T1’s Coach Kim has decided to resign after the three-time world champions failed to make it to Worlds 2020. T1 fell short in both the first round of Summer Playoffs and in the Regional Finals in their attempts to qualify, despite becoming LCK champions in Spring.
Dear fans,— T1 LoL (@T1LoL) September 13, 2020
Following the results of the Worlds Qualifiers, Jung Su “KIM” Kim has decided to resign. T1 respects his decision and has parted ways under a mutual agreement. We thank Kim for his commitment to the team this year and wish him the best in his future endeavors. pic.twitter.com/21NMrG9jYd
The announcement comes after rumours had begun to circulate that Kim had resigned on 10th September, according to an article published by Inven Global. However, at the time Kim was apparently on vacation, and hadn’t had any discussions with T1 about his future at that point.
Kim said, "I'm in Busan as the team gave me a vacation. I'm very frustrated that this came up. There hasn't been anything discussed with the team yet."
[#LCK] @T1LoL Kim: I'm in Busan as the team gave me a vacation. I'm very frustrated that this came up. There hasn't been anything discussed with the team yet.— Inven Culture (@InvenGlobal) September 11, 2020
Now a few days later, Kim has officially resigned. Whether the rumours had any weight to them, or influenced his decisions, is unclear.
Either way, the resignation does not come entirely as a surprise. Late season roster shuffles - including benching legendary midlaner Faker to improve communication - and notably criticised drafts had raised eyebrows in the community.
A last gasp effort to revitalise the roster by bringing back Faker, and pulling in Ellim and “golden rookie” Gumayusi to try and topple Gen.G in the Regional Finals ended in failure, too, and questions about Coach Kim’s efficacy reached a boiling point.
It is a frustrating end to Kim’s tenure at T1, who’s time with the LoL giants was plagued by online abuse that the organisation has threatened legal action over, and just failing to secure Worlds after winning the Spring Split.
Kim’s legacy includes four consecutive Worlds appearances with four different teams prior to T1 (Samsung Galaxy, Longzhu Gaming, the championship winning Invictus Gaming, and DAMWON Gaming), and he will be hoping that this most recent failure is only a speed bump in his career.