T1 Replace League of Legends Coaches

T1 Replace League of Legends Coaches

After spending only eight months with the South Korean esports organization, League of Legends coaches Yang "Daeny" Dae-in, and Lee "Zefa" Jae-min got sacked from their positions.

After spending only eight months with the South Korean esports organization, League of Legends coaches Yang “Daeny” Dae-in, and Lee “Zefa” Jae-min got sacked from their positions. T1 announced the coaching personnel changes on Wednesday, July 14.

Years of Disappointment

T1, formerly SK Telecom T1 have made drastic coaching changes on Wednesday. The decision follows a streak of poor results in the LoL Champions Korea (LCK) 2021 Summer.

As the most successful team in LoL esports history, T1 struggled to recapture their old form since winning their third LoL World Championship title in 2016. The team have since claimed silver at LoL Worlds 2017 and made it to the semi-finals in 2019.

Since then, T1 failed to make much noise in the competitive LoL scene. Outside of winning the LCK 2020 Spring, T1 haven’t achieved much, ending LCK 2020 Summer in fifth.

In a bid to start fresh and begin their climb to the summit of the LoL competitive scene, T1 made several team changes. They expanded their roster to 10 players and signed Daeny and Zefa as their new couches for the 2021 season.

Despite all the changes, success was hard to come by. T1 finished LCK 2021 Spring in fourth and lost to Gen.G (0-3) in the LCK 2021 Spring playoffs.

Things didn’t improve for the summer season either, as T1 completed the first half of the regular season with a 50% win rate (5-5). To avoid another humiliating finish and risk missing out on securing a 2021 LoL World Championship ticket, the organization decided to take drastic measures ahead of the sixth competitive week of the LCK 2021 Summer.

A Fresh Start

Struggling with their results, T1 decided it’s time to make necessary changes, which followed on Wednesday. As announced by the Korean esports organization, they have parted ways with Daeny and Zefa, and replaced them with Kim “Moment” Ji-hwan and Son “Stardust” Seok-hee, as the team’s head and assistant coach, respectively.

The change took the LoL esports community and T1 players by surprise. As revealed, the players weren’t aware of the changes up until the day they happened.

The community, meanwhile, was left scratching their heads, knowing that Daeny and Zefa are the reigning LoL world champions. They led DWG KIA to the LoL world champions title in November 2020 and got signed by T1 shortly after.

Moment was previously a head coach of T1 from December 2019-December 2020, later moving to assistant coach position. Most recently, Moment served as a head coach for the T1 Academy team, which he joined at the start of July.

On the other side, Stardust joined T1 in December 2020 as an assistant coach. He had previously served as a strategic coach for Flamengo Esports for two months.

Despite the drastic change, T1 players seemed unphased and secured the “Telecom Derby,” beating KT Rolster (2-0) on Thursday, July 15.

T1 looked unstoppable on the day, winning the match without much hassle. The star of the series was T1 academy jungler Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon, who took over for Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan.

The rookie ended the first game of the series with an 11/0/14 score, earning himself the MVP award. He was just as impactful in game two on Diana, finishing the map with a perfect 7/0/6 record, securing yet another MVP award.

A True Test Awaits T1 on Saturday

By beating KT Rolster, T1 now hold a 6-5 record, which is good for fifth place in the standings. Sitting ahead of them are Afreeca Freecs, DWG KIA, Nongshim RedForce, and Gen.G, who lead the league with an 8-2 record.

As it stands now, T1 trail Gen.G by only two wins, but they still have seven more games left to be played before the season ends. Their next match is scheduled for Saturday, July 17, when T1 meet with the reigning world champions, DWG KIA.

Odds for T1 vs. DWG KIA Match

Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:
T1 +150
DWG KIA -182
T1 +1.5 Maps -227
DWG KIA -1.5 Maps +166
Over 2.5 Maps +100
Under 2.5 Maps -132

T1 and DWG KIA last met in the opening week of the LCK 2021 Summer, when DWG KIA won 2-1. DWG KIA have since managed a 7-4 record, which sits them in third place in the summer standings.

Considering DWG KIA’s form, it’s no surprise that they are priced as the favorites by esports bookmakers. However, with the improvement T1 have shown under new coaches, it’s not unlikely for T1 to claim a revenge win this weekend.