LCK’s T1 to Miss Out on Worlds Following Loss to Gen.G
The most revered and accomplished Korean League of Legends organization T1 (formerly SKT T1) — with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok as its most prominent player — will miss out on this year’s Worlds after losing to Gen.G in the LCK regional qualifier. This is undoubtedly a big shock, especially for the many T1 faithfuls and Faker fans spread across the globe.
The Times They Are a-Changin’
It’s also a sign that the competitive League landscape is changing, at least ever so slightly. T1 won’t compete this year and the same goes for the defending champions FunPlus Phoenix, 2018 winners Invictus Gaming, and North America’s Cloud9 — arguably the only LCS team that has ever left a mark on the World Championship stage. These regions are all evolving in new and unexpected ways and, in some cases, a steady influx of talent has made things far more competitive than most people expected.
The status quo as we know it is shifting, and such a thing is becoming more and more evident as time goes on. DAMWON Gaming is now the best and most dangerous team from the LCK, with everyone else playing second fiddle — the same LCK legends we’ve watched over the years pale in comparison to DWG, a staggeringly dominant line-up that annihilated all opposition throughout the entire Summer Split.
They’re in a league of their own, with DragonX and Gen.G trailing behind as Korea’s second and third seeds, respectively. Not seeing Faker compete on the biggest of stages is definitely a bummer, even more so given how T1 decided to bench him mid-split in favor of Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon. At the point of this writing, Faker’s position with the team is still somewhat unknown. Benching your most prominent player is not something that should be done on a whim, especially not if said player isn’t underperforming. Faker recently signed a contract extension and he’s also a part-owner of T1, but that means very little given that T1 failed to qualify for Worlds — a shocking development that also occurred back in 2018. As far as T1 is concerned, anything other than first place is a debacle, and their fans feel pretty much the same. The coaching staff made very questionable decisions throughout the second half of 2020, and the inability to qualify for the biggest international tournament of the year will surely result in ample roster and coaching staff changes.
Hopefully, this isn’t the last we’ll see of the most accomplished and legendary League of Legends player that has ever graced the stage. Faker is still quite young, but he’s been competing at the highest of levels for years and could be looking to either retire or transition into coaching. If anything, he’ll have a couple of months to decide before the 2021 season comes along.