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T1 fight for the top at the halfway point of the LCK 2022 Summer Season
Boasting an almost perfect season thus far, just one team now stands between T1 and victory as the LCK 2022 Summer Season reaches the halfway mark.
Widely recognised as one of the greatest, if not the indisputably greatest League of Legends team of all time, it comes as no surprise to see T1 dominating the League of Legends Champions Korea once again for Summer 2022. It's not all smooth sailing though – one team still stands in between T1 and total victory. That team is Gen.G, who are currently contesting T1 for the top spot in the LCK.
As the LCK Summer Season reaches its halfway mark, the LCK's top team have plenty to be proud of, boasting an almost perfect season thus far with just a single slip-up against Kwangdong Freecs. This is a feat that can only be matched by their rivals in Gen.G whose season has been equally flawless, having only been felled by T1 themselves.
Off the back of a perfect Spring Season – the team took the title without suffering a single loss – T1's fans were slightly underwhelmed with their performance at MSI which saw them lose to G2 Esports, Evil Geniuses and champions Royal Never Give Up, though they did secure second place overall. It was a reality check for the team and a reminder that they can be stopped, but with the silver medal secured, T1 set out to prove to fans that they were still number one in the LCK.
Starting off strong
To the relief of fans, T1 managed two clean wins to start off the season against Nongshim RedForce and KT Rolster. However, many feared that the squad lacked their usual confidence, making several missteps in both games and going off-meta at several points. Thankfully, their second week proved much stronger, as T1 stomped Liiv SANDBOX with Choi 'Zeus' Woo-je coming into his own. T1 topped off the week with a dominant win over Damwon Kia, as Lee 'Faker' Sang-hyeok reminded fans why he is known as the GOAT.
Week 3 didn't go as smoothly as T1 would have hoped when Kwangdong Freecs finally broke their historic 24-game win streak in the LCK. Their first domestic loss of the year came at the hands of a team on a three-loss streak and several places below T1 in the standings.
Although T1 managed to win the first game, Kwangdong flipped the script on them, out-drafting their opponents and taking two unexpected wins. Kwangdong's botlaner Park 'Teddy' Jin-seong – T1's former botlaner – was particularly lethal, putting his old team in their place with an out-of-left-field Ashe pick. Despite a bounceback against DRX, it was a disappointing week for T1 fans who had come to expect nothing less than absolute domination.
After their third-week stumble, T1 came into Week 4 with something to prove, and with a match against fellow top-spot contenders Gen.G on the lineup, they would certainly have the chance to show what they could do. It was a hard-fought three games, with the pair evenly matched throughout. Faker brought the heat in this series, as did jungler Mun 'Oner' Hyeon-jun, who paired brilliantly with Zeus to cause chaos across the Summoner's Rift.
A show of strength
After seeing off their biggest threat, T1's next bout against the struggling Fredit BRION felt like a victory lap. Unsurprisingly, T1 crushed the team at the bottom of the table, taking the Elder Dragon to secure Game 1, before blitzing to a 23-minute win in Game 2. T1 toyed with their foes here, picking up 21 kills to BRO's 10 and ending the game with a 23K gold lead.
This brings us to the most recent week, Week 5, which was another perfect week for the team. T1 started off with a match against Hanwha Life Esports, which got off to a slow start despite an unusual pick from T1 support player Ryu 'Keria' Min-seok, who brought Pantheon into play for the first time in the LCK this year. After a close game, T1 took the win.
Game 2 went in HLE's direction, as the team pulled out some surprisingly tough team fights. They then took Ocean Soul, leaving T1 struggling to catch up. But T1 were activated in Game 3. They stormed out of the gate, racking up five kills, before referees identified a bug and stepped in to reset the game. This setback didn't kill T1 off, however, as they quickly built back up the momentum, storming to a huge gold lead that HLE couldn't touch.
T1's next victory against DRX would put them neck-and-neck with Gen.G at joint top of the LCK Summer Season leaderboard. With the team having recaptured their Spring form, there seems no reason that they shouldn't continue to dominate their upcoming games to claim the top spot. But stranger things have happened in the LCK and T1 can't rest on their laurels if they want to edge out their rivals.
This week will see T1 take on Fredit BRION once more, as well as the only domestic team to have beaten them all year, Kwangdong Freecs. Neither team should pose much of a problem, especially now T1 have got into their groove, but we expect the squad will bring their A-game into the second half of this season, no matter the opponent.