T1 Coaching Staff Shakeup

Earlier today, T1 announced the termination of Daeny and Zefa mid-split and we discuss why this has happened.

Daeny and Zefa were Worlds 2020 winners as coaches of DAMWON Gaming (now known as DAMWON KIA). In the offseason for 2021, T1 hired both coaches to improve their team to compete for a Worlds spot after they missed on Worlds last year. However, things did not go as expected and here we are with the removal of the coaches. Let’s talk about it and why this was inevitable.

The Coaching Change

The announcement came in earlier today on Twitter announcing the termination of the contracts of Daeny and Zefa. Subsequently, they announced that Stardust and Moment will be coaching the team for the remainder of the split.

To be removed from the coaching positions hours before their matches today is just bad timing and could ruin the flow of the team. On the other hand, Stardust and Moment will have a big task ahead of them. The task would be to elevate T1 to potentially make Worlds.

With that said, let’s move our focus to why this happened and why it was inevitable.

The Inevitability of Changing Coaches

Based on how it has played out, people following T1 this year would know that the coaching change was inevitable. However, the timing of it was rather unexpected given how this could steamroll the team out of Worlds contention.

On a positive note, this could maybe improve T1 but that is really hard to say from the current situation. T1 as a team has had a lot of flaws under Daeny and Zefa. The debacle of using a 10 man roster in Spring did not bear any fruit they were handily defeated in the Semi-finals of the playoffs.

Coming into this year, with the LCK getting 4 team slots for Worlds, expectations were high. Sadly, T1 has not been up to snuff with many of the stronger teams. Despite beating Gen.G in Week 6, T1 lost to NS later that week. They are currently 5-5 and there are teams on their heels like KT and HLE who are trying to make playoffs.

HLE has found some form as of late despite the loss to DK and KT is trying their best to compete and make playoffs. To change coaches at this moment when they play KT in a few hours is strange.

With them crashing out playoffs last split and now sitting at 5-5, losing to inferior competition on paper would be one of the biggest reasons for removing the coaches. There may have been some internal conflicts as well for the team to have to resort to a change.

What is in store for T1 now?

T1 has their backs against the wall at the moment. Other than their bot lane, the team has struggled to perform especially on the top side of the map. It’s safe to say the odds are against them given how they are playing. Many LCK teams have improved such as NS and AF and given them a run for their money and KT and HLE are at their heels to capture a playoff spot.

Stardust and Moment will have to galvanize the team and ignite a spark to get some momentum going to make Worlds. It will be a tall task with the situation as of now and we hope that T1 can bounce back and come into the Worlds stage once again.

LCK matches continue today as T1 faces KT with the coaching change hours earlier and more. Follow this link to learn more about LCK’s upcoming schedule.

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