Analyzing T1 in Spring Split 2021

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
10 Min Read
Image Credit: T1 Official Youtube Channel

T1 has fielded 9 different rosters in the seven weeks of the LCK. Hence, in this article we will analyze T1’s different rosters and their performances and many more

T1 is currently 5th sitting at 7-7 in LCK Spring Split 2021. Their overall play has been mixed to put it lightly. Despite being 7-7, fans are not happy with their results so far given they did sign Keria and signing the Worlds winning head coaches, Daeny and Zefa, in the offseason. That would have been an upward trend for T1 or least the fans hoped it would.

However, it was not exactly an upward trend and more like confusion to the fans. As stated in the headline, T1 has played 9 different rosters in the LCK so far and there is even speculation of more different rosters coming in. Lets break down how we this all started and how we all came to this point.

T1’s Results and Strategy

At the start of the split, T1 posted an official announcement saying they will use a 10 man roster. That was received with a mixed reaction and there was some opposition to that. Week 1 was good for them where they beat HLE and pushed World Champions DK to a game 3. However, that was short lived when they lost to Gen.G, KT, and AF in the following weeks.

That started the whole effect of winning games in one week and then losing the next one. Furthermore, the rosters were being constantly rotated even in the past week. Rotating rosters this late in the split is a worrying sign for any fans. However, the most worrying part about their Spring Split performances should be their inability to really win against teams with a winning record (50% or more series wins).

The last time T1 won against a team like that was Week 1 Series 1 against a brand new HLE team. Many people would just exclude that because HLE was barely a cohesive team at that point. However, T1 did still win the series so some credit should go to them. The biggest worry for T1 should be their upcoming matches. Three of the last four matches are against three of the current top 4 teams.

Aside from all the doom and gloom, there are many positives to talk about as well. Lets touch on that.

What T1 has gotten right

T1 has pushed DK to 3 matches in both their series. That is a clear indication of how good the team can be. Also, in both instances, it was a different roster. The different rosters maybe throwing some teams off balance and are likely not letting teams prepare from them properly. However, that is just speculation on our part so take it with a grain of salt. It very well could be the case but it is hard to prove such a situation. They still did get 7 series wins so far and 1 or 2 more series wins will solidify their playoff spot.

Despite the results and some series wins and possibly the surprise factor of things, they have made one big mistake. Lets talk about that

What T1 has gotten wrong

T1 has clearly gotten the over-rotation of the roster wrong. Rotating the roster is fun and can be beneficial for the team long term. However, what that brings in is a lack of chemistry and consistency with a starting roster. Typically, a 10 man roster is used for a team that is trying to find their best 5 and are rebuilding. T1 is not a rebuilding team and they have much higher aspirations now. It’s very contradictory when the Worlds winning coaches decide to rotate a roster that has Canna, Teddy, and Faker and trying to win now.

A constant roster would have done better given the regular split results. However, we do not know what their actual plan is. They could be just giving up on winning the Spring Split. If they did, it would not hurt T1 a whole lot in terms of Worlds Qualification This is because Summer Split is worth way more than Spring Split in that regard. MSI should be a goal for this team as they are talented enough to be there. The coming weeks will determine whether they are serious about MSI or not.

Again, this may turn out to be a good thing in the near future. However, there is no such evidence for that as we stand now. Now, lets talk about if the rotation of players has yielded anything for T1

T1’s rotations

As mentioned earlier, T1 has had 9 different rosters fielded in the LCK. First, lets look at whether that yielded anything. There are some positives in this where they found out Canna was out of form. This allowed Zeus to step in and be a consistent top laner who is performing better in terms of statistics. The rotation of jungle has also been good since Ellim statistically has played well and so has Oner as of late.

Faker and Clozer swapping seems to be a preference and champion pool decision. However, we should see more of Faker given Azir and other control mages’ power in the current meta. They can still choose to go to Clozer and the primary reason for that is unknown to us.

Accompanying all of that are the other confounding thing such as rotating ADC’s. Rotating solo lanes and the jungler could be just strategical moves but rotating ADC’s is just confusing especially when you have a new support in Keria. Teddy is also a very good player and so is Gumayusi but rotating that simply makes no sense especially when this interferes with bot lane synergy.

The biggest problem the rotations have brought is the lack of macro in many games, particularly in games against DK where they could not close them out or win the game. This will hurt them long term and especially in the coming stretch of tough games. Gumayusi and Teddy do not even play different champions and there isn’t a need for such changes in a team that is aspiring to be at the top of the LCK.

As it was said, the jungle rotation is fine given different strategies and champion pool and so in the change in the mid lane. The top lane change seems to be due to form but the bot lane changes is not something that was needed.

Potential Future Lineup

As it currently stands, the best starting lineup of T1 would be Zeus, Ellim, Faker, Teddy, and Keria. If Canna comes back in form, he should replace Zeus. Jungle should be rotated between Ellim and Oner unless Cuzz shows consistency in scrims. There are reports that Zeus, Oner, Faker, Teddy, and Keria are playing better in scrims than most other lineups so that could be a possibility at one point.

In Conclusion

T1 needs to wrap up their issues especially their starting roster if they want to compete in this split. They are going to face tougher competition in the remainder of the split and they need to fix a team to get some chemistry and consistency. There are speculations of T1 fielding a 10th different roster on reddit and that would not be a good idea unless that is indeed their final roster for the rest of the split. Lets hope T1 coaching staff knows what they are doing now moving forward to possibly win the LCK Spring Split 2021.

By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.