As the major leagues around the world continue to heat up in the Spring Split, teams are solidifying their places in their respective league’s standings. The race to the top in the LPL looks mighty close, as V5 and Suning are just one game off from capturing that first place spot, with EDG and RNG pursuing very closely. Team Liquid and Cloud9 are the clear top 2 teams in the LCS, while Rogue and Fnatic hold the top 2 in the LEC.
In the LCK, Gen.G pursue closely for that #1 spot in the standings, currently held by the undefeated T1. In fact, T1 are the only team in the world that currently remain undefeated. Led by the legendary mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, T1 are on a 12-game win streak. So why is this team looking incredibly dominant at the moment, especially in the league that’s considered the best in the world by many?
The importance of team synergy
T1’s 2021 season was a turbulent one, but they found their footing towards the end of Summer and have proved that they’re one of the best. Oner-Faker-Gumayusi-Keria have been building their teamwork and synergy since the latter half of the 2021 Summer split, leading them to finish top 4 in last year’s World Championship. When Kim “Canna” Chang-dong left the team after Worlds, rookie top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je joined as the starting top laner for T1’s 2022 roster.
As everyone has a different point of view of the game, it takes time for the five players to be on the same page. While most teams in the LCK underwent roster changes for the 2022 season, the core members of T1 stuck together, thus having a massive start in working together as a unit. Although Choi "Zeus" Woo-je was playing catch-up, he has seamlessly melted into the team so far.
Why are T1 looking so dominant?
A prerequisite to every exceptional LoL team is individual prowess. Moon "Oner" Hyeon-joon has looked exceptional in both small skirmishes and in teamfights, which is credited to his supreme spontaneous decision making. Faker is looking like he’s at his prime once again, as his biggest strength lies in making the unexpected outplays that leave the spectators in awe. Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong, alongside his lane partner Ryu "Keria" Min-seok, not only dominates in the laning phase, but his ability to survive in teamfight and consistently deal damage has been jaw-dropping.
To be at the top requires something more. T1 are a team that does fall behind early, but their ability to make up for their mistakes is unparalleled, which stems from the macro that requires a high level of precision and team synergy. A lot of T1’s supreme macro comes from Keria’s shotcalling, where the level of detail is damn near perfect.
In a recent interview with Keria, he shared the level of detail in his shotcalling, where he shared just how detailed his calls were in the game against DWG KIA.
“In terms of the Baron sneak in game 2, I knew that they couldn’t check Baron due to the ward placements and the overall game state. I first told my team about the details of the ward placements, where Xin Zhao and Jinx should stand while taking baron, and that I’d be there to devour Xin if we get caught doing Baron.”
His ability to take over the game from very early on is frightening, as he tends to roam half a step faster than his opponents and 3-man gank mid in the early game. Keria sets new standards of how a support player should play, as his ability to see the bigger picture of the game is unmatched.
T1 are scheduled to face Gen.G on Mar 3. Round 1 saw a lot of Gen.G’s starting members subbed out due to COVID, so the upcoming match looks to be a barn burner.
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