T1’s struggles on the Dota 2 front may be reaching a conclusion in the form of an acquisition. Singapore-based organization Bleed eSports are in line to acquire T1’s Dota Division 1 Pro Circuit Slot for the 2022-23, according to an AFK Gaming report. A subsequent tweet from Tundra Esports player Sneyking after the reports broke also seemed to suggest that the deal will go through and Bleed will put together a Dota 2 roster for the first time.
Bleed eSports is a relatively new organization, having been formed in September 2021, and has so far only ventured into Valorant – this will be a new beginning by all measures if they do turn up for the Dota Pro Circuit 2022-23 season, given that a roster will have to be built from scratch ahead of the season.
T1’s Rapid Fall
It’s not a stretch to say that T1 were among the most popular names globally when it came to Dota 2, and at one point possibly the biggest one in south-east Asia. However, their failure to qualify for the T11 this year was the beginning of a very swift end for them. Following their exit at the Last Chance Qualifiers, a host of roster changes came into effect, including the ouster of team’s head coach as well as captain Kuku. T1’s Dota roster was largely composed of former Geek Fam players – Whitemon and Xepher among them, who also ran out their contracts following the T11 situation.
The way things unfolded this year for T1 were particularly grating given their aforementioned reputation and the fact that they had a top season preceding it. In the 2021 season, T1 seemed like they had well and truly arrived after an insipid start in the Dota scene. Kuku had led the team to an impressive third-placed finish at the WePlay Animajor, a win at the ESL One Summer 2021, and a culmination with a top-eight finish in the T10, where they were knocked out in the lower bracket round by Vici Gaming.
From there, however, things took a drastic turn. Following that season, they struggled at the ESL One Stockholm Major after making it deep, stumbling in the upper bracket round and then being knocked out in the subsequent lower bracket round. This had already set the tone for what was to follow. They failed to qualify for the Arlington Major and this meant a severe lack of DPC points as far as T11 qualification was concerned.
The path to T11 now involved getting through the Regional Qualifier, which they did with some reinforcements in the form of veterans Topson and ana, only to record five wins and five losses at the Last Chance Qualifier – that outcome seems to have marked a very swift end to T1’s competitive future. It isn’t clear yet whether they will continue sporting Dota 2 ambitions and look to rebuild from the lower rungs of the esport.
I do want to say that perhaps maybe there is something magical about the @ggBleed bootcamp. We were there before ti thanks to their courtesy and was able to train three weeks leading into @dota2ti. Watch out for their new Dota team!
— Sneyking (@Sneyking1995) November 10, 2022
Bleed eSports Will Be A Clean Slate
Given that this will be Bleed’s first foray into Dota esports, there isn’t really a baseline for expectations. On the Valorant front, Bleed’s team is yet to make it to an S-Tier tournament but are growing into a competitive outfit. Their biggest highlights of the year included ranking consistently in the top 3 in all regional challengers and qualifiers leading up to VCT 2022, only for them to fall short in the Last Chance Qualifier, where they finished third in a battle for one spot to the main event.
As mentioned previously, Bleed were formed just over a year ago, and are still new to esports gaming. Their Valorant exploits so far, when viewed in that context, are admirable and it is certainly an encouraging sign that they also launched an academy as early as May this year; all evidence so far points to the fact that they’re in this for the long haul as far as Valorant goes, and it might not be a stretch to expect the same with Dota 2.