On the latest episode of Dexerto’s The Jungle, Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykkles broke down T1’s playstyle at MSI so far, and why the community hype surrounding them hasn’t been completely justified.
Coming into the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational as the favorites to win it all, LCK representatives T1 have shown a surprisingly lackluster series of performances at the tournament so far.
They went from an 18-0 domestic split to dropping games to LCS representatives Evil Geniuses, and haven’t looked anywhere near as dominant as many fans and analysts were expecting.
On this week’s episode of The Jungle, hosts MonteCristo, Daniel ‘DGon’ Gonzales, and Cristian ‘IWDominate’ Rivera broke down how T1 ended up as one of the most overhyped teams at the tournament, and what fans can expect from the roster heading into the knockout stage.
Not enough draft variation
One of T1’s biggest downfalls at MSI has been their drafting. Support Ryu ‘Keria’ Minseok confirmed as much in an interview with Dexerto, where he stated that a lot of T1’s early stumbles at the tournament had been due to their inaccurate meta read going into the group stage.
MonteCristo explained how, domestically, T1 could “effectively play one style over and over again” without being particularly punished in the ban phase by LCK rivals.
“In some of the games they’ve lost (at MSI), they were attempting to play split push compositions, and itemizing for split push, and yet they aren’t playing to the win condition they’ve set out for themselves, and are instead grouping and playing very badly in team fights.”
MSI 2022 has, throughout the group and rumble stages, been a team fight meta. T1 have been continually forced into suboptimal team fights by not drafting or building appropriately for the meta at hand.
Their early game performances have been excellent — they’re one of the best laning teams at the tournament – but transitioning those leads into the mid-game has been where they’ve repeatedly fallen short.
One of the biggest problems surrounding T1 at this tournament has not been anything to do with their actual gameplay. It’s been fan assumptions that they are infallible when in reality their 18-0 Spring split is more than a little misleading.
“Who even knows if they would’ve gone 18-0 if they’d played against full-strength rosters permanently, without all the substitutions and health issues?” questioned IWDominate. “Maybe they could’ve lost a game to a team like Damwon. It’s not like they had these games where they were just stomping people the whole time.”
Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a heavy caveat over T1’s 18-0 LCK run. And that caveat is starting to come into effect at MSI, where T1’s stale drafts are beginning to be truly challenged by teams like RNG and G2.
They’ll face off against G2 on May 28, for their shot at making it to finals and becoming the first team to hold 3 MSI titles.