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Lee Sang-hyeok (Korean: 이상혁, born May 7, 1996), known by his in-game name "Faker" (Korean: 페이커), is a South Korean professional League of Legends player. Before transitioning to League, he used to play "Chaos", another MOBA. Formerly known as "GoJeonPa" (Korean: 고전파) on the Korean server, he was picked up by SK Telecom in 2013 and is currently the mid laner for SK Telecom T1, which competes in the League of Legends Champions Korea.[1]

Faker
Lee Sang-hyeok
Born (1996-05-07) May 7, 1996 (age 22)
Gangseo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nationality Korean
Current team SK Telecom T1
Role Mid Laner
Games League of Legends
Championships 2x Mid-Season Invitational: 2016 2017
3x League of Legends World Championship: 2013, 2015, 2016
6x League of Legends Champions Korea
Feb 2013 - Nov 2014 SK Telecom T1 K
Nov 2014 - SK Telecom T1

Faker is renowned for his high mechanical skill at the game and his ability to play any champion at the top professional level. He is best known for playing LeBlanc, Cassiopeia, Zed, Orianna, Azir and Ryze.[2] He is consistently ranked number one by analysts and is often referred to as the "God" of League of Legends, or as "Unkillable Demon King" by his opponents and fans alike. A top rival to Faker is Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho, who was the 2015 and 2016 MVP of the league (with Faker being runner-up in 2016), where Faker's SKT defeated Smeb's KOO Tigers in the 2015 World Championship final and ROX Tigers in the 2016 World Championship semi-final.[3][4] Another contemporary to Faker is Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong; their teams met in the 2016 and 2017 World Championship Finals with Ambition's Samsung Galaxy winning the latter.[5][6][7]

Faker is one of only two players, along with a former teammate Bengi, to have won the League of Legends World Championship three times, having done so in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 seasons. He has also won the All-Star Paris 2014, Mid-Season Invitational tournament in 2016, Mid-Season Invitational tournament in 2017 and IEM World Championship 2016. Faker has won a total of $1,169,713.35 in prize money, and is ranked #39 in prize money won across all esports.[8]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Faker was born in Seoul on May 7, 1996. He and his brother were raised by their grandparents and their father, Lee Kyung-joon in Gangseo District, Seoul. Faker always loved puzzles and video games, including custom maps for Warcraft III and the MOBA "Chaos". He discovered League of Legends in late 2011, and quickly became very good at the game. He dropped out of high school in order to join SKT.[9]

Playing careerEdit

Season 3Edit

Faker was picked up by SK Telecom T1 K in 2013 as their starting mid laner. SKT T1 K dominated the Korean scene and in October 2013 Faker led them to win their first League of Legends World Championship. Later in the HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013, Faker cemented his status as a brilliant player due to his perfect outplay against KT Rolster Bullets mid laner Ryu Sang-wook, which would then become one of the most iconic moments in League of Legends in history.

Season 4Edit

In 2014, SKT T1 K followed their success through in the OGN winter season, making the entire run without dropping a single game. They would then go on to win Allstars 2014. However, their Winter success did not follow through and during the Spring and Summer season, SKT T1 K failed to qualify for League of Legends World Championship 2014. After World Championship 2014, Riot changed the team regulation so that each organisation can only have 1 team participating in each league. This caused SKT T1 K and SKT T1 S to merged, and subsequently for Impact and Piglet to move to the NA LCS. The new team would compete under the name SKT T1.

Season 5Edit

Between season 4 and 5, many top Korean LoL players, including the entire world champion team, Samsung Galaxy, left South Korea to play on Chinese LoL teams for higher salaries. Faker on the other hand, declined an offer of over $1,000,000 by a Chinese team, preferring to stay in Korea on SKT. In November 2014 it was reported that Faker had declined contract offers from several Chinese companies including one offer of ₩500 million for streaming.[10]

Throughout 2015, Faker shared the mid lane position with Lee "Easyhoon" Ji-hoon. Depending on the team composition the team wanted to play, either one of the players could be substituted into the game. Faker had many notable performances in the LCK such as a pentakill against NaJin e-mFire.[11] SKT ended the summer split in first place and advanced to the world championship.

