A Failed League of Legends Season for Faker

Just as I feared and expressed in my last article, T1 wasn’t strong enough to beat Gen.G Esports and... Radu M. | 10. September 2020

Just as I feared and expressed in my last article, T1 wasn’t strong enough to beat Gen.G Esports and qualify for Worlds 2020. This was Faker’s last chance to compete in the tournament he conquered so many times. Several years ago, he was an absolute legend. Now he’s struggling, and has been for at least 2 seasons.

T1’s 2020 in Review

Like every season, 2020 had two splits.

Spring Split

The season started well for T1 and Faker, with a victory against DAMWON Gaming. In the Spring Split, this team wasn’t yet the monster it would later become. DAMWON finished 5th with 9 wins and 9 losses and during the early part of the split, T1 caught them completely unprepared.

The second match would bring T1 one of their 4 defeats during the split. And it happened against Hanwa Life Esports, a much weaker competitor than T1. Eventually, Faker’s team would go on to finish 2nd with 14 wins and 4 losses. Two other teams had the same result: Gen.G Esports and DragonX.

Since T1 finished 2nd, according to the LCK rules they only had to start playing in the Semifinal of the Playoffs. In this match, they once again defeated a team that would later become stronger than them: DragonX. Then came the Grand Final, played against Gen.G Esports. Against all expectations, T1 won without losing a single game. It was a clean match for Faker and everyone felt like this T1 could potentially win Worlds again, after several years of failures.

Summer Split

During the Summer Split, it quickly became obvious that T1 was now weaker than several other teams it had defeated in the Spring: DAMWON Gaming, DragonX and even Gen.G Esports. All of them defeated T1, either once or twice during this split. But it wasn’t just the direct confrontations with top opponents that showed T1’s weakness. One other team, namely Dynamics, also managed to beat them once.

With this rather modest track record, T1 finished 4th and was required to start the Playoffs from the very first match. And against expectations, T1 crashed and burned versus a much weaker opponent: Afreeca Freecs. Gen.G, which had finished the Group Stage in 3rd place with the exact same score as in the Spring Split, won the Quarterfinals and then went on to lose the Semifinal against DragonX (2 – 3). In spite of this loss, it was now obvious to everyone that Gen.G Esports was much stronger than T1 and would likely qualify for Worlds 2020 to its detriment. And in the Regional Finals, that’s exactly what happened. In the Spring Split, the score had been 3 – 0 in favor of T1. Now, when it truly mattered, the match ended 3 – 0 in favor of Gen.G.

Solutions for Faker

It clearly seems that Faker’s had enough of T1. Or perhaps the other way around. The most legendary player in LoL has been with his current club for 7 years. In esports, that’s an eternity. In my opinion, either T1 must offer Faker better teammates, or Faker should consider embarking on a new journey. Otherwise he might be wasting his talent for a few more years. This man clearly needs another ambition to bring out the best in him.


Photo credit: Riot Games