Melany M. November 26, 2019
T1 has announced five new players for its starting roster and revealed Kim "Kim" Jeong-soo as its head coach for 2020.
T1 has completed its roster for the next season after the surprising departure of top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha, jungler Kim "Clid" Tae-min, and coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun.
T1 added former Gen.G Esports top laner Kim "Roach" Kang-hui to roster. T1 also signed top laner Kim "Canna" Chang-dong, jungler Choi "Ellim" El-lim, bot laner Lee "Gumayushi" Min-hyeong, and support Choi "Kuri" Won-yeong.
T1 bets on the young talent in 2020
The organization is looking to develop the young talent that is coming directly from the domestic challenger scene. The experiment proved to be successful in the past, as support Lee "Effort" Sang-ho joined T1 in 2017 as a trainee and secured a starting position in less than two years.
The rookies will be under the guidance of coach Kim, a coach known for turning young rosters into World Championship contenders. Coach Kim was the man behind Invictus Gaming in 2018 and was the head coach for Damwon Gaming in 2019.
While the fans are happy with the signing of coach Kim, they had a more negative reaction to the players' announcements. In 2018, T1 attempted a similar scheme by signing multiple rookie players in hopes to regain their place at the top of the LCK ladder. At the time, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in either split and ended up having the worst year in the team’s history.
It is too soon to jump to conclusions, as Clid and Khan were not the stars that they are today when they joined the team back in 2018. There is hope for the new iteration of T1 under coach Kim’s guidance.
There are also some concerns around star mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok. Still widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of professional League of Legends, Faker has seen a dip in form compared to his prime. He particularly seemed to struggle at times during the recent 2019 World Championship, prompting some fans to wonder if he'd be criticized more harshly without his heralded legacy behind him.
One of the biggest hopes for the team in the new year will be replacement jungler Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan, brought in to try and replace Clid.
2020 is the start of a new era for T1, the team is rebranding and will have a new head coach for the first time since 2014.