T1 made their debut in Dota 2 in August 2019, right after The International. But so far they haven’t managed to do anything significant, with one exception: they recently qualified for the Wild Card of One Esports Singapore Major. But to have any chance of surviving this first stage of the tournament, the team had to make a big roster change. And that’s exactly what they did.
Who Is 23savage
You may have heard of him. 23savage is the first (and so far only) player in the world to breach the 12,000 MMR barrier. He was also the second player in the world to breach the 11,000 barrier, on July 24th 2020. And here we are, just 7 months later, and he’s already at 12,000. Most Dota 2 players know how it’s like to lose 1000 MMR in 7 months. But to gain 1000 MMR in such a short time when you’re playing against some of the best competitors in the world is absolutely incredible.
23savage plays 2 roles: carry and midlaner. For T1, he will play the carry role. He’s a very young player, just 18 years old, and he’s only played 11 months for Fnatic and a few months for Vici Gaming. The Chinese squad dropped him at the start of January 2021, which was a questionable decision in my opinion.
The recent news of his 12,000 MMR achievement must have inspired T1’s management to contact him. Or perhaps the deal had already been made at that point and they’ve only announced it now. In any case, T1 is probably going to be very happy with this signing.
It’s quite strange that such a formidable player has been out of the picture for several months. But in Dota 2, it’s not the first time when it happens. Just look at other examples like SumaiL, RAMZES, or No[o]ne, who are in similar positions. Nobody seems to be contacting them, even though they’re former TI or Major champions. Or perhaps they do get offers but turn them down because of the ongoing global crisis.
23savage’s signature heroes are Morphling, Juggernaut, and Anti-Mage. Of course, you don’t get to reach 12,000 MMR without mastering at least 5-10 heroes, but these are regarded as his best.
About T1’s Roster
According to Valve’s DPC 2021 rules, T1 will suffer some penalties because of this roster change. But I think it will be worth it in the end. The player they had before, JaCkky, was nothing spectacular. He has 10,000 MMR, but that doesn’t mean much these days. And keep in mind, 23savage is 2000 MMR above him. That’s a staggering difference in this game.
T1’s complete roster looks like this:
The team’s main weakness is the lack of a world-class captain. The coach (March) is really strong and just like the organization, is South Korean. Some of his accomplishments include a 7th – 8th place at The International 2015 and the 1st place at MDL Chengdu Major. So he’s not exactly unaccustomed to winning. And some of the other team members, like Kuku, also have good results throughout their careers. All this indicates that T1 is likely to do really well in season 2 of Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Southeast Asia.
T1’s Chances at One Esports Singapore Major
Because they finished 3rd in DPC 2021 Season 1 SEA Upper Division with 5 wins and 2 losses, T1 qualified for One Esports Singapore Major. But they’ll have to start in the Wild Card. And that’s going to be extremely challenging. The reason is simple: there are 6 teams in total and only 2 of them qualify. Among those 6 teams there is Nigma, Liquid, and AS Monaco Gambit.
Two competitors come from China and are yet to be decided. But you can be certain that those 2 competitors are going to be super strong. And the ones we already know are very good teams as well. So unless T1 can do something special thanks to their recent roster move, their chances are practically zero.