T1 Zeus explains what went wrong against BLG at MSI 2023
Following their crushing loss against BLG at MSI 2023, Dexerto sat down with Zeus to get to the bottom of what went wrong for T1, their expectations going into the match, and how their loss here has affected both Zeus and the team going forward.
Modern-day T1 has had an unfortunate track record of lackluster performance at international events. This roster, while record-breakingly good domestically, hasn’t managed to keep it together long enough to take an international title.
MSI 2023 was T1’s hope of finally achieving something great beyond their home country of South Korea. However, BLG would turn out to be an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. They only managed to take a single game off BLG, ending the set with a 1-3 record and leaving MSI just short of the Grand Final.
Though T1’s Zeus was understandably bummed out following their loss, he took the time to sit with Dexerto to talk through what may have gone wrong and his thoughts after the series.
T1 Zeus felt like he had to try and find a lead
It’s no secret that the current League of Legends meta is very bot-lane focused. BLG coach Wong ‘Tabe’ Pak Kan admitted bot lane was a core part of their strategy in a post-game interview during the broadcast: “We win bot lane, we win the game.” Tabe explained.
So, for a player like Zeus, standing out in any way he could was essential. The only way for him to have an impact if bot lane was losing was to create a massive lead in top lane, one big enough to overcome Zhao ‘Elk’ Jia-Hao‘s strong carry potential in his own way and find a win condition for his team.
However, the need to do this against a lane opponent like Bin put a lot of extra pressure on the top laner. This was shown by Zeus making a critical mistake and dying to Bin.
“At that point, our team was getting pushed away from the drake. So, in the top lane, I was like, ‘I have to make something happen, I have to find a lead.'” Zeus explained. “I wanted to deny him using Q on the wave, so my plan was to stun him as fast as I could. But something didn’t work right. I just died out of nowhere, I don’t think that made sense. I felt really bad about that play, but, after that, I had to just tell myself, ‘What happened, happened. I have to move on.'”
Bin and BLG won the day
Earlier in the tournament, Chen ‘Bin’ Ze-Bin called out Zeus in his interview with Dexerto, saying that he wanted his revenge. While Zeus may have lost the series, the two seemed evenly matched outside of this Game 2 blunder. However, according to Zeus, that blunder showed where Bin may have been the better player in this set.
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“I think today I wasn’t able to translate the lead I had to my team. For example, when I was playing Kennen into Sion, I think I had the perfect surroundings for me to have a very comfortable game. But I don’t think I was able to play out that role perfectly, whereas Bin was able to play the role that he was supposed to play at the best level.”
Zeus also explained that he felt T1’s biggest misstep at the event was their meta read. “The way we translated the meta didn’t work, and we kind of just let the opponent take control.”
We were curious as to whether or not Zeus was suffering from stage nerves, but he didn’t feel like there was any excuse to make other than saying that they didn’t perform as well as they expected to.
“Today was more about our performance. We were definitely underperforming. Before the match started, we were sure we were going to win MSI. But we didn’t even win the series. We’re all bummed.”
While Zeus was clearly disappointed in the result, he was still hopeful that he could turn the experience into something that will help T1 at their next international competition.
“I know our fans are really, really disappointed by the fact that GenG is eliminated and we just got eliminated, so there’s no longer a Korean team in the tournament. It’s also heartbreaking news to us as well, but I think this experience can become a stepping stone for us to accomplish something bigger in the future.”