Perhaps those who followed T1 at Worlds 2023 clearly understood that they played almost without choosing champions according to the meta. T1 can reuse a champion that is more or less “outdated” like Varus, or names that have never been part of the meta like Jhin or Draven, Bard and still be effective. There used to be a saying, “T1 is only successful as a team that creates its own meta”. Faker’s wide champion pool, good tactical compliance, macro ability and the superior skills of T1 stars are the factors that help them succeed.
T1 made “out of meta” choices and won Worlds 2023
But according to Keria herself, T1 was very hesitant about implementing this style of play at Worlds 2023 because of the important nature of the tournament. However, the coaching staff and players are also aware that the season they dominated (LCK Spring 2022) was when T1 had its own direction and did not always follow the meta. They are the ones who have applied the Support Gunner style of play extremely successfully, forcing other teams to learn as well. But most fail because no one has complete skills like Keria. After a series of Gunner champions were nerfed, this style of play for T1 ended.
That is also the style of play that helped them win the championship in LCK Spring 2022
Keria said on the stream: “We practiced with Renata, Bard, but everyone played Kai’Sa, Xayah and the tough, resistant Support. We also decided to play according to the meta in the Gen match. G to test to see if we can succeed or not. If not, we will go our own way. Because I don’t think with our performance at that time, we can win Worlds this time.”
Keria admitted that the team experimented before deciding to “create their own meta”.
In addition, Keria also said that he thought of Support Ashe by chance. Keria shared: “That day, the computer room in Busan lost connection and people had to come to fix it. I went around Haeundae and had a thought about Support Ashe. Like ‘if I use Ashe, the opponent will go crazy””. After that, Keria actually practiced Varus – Ashe with Gumayusi quite a lot and realized that it was a very strong pair.
T1 used the match against Gen.G to test how following the meta would produce results
It can be said that the coincidence of objective reasons partly “helped” T1. But the T1 players themselves always had many creative ideas and did not hesitate to experiment, eventually winning the championship as a worthy reward for their boldness.