Kuku-less T1 crashes out of Singapore Major

Published March 28, 2021, 9:08 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from T1

Sans its Filipino veteran offlaner Carlo “Kuku” Palad, T1 bowed out of the ONE Esports Singapore Major following its lackluster campaign in the wild card stage. 

T1 actually fell out of contention to enter the group stage after CIS team AS Monaco Gambit won the first game in its encounter against Team Liquid, making it mathematically impossible for the South Korea-based organization to qualify for the next phase. 

The Southeast Asia bet, which sorely missed the services of Kuku due to “health problem” and had Lee “Forev” Sang-don as stand-in, finished fifth in the six-team wild card stage with a lone series win on Sunday, March 28. 

Also exiting the tournament are Nigma and Gambit which lost the tiebreaker game against Liquid. 

Advancing into the group stage are the top three teams PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming and Liquid.  

T1’s consolation 2-0 victory came at the expense of fellow shorthanded squad Nigma, which also played without its seasoned offlaner Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov who tested positive of COVID-19. 

Despite having the world’s first 12K MM player in Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon, T1 went winless in the first day of the year’s first Major being hosted by ONE Esports and PGL as it yielded to Gambit, Vici Gaming and Team Liquid all in 2-0 sweeps. 

T1, which also has Filipino 11K MMR midlaner Karl “Karl” Baldovino, crushed Nigma in a series that lasted for only a little over an hour but lost 2-0 anew to PSG.LGD to wrap up its campaign. 

Only two SEA representatives remain in the SG Major namely Neon Esports and Fnatic. 

The all-Filipino squad Neon is slated to start its campaign in the group stage on Monday, March 29. 

For its part, Fnatic featuring Filipino pros Polo “Raven” Fausto and Djardel “Dj” Mampusti is already seeded in the playoffs that will start on Wednesday, March 31.