T1 wins spring finals with undefeated regular season

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Joseph Chun, Reporter

On April 2, League of Legends (LoL) team T1 defeated Gen.G 3-1, in the LoL Champions Korea (LCK) spring finals. Though Gen.G fought well, it was not enough to prevent the destructive T1, which had a perfect regular season record, from winning its 10th trophy. 

“Even though Gen.G had a strong roster, the victor of the finals match was pretty predictable:  T1 already proved that they are more skilled than any other team by finishing the spring group stage with an unprecedented 18-0 record,” Jason Baek (10), regular LoL spectator, said.

The main reason behind T1’s supremacy in the group stages was that all five players in the team were able to carry––make influential plays that greatly benefit the team––with their individual performances.

T1’s mid laner Faker and AD carry Gumayusi managed to apply impressive damage to the opponent team, even during unfavorable circumstances.

“It was sad to see Faker undergo a slump last year, but I feel like he is a completely different player this year, especially because of his shift in playstyle,” Yeonwoo Choi (10), ardent LCK viewer, said. “With such a destructive bot lane, Faker is alleviated from the pressure to acquire a lead in mid––now he can freely support the jungler and other lanes with his signature picks.”

Despite the initial doubt on T1’s rookie top laner Zeus, he boasted his dominance in both laning phases and team fights when handling champions such as Gnar and Jayce.

“I was initially concerned that T1 did not sign up a veteran top laner whose skill is verified,” Ian Park (10), avid T1 fan, said. “I soon realized I was worried about nothing: whenever the team needed it, Zeus made the right plays, whether that be setting up a dive, stunning multiple opponents, or poking their main dealers.”

Ultimately, it was effective team communication that helped T1 dominate the tournament. Following T1 supporter Keria’s order, the team focused on one player, grasping an advantage early in the team fight. The team also made bold plays by backdooring the nexus and securing objectives stealthily.

And their strengths were on full display in the LCK finals.

In the first game, T1 utilized Caitlyn and Lux––an aggressive bot lane pair that pokes the opponent during the laning phase. Based on this early advantage in the bot lane, Gumayusi significantly damaged the opponents during team fights. Faker’s playmaking ability as Ryze––particularly with his ultimate, Realm Warp––was the deciding factor for T1’s crucial victories in objective fights and eventually their win.

After Gen.G’s comeback in the second game and T1’s recovery in the third, the score was 2-1. In game four, Gen.G drafted Akshan top lane––a risky and unconventional pick that revolves around gaining an early advantage in the laning phase. Acknowledging this fact, Oner successfully ganked top lane early on, allowing Zeus’s Kennen to carry the game. The match ended as T1’s victory after a decisive team fight centered around his Kennen.

“Although there were many superteams throughout LCK, the finals have never been this one-sided: T1 was simply undefeatable in team fights,” Kevin Kim (10), T1 follower, said. “With this dominance, I think T1 may likely claim the trophy in Mid-Season Invitationals and Worlds as well––something fans including myself have desired for years.”