T1 disappoint with slow start in Dota 2’s The International 2022 LCQ

The underdog story isn't here yet.

The TI11 Last Chance qualifiers kicked off today, and 12 runner-up teams from their respective regions gave it their all to claim one of the remaining two spots in the International 2022. Though there were favorites coming into the qualifiers, fans also expected Cinderella stories, mostly from T1 featuring Topson and ana.

T1 was scheduled to play a total of four matches today, two against Team Liquid and two against Infamous. The T1 squad looked solid in their first-ever match in the LCQ versus Team Liquid, with Topson performing exceptionally well on Primal Beast. The two-time TI winner’s performance wasn’t enough to book a win, however, since T1’s weaknesses started showing around the mid-game.

Multiple disorganized team fights by T1 allowed Liquid to catch up in terms of momentum, and the European favorites didn’t let go of the lead thanks to Boxi’s Earthshaker. 

T1’s draft for the second match was slightly different, but it still featured the most problematic hero in their first draft, Gyrocopter. Ana’s Gyrocopter once again couldn’t find the space to shine, and since Topson also struggled in the early game T1 had to tap out in just under 30 minutes.

T1 then went on to face Infamous, and once again started the series in a strong manner. Topson snowballed with Leshrac, while ana took advantage of the available space with Pudge. But despite featuring Undying and Primal Beast in their draft, plus an early lead, T1 still struggled to close out the match, which they could finally do at the 53-minute mark. 

In the second match, Infamous shutdown ana and Topson. Even though Kuku performed well on Primal Beast, T1 couldn’t turn the game around and settled for a draw.

The first day of the LCQ was rather tough on T1, but it’s also about to get much tougher on the second day. In the morning session, T1 will go up against Xtreme Gaming, who is currently tied for the first spot in Group B. After that, Virtus Pro will be waiting for T1, making it two back-to-back matches versus some of the top contenders in the LCQ.

Apart from T1’s run in the first day, the Team Secret and nouns series was the highlight. Team Secret had the North American participant’s number in the first game, but nouns came out swinging in the second match. Nouns’ physical damage-focused line up featuring Templar Assassin, Witch Doctor, and Weaver clicked with the help of Batrider, upsetting Team Secret in a draw.

Virtus Pro threw a match where they had a 92 percent win probability versus Wildcard Gaming. VP lost control of the match immediately after losing a fight where they had an Aegis and also Cheese. Wildcard Gaming marched down to VP’s base and finished the match after realizing that they had no buybacks.

The remaining group matches featured an almost flawless run for Na’Vi and close ties for Xtreme Gaming.

The LCQ group stages will only decide the seedings for the playoff stage. The bottom two performers from each group will start the playoffs in the lower bracket, where a loss will mean kissing the final available slots in TI11 goodbye.