Team Liquid showed they could go toe-to-toe with T1 in the opening Worlds 2023 Swiss stage match, but the South Korean powerhouse eventually pulled through in the late game.

In the second round, they were drawn against their biggest LCK rivals, Gen.G. But even after three domestic finals since LCK Summer 2022, T1 still could not overcome the one team that’s stopping them from getting first place.

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And so despite the 1-1 score, fans started to question the strength of this roster, which is why this third Swiss stage match was important in terms of momentum.

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Against Cloud9, T1 didn’t just win — they completely silenced doubters. The cherry on top? They did so their way, pulling out an off-meta support.

Worlds 2023 Swiss stage: T1 reaped 15 kills against Cloud9, who had none

T1 vs. Cloud9 draft at Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

T1 put together a well-balanced team comp who had early, mid, and late game champions that could shine. They also had Jarvan and Rumble’s ultimate combo, where the king keeps opponents trapped in Cataclysm to guarantee an Equalizer hit.

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Cloud9 on the other hand, chose a composition that needed to scale in every single role. Needless to say, T1 exploited this weakness and got to work early.

By 10 minutes, they had four kills to zero. Two of those kills were on Choi “Zeus” Woo-je’s Rumble, and two on Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun’s Jarvan. The deciding factor was each squad’s roaming supports.

Even though Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen’s Rakan arrived at top lane first creating a 3v2 man advantage, he could not move. Literally. Oner’s Jarvan found a two-man EQ knock-up on him and Robert “Blaber” Huang’s Bel’Veth.

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At that very moment, Ryu “Keria” Min-seok’s Bard arrived, and chained his Cosmic Binding crowd control. All this while, Zeus was burning them to crisps.

At the third dragon spawn, T1 hammered the nail into the coffin. Oner’s Jarvan soaked up some damage in the front line, dropped to a quarter HP, and retreated.

Posturing around dragon, it was Zeus who found the perfect opening by landing a three-man Equalizer on both of Cloud9’s carries and their support, which forced them to retreat.

Ahead by 6,000 gold, six kills, and three dragons, T1 knew this fight was theirs to take. Keria’s Magical Journey helped his team surround their prey. He then followed up with a perfectly timed Tempered Fate that allowed his team to dive the tier one bot turret without casualties.

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After taking Baron, they stormed their opponent’s base and set the record for shortest game at Worlds 2023 Swiss stage at 22:25.

View the full Swiss Stage schedule and results here.

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