Steven R. January 31, 2020
T1’s Dota 2 experiment continues, with a new roster being registered for the qualifiers to the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
The newest version of T1 features a multinational group of players:
- Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier
- Muhammad "inYourdreaM" Rizky
- Lee "Forev" Sang-don
- Tri "Jhocam" Kuncoro
- Yixaun "xuan" Guo
Korean star Forev is the only player that remains from the last iteration of the team. T1 revealed its plans to compete in Dota 2 with his signing in August 2019, but has shuffled players around him several times in the months since.
The team debuted at Hainan Master Cup and VKGAME Battle of Dawn with a predominantly Korean roster, but flopped in both events. That saw the roster released and replaced with a new team made up of players from across Southeast Asia, which competed in the open qualifiers to the DreamLeague Season 13 major. The team reached the finals of the open qualifiers, but were denied a spot in the regional qualifiers by Alpha x Hashtag.
This new version of T1 brings in journeymen from around the globe to try and bring the team to the next level.
Black^ is a familiar name for most Dota 2 fans. The German has competed in almost every Dota 2 region with notable teams and is a regular analyst and commentator for those tournaments he doesn’t play in.
inYourdreaM broke out in 2017 when he competed with Fnatic for a week. He’s been a regular in SEA events in the years since, competing with a number of different teams. His most notable achievement thus far was winning the DreamLeague Season 10 minor in 2018 during his time with Tigers.
Jhocam rose to prominence with BOOM ID, competing with the team across three seasons. He has few tournament achievements to his name, but currently sits as the seventh-ranked support player in the SEA region.
Finally, the exodus from North American squad Demon Slayers continues with xuan’s departure. The former member of Void Boys returned to action in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season, bouncing between a number of short-lived North American squads.
He found the greatest success of his career thus far in October when Demon Slayers took second place at DreamLeague Season 12. The team has lost multiple players since failing to qualify for the DreamLeague Season 13 major, with Francis "FrancisLee" Lee leaving to join Cloud9 and Guilherme Silva "Costabile" Costábile returning to Brazil to play for NoPing E-Sports.
The new lineup has some potential, and will be competing in Southeast Asia. It is unclear how committed T1 is to this lineup, however.
T1 faces tough battle in ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifiers
Southeast Asia’s Dota 2 scene is quite thin at the moment, with a dearth of high-end teams beyond TNC Predator and Fnatic. This new version of T1 arguably has higher upside than previous versions of the team, but they still face long odds of making it into the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
Any push will have to start in the open qualifiers, which is a difficult prospect under any circumstances. Though there aren’t any great teams outside TNC and Fnatic, it’s still hard to bet on T1 winning matches against the likes of Geek Fam, Reality Rift, or Neon Esports.
If the lineup immediately clicks, there is some hope there.