T1 could not keep the dream alive – Topson and ana miss their TI homecoming

1Play DOTA2 News
Oct 12

The Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) has broken many hearts since it began, and yet more dreams were shattered after fan-favorite team, T1, was eliminated by Vici Gaming. Captain Carlo “Kuku” Palad will miss his first TI since TI6. Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon and Kenny “Xepher” Deo will not grace the stage with their infamous duo support sensation. And fans will miss the highly anticipated TI homecoming of Anathan “ana” Pham and Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen.

After losing two games to Team Secret and falling off from the upper bracket, T1 had hoped to make a comeback against Vici—and they came really close. They convincingly took the first game. However, they dropped the ball In the second game despite having a huge advantage. Even though the ana Lone Druid had an Aegis, T1 took a disastrous clash, which led them to feeding bodies one-by-one. A series of buybacks were made to no avail and a gold lead of 26k went to zero in a minute.

Vici outclassed T1 in the third game. Things did look good for T1 in the first 20 minutes, especially since they had complete control over Yang “Erika” Shaohan’s Morphling. However, highly mobile heroes such as Pan “Frisk” Yi’s Rubick and Guo “Xm” Hongcheng’s Void Spirit outmaneuvered T1’s slow-moving Undying and Venomancer. T1 also gave a number of solo deaths on the Topson Puck and ana Faceless Void. Towards the end, the Morphling recovered completely and became a force too much for T1 to bear. Erika then bid Kuku farewell as Vici bagged the win.

All things considered, T1 had an incredible run. With two new players in ana and Topson that they’d not spent the season with is an admirable result. A Hail Mary play to try and get TI11. Their play was marked by some unusually decisions in heroes. A near obsession with Venomancer. Picking carry Pudge against Na’Vi. Topson’s Oracle mid. And while these heroes had mixed success, it was the emerging meta, such as Primal Beast mid, and a Morphling resurgence that hammered the nails in their coffin.

However, regardless of the picks the elimination is a blow to the SEA region as a whole. Just three teams from the region at TI11 in Singapore will feel like a disappointment. And questions around team captain Kuku seem to be on the edge of everyone’s lips, a perhaps surprisingly controversial figure over these past few days.

T1 has had a difficult season since the conclusion of TI10. Their rocky performance throughout the Dota Pro Circuit seasons forced them to switch out Karl “Karl” Baldovino and Kim “Gabbi” Santos to make space for Topson and ana ahead of TI11. Yet the fellow two-time TI winners could not help the team to secure a spot after losing to Talon Esports at the Regional Qualifier and now at the LCQ. There is no information as to what will happen to T1 now they’ve failed to make it to TI11. However, knowing ana’s stance on the DPC, fans are better off not expecting the same T1 for 2023.

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