T1 Write History With LCK's First Perfect Season

T1 Write History With LCK’s First Perfect Season

T1 wrote history on Monday, March 21, when they defeated DRX and became the first LCK team to end the regular season with a 18-0 record.

T1 (formerly SKT T1) wrote history on Monday, March 21, when they defeated DRX and became the first League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) team to end the regular season with a perfect 18-0 record. With that, T1 also became only the third professional LoL team in history to achieve the accolade.

A Highly-Saught After Achievement

Ending the regular season with a perfect record is an accolade all professional LoL teams look to achieve. And even though it does seem like an impossible task, teams have achieved it before.

The first team to do it was Fnatic in 2015 when they finished the EU LCS Spring season without dropping a map. It took over six years for another team to join the exclusive club, with PSG Talon winning the PCS 2021 Summer undefeated.

Now, just a couple of months later, T1 joined the illustrious club, going 18-0 in the LCK 2022 Spring. It marks the first time T1 went undefeated in their domestic league and the first time it happened in the LCK.

But while Fnatic and PSG Talon achieved the same success, T1’s achievement is different. Unlike the EU LCS and the PCS, the LCK uses a best-of-three format (rather than Bo1).

So even though T1 won all of the 18 regular-season series, they ended the season with a 36-7 map record. So technically, T1 did not manage a perfect record, albeit it was a remarkable achievement nonetheless.

What makes T1’s success even more remarkable is the team’s fall from grace. As the most successful team in the history of LoL esports and three-time LoL world champions, T1 have fallen on hard times in recent years.

Rise From Ashes

Before the rebrand to T1, SKT have been struggling domestically and in 2018 even failed to make finals in either Spring or Summer Splits. Moreover, SKT missed LoL World Championship for the first time in the organization’s history.

SKT’s lack of success was shocking to many, knowing how dominant the team was just a couple of years prior. Furthermore, SKT were known as a very inconsistent team at that time period.

They went from the most dominant Korean LoL esports team to fall in the middle of the pack. But things changed for the better in 2019, when SKT won LCK Spring and Summer splits.

For the next year, SKT rebranded to T1 and continued showing strong form domestically, never missing the playoffs. But T1 lost traction in recent years and struggled to recapture its former glory.

Since the rebrand, T1 made two LCK finals – LCK 2020 Spring and LCK 2021 Summer – and won just the former. Moreover, they failed to place higher than fourth in all remaining domestic splits.

Going from bad to good and back to bad, T1 continued that trend and found its spark ahead of the 2022 season. Unlike most other LCK teams, T1 kept their roster intact and built on the strong foundation they formed in 2021.

And while many doubted that approach would work, T1 proved everyone wrong. With a roster filled with young talent and veteran players, T1 dominated the domestic league and quickly emerged as LCK’s top team.

Onto New Challenges

Even more impressive was the fact that T1 finally proved that they don’t need their star mid laner Lee ‘Faker’ Sanghyeok to win games. While the LoL superstar showed exceptional form throughout the LCK 2022 Spring, he was not the main carry on the team.

Each player, including ADC Lee “Gumayusi” Minhyeong and top laner Choi “Zeus” Wooje did their part to help T1 end the season undefeated. Most notably, Gumayusi ended the season with the most kills in a single LCK split (219).

Having locked in a perfect season, T1 now have a lot to prove as they get ready for the LCK 2022 Spring Playoffs. The playoffs are set to begin on March 23, and as it stands now, it seems highly likely that T1 will win the title and represent the region at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational.

From there, the next goal is winning the LoL World Championship crown, which would put T1 at four titles, solidifying T1 as the most successful organization in LoL esports history.