep that momentum going into 2022? Here is a look at the T1 2022 LCK Preview for the Spring Split.

Bye Bye Canna:


(Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

T1 only made one move for the starting roster in the offseason and it was deciding to get rid of Canna. Canna and Zeus were battling for the starting spot all of 2021. T1 ended up going with Canna, a player who was aggressive and known for his flanks and teamfights on picks like Kennen. Zeus on the other hand was a lot more of a traditional Top Laner, playing the meta picks like Renekton, Sion, Gnar and Gragas. Canna was able to bring T1 better results than Zeus. On paper this move looks a bit weird. The reason for the change probably is that T1 values the stability in the Top Lane a lot more with the current roster.

T1 are a team with a super aggressive Jungler in Oner and arguably the best Bot Lane in the World in Keria and Gumayusi. This plays into why Zeus got the spot. If Faker and Oner are using their resources Top Lane, Gumayusi and Keria don’t get them. The Bot Lane is where T1 should and wants to play around. Unfortunately for Zeus, he is going to be a weakside warrior.

There is a reason Canna got snatched up by Nongshim RedForce, he is a really great player. Canna is just not what T1 needed.

Coaching Stability:

T1 had a very controversial coaching history in 2021. The TLDR is that it didn’t work out for numerous reasons. From the LS rumors, to internal issues, T1 was a wreck. This is until Stardust became the interim Head Coach due to Daeny and Zefa getting the boot. Stardust brought stability back to the roster by settling on a practically 5 man roster, with a couple of Gumayusi exceptions. Shockingly to no one, T1 started to perform better and a lot more consistently. Stardust coached the team to an LCK Finals, Worlds and World’s Semifinals.

How do T1 decide to repay Stardust? Well, he lost the Head Coaching position to former GM Polt with Bengi and Moment joining as coaches. Moment was also on the coaching staff during that T1 Summer Split run. There is probably something behind the scenes that the average fan doesn’t know here. Possibly Moment was the real leader. Maybe Stardust had no intention of remaining the Head Coach so Moment got it. Bengi on the other hand is quite cool to see. He was with T1 Challengers for 2021 and worked with Moment on that team. He also is obviously the former T1 Jungler who won Worlds 3 times. If anyone knows success, it is him.

Culture-wise, Bengi and Moment are probably great fits. It does suck however to see a coach who did so well be rewarded poorly. Regardless, this is an improvement over the 2021 coaching staff fiasco.

Competition:

Due to T1 remaining mostly the same, fans already know what to expect in terms of performance. The main question becomes how does T1 2022 LCK stack up versus the rest of the LCK? Damwon Kia is looking to be a bit weaker than the last two years. The loss of Khan in particular is huge. Damwon really had no true replacement so they got Burdol from Gen G. Deokdam and Kellin are also a solid Bot Lane, but it remains to be seen if they are able to bring this team more stability than Ghost BeryL. T1 is probably better than this iteration of Damwon Kia.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Riot Games)

The biggest threat to T1 is Gen G. Gen G built a super team in the offseason consisting of Doran, Peanut, Chovy, Ruler and Lehends. This roster is straight-up disgusting with upgrades everywhere. T1 and Gen G are always known for some great rivalry matches, but these two teams are definitely, on paper, the best two LCK teams. It is going to be spicy.

But are there any teams who T1 might need to worry about potentially stepping up? The two most likely ones are Nongshim RedForce and the Kwangdong Freecs. Both teams rosters are actually really solid. If you want to check out more about them, see our LCK Power Rankings.

Worlds or Bust:

The expectations for T1 in 2022 is simple. Dominate the LCK and win Worlds / MSI. T1 chose not to make big changes because they felt like this team could do it. If T1 doesn’t make the first seed for Worlds, this is probably a failure through the eyes of the organization. So the question is, will T1 be able to step up when it matters and win?

The LCK returns on January 12th where T1 will take on the Kwangdong Freecs and Fredit BRION in Week 1.


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