Zeus may have taken a massive pay cut to stick with Worlds-winning T1 roster

Carver Fisher
T1 Zeus taking massive pay cut to stay with teamColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

According to a leak from Chinese esports personality and former coach HanYi, Zeus took a huge pay cut to stay with T1. But a new source came along to claim that Zeus may in fact have received a much larger offer from T1 than anticipated, something to the tune of 4 million USD.

Worlds 2023 MVP and esteemed top laner Choi ‘Zeus’ Woo-je was the center of many off-season roster discussions. Even with Keria and Gumayusi up for free agency following the win, Zeus was the player who many were most worried would take off.

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According to HanYi, there were offers on the table that doubled the salary T1 offered to him. With salary caps being implemented by the LCK this year, T1 couldn’t offer Zeus more even if they had the money to do so unless they tried to negotiate paying their other players less to make up the difference.

Fortunately for T1 fans, it seems that the top lane prodigy has chosen to stick around and build his future with T1 instead of going to the LPL.

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T1 reportedly sticks together as Zeus declines massive LPL payday

T1’s Worlds-winning roster was always so close to greatness before they took it all to cap off 2023. Podium finishes were the norm for them, and they broke domestic win streak records despite Gen.G having their number in most domestic competitions.

It always felt as if they were one of the best teams in the world every year they were together, but that other teams would come out of nowhere to dethrone them and power spike their way into the top spot.

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It was no surprise to most that T1 would likely have been looking to switch things up if they didn’t succeed this year and finally get a win with the roster. But they did.

As a result, it seems that the team plans to stick together and try their luck at even greater heights in 2024. But, according to HanYi via Weibo, Zeus took a massive pay cut to stick around.

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

“All members of T1 have renewed their contracts. Zeus’ annual final salary is half that of the Chinese team.” While it’s safe to assume Zeus is still getting paid fairly well to stick with T1, taking half the pay to stick with a team is a move many T1 fans admire.

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HanYi lamented the news he himself broke, saying “You don’t know how much I wish Zeus was here! So sad today!”

However, a conflicting rumor came out that provided a glimpse into T1’s player salaries that runs counter to previous reports that Zeus was getting more from the LPL. It’s also entirely possible that Zeus was extended a much higher offer mid-negotiation that made sticking with T1 the most financially viable move.

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Either way, Zeus wasn’t the only one mentioned in this rumor.

According to these rumors, Hanwha Life Esports offered Zeus 3.5 million for him to play alongside fellow world champions Viper and Zeka, and JDG offered him 3.7 million. However, it also claims that T1 offered him even more at 4.2 million.

This source also claims that Faker’s contract is worth almost 6 million, Guma’s re-signed contract is around 2.5 million, Keria’s worth around 1.3 mil (an amount many fans feel is insanely low for Keria’s level of skill), and Kkoma’s contract as coach is 1 million.

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It remains to be seen just how much Zeus was offered as other teams tried to snatch T1 players, but, either way, it appears T1 has one of if not the most expensive rosters in the LCK after the likely re-signing of all their players.

For now, it seems that T1 will be sticking together despite the massive and ongoing roster upheaval sweeping across the entire LCK. Whether any team that gets put together can contest T1 remains to be seen.

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About The Author

Carver is an editor for Dexerto based in Chicago. He finished his screenwriting degree in 2021 and has since dedicated his time to covering League of Legends esports and all other things gaming. He leads League esports coverage for Dexerto, but has a passion for the FGC and other esports. Contact Carver at carver.fisher@dexerto.com