The famous Korean team T1 announced the appointment of coaches Lee “Zefa” Jae-min and Yang “Daeny” Dae-in, who both recently led DAMWON Gaming to winning the World Championship, for the 2021 LCK season.
In differentiating their respective roles, Daenys will work under the mantle of “head coach” whereas Zefa will have the “main coach”.
In the last part of the team’s large announcement, their former star jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong will lead their Academy roster for the next year. This will mark Bengi’s return to coaching since completing his compulsory military service. He last coached for SKT T1 for the 2018 season.
Shortly before T1’s hire of Zefa and Daeny became public, DAMWON announced they had decided not to renew their contract and left the organization.Their contracts were due to expire on November 16.
In addition to Zefa and Daenys’ arrival, T1 also revealed Choi “Polt” Seong-hun as the next general manager for their League of Legends roster. Formerly a North America-based Starcraft II player and TFT streamer for Team Liquid, Polt arrives to a T1 squad that is currently cast under a heavy shadow after they missed out on attending Worlds, of which consisted of constant lineup reshuffling and vitriol from fans as a result of their poor form.
Regardless, as Polt explained in a video made to fans about the team’s management moves, he will utilize his own experience as a professional gamer to seek and formalize a harmonious relationship with players throughout the organization, all for the ultimate goal of winning.
It was previously believed that, based on an accidental leak made Lee “Effort” Sang-ho, Polt would be accompanied by Nick “LS” De Cesare, a former LCK color commentator and current coach of aspiring players, as T1’s main coaches. However, after encountering fierce backlash from fans about their moves–which included a truck driving around the team’s headquarters and a stream of unsolicited threats that were hurled toward LS’ grandmother–it appeared that T1 took another direction on their rebuilding process and approached Zefa and Daeny.
With Zefa’s return, the peculiar coaching carousel between T1 and DAMWON continues. After Zefa left T1 following the 2019 season, T1 hired Kim “Kim” Jeong-soo away from DAMWON. For DAMWON’s part, they picked Zefa up as initially an interim head coach, but after impressing in the LCK spring split, he was promoted to head coach where he then went on to win the domestic summer split and World Championship.