T1 may have just secured the perfect split – LCK Spring 2022 Week 8
T1 just made history beating Kwangdong Freecs, securing a new LCK record with 15 consecutive wins.
With one of the favorite debates among die-hards mostly revolving around which is the best team to have ever played the sport. When it comes to League of Legends, among the hot topics for debate these days is if T1 are invincible.
Do T1 have the same aura as they did in 2019? Are they overly reliant on Faker and Gumayusi? Are their back-up players capable of posing a similar threat? Anyone who has seen their record this spring split can’t ignore this claim to greatness.
Yet, it’s a topic that, quite justifiably, elicits strong opinions. And T1 might just have secured the perfect split to end the debate. Winning 15 in a row is no joke. That we are even talking of them possibly going through an entire split without dropping a game speaks of their greatness.
T1’s newfound strength
T1 haven’t tasted success since 2019, when they won both the LCK Playoff splits, before falling agonizingly short of a fourth World Championship title. They have been itching to reclaim their place on the League of Legends throne, and they can’t ask for a better opportunity than this.
With Faker recapturing his form that made him one of the most feared mid laners in Korea, T1 have now equaled their previous record for the longest win streak in LCK history. Since their 2-3 loss at the World Championship, T1 have been undefeated. This 15-0 record surpassed the longest winning streak in LCK history, beating their 14-0 previous best from 2015.
That T1’s toughest match-ups are behind them adds even more aura to an all-dominating team. For a team that has cruised high and happy as this, you need slices of luck, and T1 had it in plenty. In two of their three toughest games, they have had the massive advantage of playing against a depleted line-up ravaged by covid-19. That said, they can only play against an opponent that turns up.
Faker is almost synonymous with T1. No one has more loyalty to a team than Faker, as he has had the longest career with a single team out of anyone in history. He’ll be playing for them until at least 2023, marking 10 years with the team. This loyalty could have a boomerang effect on the rest of his team-mates.
Faker’s record speaks for itself, as do those of his mates. That said, it is not as if T1 doesn’t have flaws. It’s just that many of them have been masked because of their collective qualities. Their bot lane duo is nearly unmatched across leagues, and Zeus has been performing admirably too as a jungler.
With Faker around in the mid lane, teams have often had to search for places to attack T1.
Is there no one else?
Sure, Gen.G were playing with three sub-players in their first meeting of the season due to some starters contracting COVID-19. Ahead of their second meeting, Gen G’s star bot laner Ruler was ruled out. This smoothed T1’s passage to victory as Gen.G fielded a mid lane sub to fill a void left by a bot laner.
But when you are preparing as a team, you are looking at what you can control, plans you want to implement and not what the opponent is doing. Being able to ‘control the controllable’ is a sporting cliche that holds true in every sense of the word here. In their earlier avatar, T1 had racked up a similar record of 14 wins, only to lose their 15th at the now-erstwhile CJ Entus. They hoped history doesn’t repeat itself, and it didn’t versus Kwangdong Freecs.
The most they have been pushed so far this season, quite surprisingly, came from KT Rolster, who eventually crumbled under the heaps of pressure T1’s superstar line-up were able to create. The combination of Gumayusi and Faker, who have thwarted designs of many opponents, were at the forefront of their toughest win yet again.
Last month, when T1 beat Fredit BRION, Faker notched up his 400th career win. For someone who has played in one league for one team, being an epitome of commitment for nine straight years, this was immensely gratifying. What has also helped Faker and the team grow over the years is their rapport with the coaches, and how being challenged or having a difference in opinion over line-ups or plans haven’t always come at the cost of team ethos.
Now, with Brion Esports (5th), SANDBOX Gaming (9th), and DRX (4th) standing in their way, there is a realistic prospect of finishing unbeaten. If they managed to do so, they would have displayed their immense talent and squad depth, and what they are capable of even when their opponents are at full strength.