Royal Never Give Up defeated T1 in a game from the 4th round of the 2022 MSI Rumble stage. The game was anything but macro-oriented, and a clown fiesta was experienced on the rift, at least from T1's side.
Despite an early game lead, RNG was able to crawl their way back in the game and left no chances to the opposition in the mid to late game. RNG's win marks T1's second tournament loss and the pressure on the team arises.
Source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
T1 entered the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational as the favorite, but things are not as smooth as expected. The team didn't face any problems in the Group stage. However, now that the competition is stronger, T1 are crumbling under pressure.
So far, the team is sitting with a 2-2 record, and both losses came against their main opponents for the top spots in the Rumble stage; RNG and G2 Esports.
The crucial task for T1 will be to get into the Knockout stage of the tournament, where they will shine in the bo5s. Considering the performances of PSG Talon and Saigon Buffalo, this should be an easy task for the Korean champions.
What are the issues?
Although T1 had a goal lead in their MSI games, mid-game seems to be an issue for the team. It looks as if the players are not on the same page and they crumble under pressure.
A perfect example is the game against RNG, where T1 decided to recall instead of picking up the dragon soul. If reverted, this call could have easily won them the game.
Ping issues are a common excuse, but it might be hurting T1. There is a massive difference between playing on 7 ping and 35+, so accommodating might be difficult. Not to speak about the draft adaptations due to ping as well.
Another weak point has been Gumayusi. Considering his standards, he has been underperforming throughout the tournament. The AD carry is often caught out of position and doesn’t respect his opponents’ level 1 strengths.
G2 broke T1
We broke T1— G2 Esports (@G2esports) May 21, 2022
G2 Esports gave the first real taste of defeat to T1, which might have hurt them. It is not easy to lose once you have established yourself as an unbeatable team with a 26-0-win streak. G2 showed us that T1 can bleed, and the others might take advantage of that.
However, it is still early to judge whether T1 is doomed. Yes, they lost the first encounters against their main opponents, but more is to come as the teams will meet once again. Maybe this down-to-earth experience will unleash them even more, like a beast in a cage.
Also, don’t forget that the format in the LCK is different. T1 were dropping games, but the bo3 format allowed them to come back easily. This team excels in the bo5s, not in the bo1s.