Unfortunately, T1 did not qualify for Worlds 2020. With Gen.G, DRX, and DWG beating them to the punch, T1 placed fourth in the LCK.
Many years ago, T1 stood at the apex of League of Legends, taking many World championships. What happened to them this season, and what does the current state of T1 spell out for their future?
As many fans know, Sang-hyeok “Faker” Lee continues to play mid lane for T1. But Faker is possibly past his prime. Now at 24 years old, he seemingly cannot currently keep up with the LCK’s young competitors, such as Su “Showmaker” Heo and Bo-seong “BDD” Gwak.
With Faker being the only player reminiscent of the Worlds winning SKT T1, T1 has been going through an entire team overhaul.
The New Roster
This season marked a transition period for T1. No longer can the team rely solely on the experienced players, such as Faker and Jin-seong “Teddy” Park, to continue to carry them in competitions.
They gave new, young trainees an opportunity to dip their feet in competitive League of Legends.
The team carefully picked the new members, most of whom were raised and trained under T1.
Chang-dong “Canna” Kim, El-lim “Ellim” Choi, Ju-hyeon “Clozer” Lee, Min-hyeong “Gumayusi” Lee, and Sang-ho “Effort” Lee all trained under T1. This effectively marks a full five-man roster of new T1 players.
Canna and Effort
Canna and Effort debuted at the beginning of this year during the KeSPA Cup. Canna has already earned himself a great reputation on the LCK in the top lane. Effort’s follow-ups make and break the team composition.
Both players acquired invaluable experience this season, and stand true to the T1 brand name.
Ellim, to be frank, is the most lackluster of the debuts. His team presence was marked with many mistakes. Hopefully, with more experience, his performance on the professional stage will be more cohesive with T1’s plans.
Clozer and Gumayusi
Clozer and Gumayusi debuted during LCK Summer. For both of these players, this season marked not only their debut on T1, but the entire League of Legends competitive scene.
Clozer’s debut showed the world that he is capable of carrying. Faker’s replacement is no dud, proving he could stand on par with DRX’s Ji-hoon “Chovy” Jeong.
Against DWG’s Showmaker, Clozer learns the match up as the game proceeds. Though T1 lost against DWG, Clozer adapts to the match up. Unlike Faker, Clozer promises to grow and learn, while Faker represents more of a brand now.
During Gumayusi’s competitive season, he has proven his smart, yet aggressive playstyle yields results. In his very first competitive game, he went 9-0 against AF. His pressure throughout every game he plays in is palpable, and quite definitely will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Both players ranked number one for the most searched name during their initial debut in Naver, Korea’s search engine.
During such a pinnacle moment leading up to Worlds, T1 placed these young players not to win Worlds this season, but to prepare their new roster of players for their future on T1.
The Future of T1
The individual members of T1’s new roster show lots of promise. With more experience, the team’s functionality as a unit will push them to greater heights.
Without a doubt, T1’s roster can only improve as they work together.
Do not lose hopes for T1, as they most definitely will comeback stronger next season.
Here is a link to the video version of this article.
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