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The International 10: Southeast Asia Region


Mary C
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Southeast Asia Region

Fnatic

T1

747 LIVE THE INTERNATIONAL 10: Fnatic

 

Fnatic 

Fnatic appeared to be the greatest team in Southeast Asia during the first half of 2020, winning the last LAN event before the epidemic – The Summit 12 – and then four straight online tournament wins in the months that followed. Later in the year, though, they began to lose crucial players 23savage and iceiceice, and their future began to appear bleak. Winning their first regional DPC league, Fnatic started the year strong, but they were the first team ousted from the playoffs at the Singapore Major after losing two straight matches on the main stage. 

The team's humiliating performance necessitated a squad change which perhaps backfired when they failed to qualify for the AniMajor, finishing fourth in their second DPC league. Another frantic personnel change was made in a last-ditch attempt to qualify for The International, a last-minute bet that paid off spectacularly when Fnatic reverse-swept TNC Predator in the BO5 qualifying final, punching their ticket to the year's largest event. 

Both ChYuan and Deth have only been with the squad since April and June, respectively, but the postponement of TI10 until October may have been a gift in disguise for them because it has given these newer players more time to bond with their colleagues. DJ has appeared like one of the game's best playmakers at various points over his long career, but he now takes on the position of hard support in order to focus on captaining and offer Jabz – another extraordinarily gifted support player – more farm time. When you add Raven, who holds the record for most kills in a single game at a Valve tournament, to the carry position, you've got a list of names that seems quite respectable on paper. 

They looked reasonably competent in their single event against foreign competition this summer albeit they finished a disappointing 5-6th place, with their only series win coming against Thunder Predator. Only PSG and Fnatic have attended every single International since 2013. LGD may brag as well although this illustrious organization has always underperformed at TI. The team and their fans will undoubtedly hope that this year is an exception, but they appear to be on track for another early exit at the moment. However, if they prove my prediction incorrect, they will undoubtedly be an exciting squad to watch. 

 

 

747 LIVE THE INTERNATIONAL 10: T1

 

T1 

Despite T1's and other Korean organizations' domination in League of Legends, the Korean overlords have been mainly missing from Dota 2, with the exception of MVP Phoenix's brief success in 2015/16. T1 started a Dota squad in late 2019 but had limited success at first, so they have been moving players around and polishing their lineup ever since. T1 appears to have finally found a winning formula despite the fact that all five of its current players are new to the organization, with none having spent more than a year with the squad.   

T1 finished third in the first South-East Asian regional DPC competition, qualifying for the Singapore Major wild cards. Unfortunately, Kuku was unable to attend the competition, and the squad was unable to compete without their captain. Following their loss in Singapore, T1 completed their current lineup by swapping out their former carry JaCkky for 23savage, who had just been released from his Vici Gaming contract. The Thai adolescent has shown to be one of the most remarkable developing talents in the world right now, and T1's decision to hire him was a pivotal moment for the company. 

With their new carry the team finished 1st in their second regional league, and then showed a tour de force performance at the AniMajor – earning a convincing 3rd place finish and with that placement securing their TI10 direct invite. T1 followed this strong result with a notable win at ESL One Summer against a stacked international field of competition, but admittedly looked somewhat less impressive at two more recent tournaments, in which they finished only 4th place at both. 

One has to wonder if this will be another case of an upstart SEA team peaking too early in the year as TNC did before TI9 and Mineski did the year before. In fact, since TI6, South-East Asia has not had a single team to reach the top eight at an International which is hardly the best omen for T1's chances. 

Kuku, on the other hand, stands out as possibly the most capable SEA captain in a region known for its scarcity of experienced leadership. DJ is the only other player from the region who can still say he has been to every International since 2016. Apart from their coach, March, T1's present squad has no Koreans, but Kuku's leadership may be enough for them to avenge South-East Asia's prior early exits and for these honorary Koreans to begin their own overlordship. 

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