As expected by many, T1 were amongst the frontrunners at MS1 – one of the most prestigious League of Legends competitions – and entered the Rumble Stage as the top seed after topping Group A.
The Korean outfit won all six of their group games, including a pair of 2-0 victories over the highly rated Saigon Buffalo, and at the time of writing they have gone 2-1 in the round-robin phase – giving them an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Their progress has been made all the more special by the technical issues that have dogged the franchise throughout the tournament. They have experienced considerable ‘ping’ throughout, but rather than becoming a hindrance T1 have still proven their class as one of the finest LoL teams on the planet.
During the Rumble and knockout stages of MS1, attention will certainly be on T1’s clashes with G2 Esports and Royal Never Give Up (RNG), who between them have developed a fierce rivalry at the top tier of competitive LoL.
That said, T1 star Faker – aka Sang-hyeok Lee – is confident that his team has what it takes to overcome their elite foes. As one of the leading eSports professionals, he said: “Although we lost to G2 a long time ago, we’re a totally different team right now. As long as we prepare the way we do, I believe we’ll beat G2, no problem.”
Those are fighting words from one of the pre-tournament favourites…
Skin in the Game
Watched by millions of viewers around the world on the key streaming platforms, there is a huge captive audience for MS1, LoL and eSports in general.
With many knowledgeable about their favourite games and players, it’s no surprise that eSports betting continues to grow in popularity – these days, most of the leading sportsbooks for online betting in Australia and around the globe offer odds and markets for the key competitions.
As far as MS1 2022 is concerned, top bookmakers like bet365 had priced up all of the teams competing for the $75,000 first prize, and they made T1 their 1/2 odds-on favourites, with RNG (5/2) and G2 Esports (8/1) the next best in the betting market.
Those odds have remained consistent since the event got underway too, so evidently the technical issues that T1 have faced have not put off punters from backing them in the outright market.
That said, there are many variables that impact the perceived betting value of a team, and while injuries/absentees and form are chief amongst them, it’s increasingly the contractual position of the players that determines how well respected each franchise is.
The top players, and those showing promise, are highly valued, and they can be the subject of transfers when other teams want to buy out their contracts.
Happily for T1, they are well backed financially and can call upon the talents of Faker, Oner (Hyeon-joon Moon) and Zeus (Woo-je Choi) to meet their ambition of LoL world domination.
Given how they’ve fared in MS1 2022 so far, it’s proven to be money well spent…