Steven R. November 18, 2019
T1’s foray into Dota 2 hasn’t gone well to this point, but the organization is hoping to turn things around for the DreamLeague Leipzig Major.
A new T1 roster has appeared on the official Dota 2 major registration page that brings together a solid group of players:
- Christian-John "Skadilicious" Abasolo
- James "XemistrY" Lee
- Lee "Forev" Sang-don
- Kim "Febby" Yong-min
- Johan "pieliedie" Åström
This also marks an almost complete overhaul from the first iteration of the team that posted disastrous debut efforts in October. Though T1 initially looked to build a new Korean-majority roster around Forev, the organization is opting for more proven international hands with the addition of Febby and pieliedie.
T1 looks to bounce back in DreamLeague Leipzig Major qualifiers
T1’s entry into Dota 2 was exciting news for fans. The organization behind the legendary SK Telecom T1 team has a reputation for winning like few others in esports, and there was intrigue in seeing what they could muster in a new game after years of success in League of Legends.
To this point, T1’s time in Dota 2 has been a disappointment.
The organization entered Dota 2 with the signing of Forev, but didn’t actually complete a roster in time for the MDL Chengdu Major qualifiers. The team didn’t compete until October at the VK Game Battle of Dawn, after adding Forev’s longtime teammate Pyo "MP" No-a, Xemistry, and a pair of Korean players in “snOw” and Ha “Grace” Tae-un. Only Xemistry and Forev still remain with the team.
Febby is a longtime teammate of Forev, as the pair shared jerseys with both MVP Phoenix and Immortals. Febby is looking to rebound from a rough 2018-2019 season that saw him unceremoniously dropped from Mineski before attempting to juggle casting, streaming, and professional playing with mixed success.
Skadilicious was the standout player for Southeast Asian squad Neon Esports last season, enjoying solid success in regional leagues despite never qualifying for a larger event. Xemistry has had a similar career, bouncing around various SEA teams that performed well in smaller tournaments.
The biggest addition to the team is veteran captain pieliedie. The Swede has played on a number of top international organizations including Team Secret and Cloud9, and most recently played for the North American Newbee roster which competed at The International 2019. Though T1 will likely be well-served by him, it comes as a surprise to see him return to the SEA region.
The new T1 will need to gel on the fly with the qualifiers to the DreamLeague Leipzig Major kicking off on December 1. The team will also likely be forced to prove itself in the SEA open qualifiers and could face some stiff opposition along the way.
That said, the region is somewhat thin at the moment. There are no proven teams outside TNC Predator and because of that, it wouldn’t be surprising to see T1 earn a spot in the DreamLeague Leipzig Major.