T1 parted ways with VALORANT head coach David Denis today after a disappointing performance in the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage Two Challengers. In its farewell, the team thanked Denis for his commitment to the well-being of the team’s mental health.
Denis is most known by the community for his suspension by T1 for cheating after he typed “help sewers” into a chat mid-match against TSM. VCT staff issued a competitive ruling forfeiting their match due to unauthorized communication to his team members during the match.
Denis has worked in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and VALORANT. During his time with TSM’s VALORANT team, he helped them achieve second place in the First Strike North America tournament before moving over to T1 in 2021.
Denis was a positive influence on the scene in terms of mental health awareness, and his background reflects a long history of clinical practice in psychotherapy. He worked for 10 years in a clinical setting before he became involved in esports by working with clients who were dealing with mental health struggles but were also top performers within the esports scene.
T1 haven’t found great success yet in the VCT circuit. The team was usually in the top eight last year for the Challengers tournaments, but they never made it to Masters. In 2022 they suffered even more loss as teams around them started to get better, and even some orgless teams were making significant improvements while T1 seemed stalled in their own progress.
This year, T1 didn’t even get close to qualification for Masters, and failed to reach the main event bracket. In Stage Two, they were unable to qualify for the main event in the first open qualifier, and they then lost to VIRTUOSO in the second open qualifier, denying them a spot in the playoffs and ending their run for Stage Two.
T1 will now be in search of a new head coach after Denis’ departure, and the org is still one player short and is currently using stand-in Daniel “eeiu” Vucenovic. For now, Joshua “steel” Nissan will likely take on a bigger role as IGL with the absence of a coach while the org searches for a new one.