SK Telecom 1 has announced it will be entering the Dota 2 competitive scene. So far, the only confirmed roster member is Lee "Forev" Sang-don.
We are proud to announce our first step into DotA2. Please welcome #Forev - the first member of #T1 #DotA2 !#T1 이 #도타2 에도 출사표를 내려합니다. 그 첫 발걸음을 함께 하기 위해 새롭게 영입된 #Forev #이상돈 선수를 소개합니다. pic.twitter.com/A14A2jV9nx— T1 (@T1) August 22, 2019
The organization is best known for its League of Legends team, although the team also competes in Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends, Smash Ultimate, and Hearthstone. The team has a proven track record for success in League of Legends, so picking up another MOBA seems like a good fit.
Although the full roster is not yet confirmed, the team announced it is gearing up to compete in the 2019-2020 season. Judging by their first signing, they are looking to bring in already experienced players.
Forev, an offlaner, most recently competed with Team Jinesbrus, and has been part of several successful teams over the past few years. Most notably he played with MVP Pheonix during TI6, placing in fifth. This year Forev and Team Jinesbrus were unable to qualify for TI9, losing to Mineski in the regional qualifiers. However, it's possible T1 may be looking at other players from the Team Jinesbrus roster, especially considering the synergy they would already have with Forev.
T1 is based in both the U.S. and South Korea, with the current hiring choice suggesting they may decide to base the team in South Korea. Historically, Dota 2 has been largely overshadowed by League of Legends in South Korea. Currently, South Korea doesn't even have a dedicated server in Dota 2, leading to increased lag. South Korea hasn't had much representation at The International since TI6. That isn't to say individual players haven't continued to have an impact; Lee “Heen” Seung Gon was on Team Liquid's side when they won TI7, and now coaches TNC Predator. Park "March" Tae-won, Forev's teammate on Team Jinesbrus, is currently the coach for Fnatic. The two also played together for MVP Pheonix.
This announcement comes during the midst of TI9. As usual, we can expect roster shakeups following the conclusion of the tournament, meaning T1 could have several options to chose from. T1 already has three world titles in League of Legends, and we're curious to see if they can bring the same success to the Dota Pro Circuit.