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SK Telecom T1 is making the leap into the Dota 2 scene by forming a roster for the 2019-20 season, the organization announced today.
The organization that’s most well known for its dominance in League of Legends with a roster featuring star player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok will now look to become a contender in another top esport.
This announcement didn’t include a full roster reveal, however. T1 simply said that it’s working to join the Dota Pro Circuit race for the upcoming season. The organization’s first signing, veteran offlaner Lee “Forev” Sang-don, shows that T1 is likely going to focus on bringing in experienced Korean players.
Forev has been a part of several successful teams and attended three Internationals, placing fifth at TI6 with MVP Phoenix. He and four other veteran players formed Team Jinesbrus at the end of the season and nearly made it into TI9, only losing to Mineski in the final round of the regional qualifiers.
T1 may already know the other players it wants to target for this squad. And those targets could be the remaining players from Jinesbrus.
Park “March” Tae-won and Kim “Febby” Yong-min are both Korean and Canadian players with a lot of experience. Bringing the two of them in along with the younger talent in Nico “Gunnar” Lopez and Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon could be a good move since all five players have played together and showed a lot of promise as a unit.
There’s also a chance that Lee “Heen” Seung Gon could be stolen away from TNC Predator to coach for the Korean squad following TNC’s elimination from TI9. Heen played with Forev at TI5 on MVP HOT6ix and also has a history with both Febby and March since he played with them on Phoenix before leaving to coach Team Liquid.
If T1 can somehow snag Heen, that will bring even more TI experience, as well as someone with a proven record of coaching a TI champion and several contenders.
T1 has a lot of options available now, especially with the inevitable shakeup that always happens for top rosters following The International. Maybe some other top talent will be made available after TI9 and T1 can swoop in to offer a spot and a chance to play for a tier-one organization that’s trying to build a contender.