T1 faced serious questions about its future during the offseason, as the team lost two of its star players and its longtime coach. Making matters worse, the new version of the team underwhelmed in its debut effort at the 2019 KeSPA Cup. That had analysts pointing at Afreeca Freecs, DragonX, and Gen.G as the favorites to win the LCK.
But four weeks into the season, T1 is throwing all of those predictions out of the window as they sit alone atop the standings.
Griffin’s offseason was overshadowed by multiple scandals surrounding both its contracts and its allegedly abusive coaching staff. This devastated its roster, and left the organization scrambling to rebuild. The current lineup is a mix of mechanically talented players that are yet to find the best way to work together. A lack of chemistry seems likely to be their undoing.
The lack of synergy within Griffin was obvious in game one of the series against T1.
Griffin did its best in the early game as the players took advantage of Soraka’s weak lane presence to take two turrets in the top lane with help from the Rift Herald. That was the first and last play by Griffin in game one.
T1 took time to farm and scale, knowing they didn’t have to force anything because the late game was guaranteed. Instead of forcing plays or pressing that early advantage, Griffin went into a defensive stance and waited for T1 to make the first move. It was a costly mistake for Griffin.
Once T1 pulled the trigger, they took over the map in a matter of minutes. Griffin couldn’t defend, let alone return fire. The team retreated back into its base until it couldn’t retreat anymore.
Griffin had a better read on its opponent in game two. The team shut down Park “Teddy” Jin-seong and exploited its advantage in the bottom lane. T1 took things slow and waited for the right moment to strike.
Around the third dragon spawn of the game, T1 attacked and aced Griffin in the river. Teddy celebrated his 1,000th kill in the LCK.
Just like that, T1 was back in command, and it didn’t take long for T1 to claim the clean 2-0 victory over Griffin.
Later this week, T1 will face SandBox Gaming. Griffin is taking on DragonX.