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Despite Worlds finals loss, T1 made history in 2022 chase for League’s ‘grand slam’

T1 came up just one game short of a title on multiple occasions this season.

T1’s 2022 squad may just be one of the biggest “what-if” stories in professional League of Legends history. The team started the year on the greatest run to ever open a season, winning 26 consecutive matches between January and May, while coming just one game away from lifting the Summoner’s Cup for the fourth time in franchise history in November. 

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But even though T1 finished as the runners-up at the World Championship, their 2022 season will still go down as one of the most consistently strong from start to finish. This year, T1 became just the fifth team in League history to compete in all four possible grand finals in a single calendar year. 

T1 had every opportunity to complete the League “grand slam” this season, which entails winning all four possible titles in a single calendar year: Spring Split, MSI, Summer Split, and Worlds. Among those four, they only won one (LCK Spring Split), and came one game away from taking home titles at the Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds. 

Related: Smite key missing: Here are all the objectives T1 stole from DRX during Worlds 2022 finals

The last team to appear in all four possible grand final matches during a single season was DWG KIA in 2021. That team won both of their domestic finals in the Spring and Summer Splits but fell to their Chinese counterparts in Royal Never Give Up and Edward Gaming at MSI and Worlds, respectively. 

G2 Esports also accomplished this feat in 2019, and that team came the closest to actually completing the “grand slam” after winning three of their first four possible titles that year. They were eventually swept out of the Worlds finals by FunPlus Phoenix. 

SK Telecom T1 also appeared in four finals in both 2015 and 2017. In 2015, they won three titles (including Worlds), and in 2017, they won two championships, finishing in second place in both the LCK Summer Split and World Championship after winning the Spring Split and MSI. 

T1 has made it clear that the organization intends to run things back in 2023 with its exact same starting lineup of players. Four of the team’s five starters are contracted to the franchise through 2023, with the only player needing to sign an extension being mid laner Faker, according to the League global contract database.

To this day, no team has ever won professional League’s “grand slam.”

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Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.