Injury of Faker was the LCK’s summer saga. T1 faced significant challenges during this Summer Split, failing to secure any wins in his absence. Did the midlaner successfully make his grand return?
The absence of Faker and T1 Struggling in the Summer Split
Faker‘s absence generated much discussion this summer. Since his injury, T1 couldn’t secure a single BO victory, even against weaker teams in the South Korean league. Although it seemed obvious, some T1 players pointed out that the team was already struggling to elevate their gameplay before Faker’s departure.
Thus, it wasn’t certain that T1 would instantly regain their position as one of the top teams in the LCK upon his return, and it might take a few matches for the GOAT to find his rhythm. So, how did the first match turn out?
Faker and T1 : An honest performance, though not exceptional:
In the first match, T1 took down the enemy Nexus in 23 minutes, an impressive display. However, it’s not entirely attributed to Faker’s return. The midlaner had a relatively quiet performance in this round, even accounting for 3 of his team’s 4 deaths.
Faker : His injury was The Summer Saga in LCK
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Freecs specifically focused on the midlane while Oner concentrated on the sidelanes. The victory of T1 was, therefore, more thanks to their jungler, who effectively played Aatrox and Zeri Gumayusi. Faker’s role was somewhat unglamorous in this game, and while he contributed to the team’s final victory by creating space, it’s difficult to say he was decisive.
The Role of Faker and Impact in the First Match of T1
In the second match, Faker played Jayce in the midlane again. Once more, T1 didn’t particularly revolve their strategy around their midlaner, and it was Oner’s actions that put them on a good track. The jungler succeeded in giving an advantage to the bot and top sides with good early ganks.
T1's Strategy and the Unseen Value of Faker Experience
Faker only truly became involved during the initial skirmishes and was somewhat in the background. Nonetheless, his lane management (not too difficult with Jayce) and a few mechanical feats, such as canceling Taeyoon’s Zeri dash with his E, deserve recognition.
T1's Victory and the Context of the Opponent's Weakness
For this return, T1 didn’t explicitly revolve their strategy around Faker, but we mustn’t underestimate his unseen contributions. Faker’s experience likely played a crucial role in shot-calling, something that his replacement, Poby, lacked. Ultimately, it reflected in T1’s sharper gameplay in this BO.
The return of Faker in Perspective: True Test Awaits T1 in the Playoffs
However, this result should be put into perspective, as the Freecs are currently the weakest team in the LCK (even though they’re not at the bottom of the standings) with nine consecutive losses. While T1 showed a better performance than in recent weeks, we mustn’t get carried away; the true test awaits in the playoffs.
Faker’s absence challenged T1 in the Summer Split, struggling to win without him. His return offered hope, but the first match showed it wasn’t an instant fix. While Faker contributed, other players played key roles too. The playoffs will be the real test for T1 to reclaim dominance. Teamwork and maximizing talent, including Faker’s, are crucial for success. A hopeful turning point, but caution is needed to avoid reliance solely on him.