T1’s newest roster debuted at VKGAME Battle of Dawn. It did not go well.
The Korean team’s run in the tournament was cut short after washing out of the group stage with a 1-2 record.
Despite debuting with a win over FTD.Guys, the team lost its series against Sparking Arrow Gaming. This set the team up with a best-of-three decider against iG.Vitality.
The Invictus Gaming developmental team kicked off the series with a quick, 28-minute win, but T1 bounced back to take the second game and tie the series. Facing elimination, iG.Vitality’s Ni “ButterflyEffect” Weijie stepped up big on Lina to get the win for his team.
This eliminated T1, giving them a 9th-10th-place finish that came with no prize money.
The decision of T1, a sister organization to SK Telecom T1, to launch a Dota 2 team was welcome news back in August. The professional scene has seen large, multi-game organizations like Cloud9 and Immortals leaving more often than joining and seeing such a prestigious brand enter Dota 2 was a positive sign.
T1 started by signing Lee “Forev” Sang-don following The International 2019, but he continued to compete with Team Jinesbrus even after the signing. While it’s possible this was a trial run before signing the other four players, the team failed to qualify for the MDL Chengdu Major and the Dota Summit 11 Minor.
This was followed by the announcement of a new lineup that included Pyo “MP” No-a, James “XemistrY” Lee, Ha “Grace” Tae-eun, and snOw.
Though there was fairly stiff competition at VKGAME Battle of Dawn such as EHOME, Keen Gaming, and Newbee, the new T1 roster did not compete against any of them. The fact that T1’s debut ended with losses to two regional-level teams does not bode well for their future.
Because of that, many fans are expecting another new lineup to be built around Forev before the qualifiers for the second major of the Dota Pro Circuit season.