In the 2015 World Championship, he and his team won while only dropping one game in the finals for a record of 15–1 throughout the series.[12]

Season 6Edit

Faker and his team started off the 2016 Season by winning the LoL Champions Korea Spring Split. By winning the 2016 LCK Spring Split, SKT T1 was guaranteed a place in the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational.[13] At that point in time MSI was also the only major tournament they had yet to win. They were heavily favored coming into the tournament, but were initially unable to perform up to their usual standards, unexpectedly losing several games in the group stages. However, they managed to turn things around during the elimination round and eventually clinched the title by sweeping the North American team, Counter Logic Gaming, in the finals.[14]

SKT placed third in the 2016 Summer League of Legends Champions Korea, but still qualified for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship through circuit points. The team swept through the group stage into the playoff round. In semi-finals they defeated the ROX Tigers in a close 3-2 series. In the finals they defeated Samsung Galaxy in another close 3-2 series, winning their third world championship title. Faker was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.[15]

Season 7Edit

Faker renewed his contract with SK Telecom T1 with an "unprecedented offer" [16] which was rumored to be over US$2.5 million.

On 6th February 2017, Faker recorded his first livestream on Twitch.tv and recorded a peak views at 245,100, a record at the time for the most views for a single streamer in the history of the site. However, this record was broken in early 2018 by another League of Legends streamer named loltyler1.

At the Season 7 World Championship, SKT were still considered by many to be strong favourites to lift the cup for a 3rd consecutive time despite losing the LCK. After a dominant group stage conceding just 1 loss, SKT narrowly defeated Misfits and Royal Never Give Up in the Quarter- and Semi-Finals, respectively, before having to face Samsung Galaxy in what was a repeat of the previous year's Final. SKT's fate was sealed after Faker was caught by a flash Varus ult move by Samsung AD Carry Ruler, resulting in Samsung Galaxy clean sweeping SKT 3-0, ending the SKT domination at the World Championship. Faker himself was shown to be visibly upset after the loss, and had to be consoled by his teammates to shake the Samsung Galaxy players' hands post-game. However, this caught the attention of many League of Legends fans throughout the world, with much support and many tributes being given to the team's legacy and Faker for their sustained success, a rarity in Esports, especially among professional League of Legends teams.

Season 8Edit

SKT T1 has received 4th place in the LCK.[17] They are currently placed at the 7th place after winning a match against BBQ Olivers.[18]

AccomplishmentsEdit

 
Faker (far left) with his SK Telecom T1 teammates at the 2013 World Championship

SK Telecom T1 #2Edit

  • 3rd, OnGameNet Champions Spring 2013 (SK Telecom T1)
  • 1st, HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013 (SK Telecom T1)

SK Telecom T1 KEdit

  • 1st, PANDORA.TV Champions Winter 2013-2014
  • 1st, Season 3 World Championship (SK Telecom T1)
  • 1st, All-Star 2014
  • 3rd, ITENJOY NLB Summer 2014

SK Telecom T1Edit

Individual awardsEdit

  • 2013 Republic of Korea e-sports destination League of Legends Most Valuable Player Award
  • Pandora TV Champions League of Legends Winter 2013-2014 Best Player Award
  • Pandora TV Winter Champions League of Legends 2013 to 2014 KDA Mid 1st Division
  • Hot Six League of Legends Champions Summer 2013 Best Player Award
  • Hot Six League of Legends Champions Summer 2013 KDA Mid 1st Division
  • 2015 Republic of Korea e-sports destination of Legends League Most Valuable Player Award
  • 2015 Republic of Korea e-sports destination of Legends League Popularity Award
  • 2015 Republic of Korea e-sports destination of Legends League this year's Grand Prize[19]
  • 2016 World Championship Most Valuable Player
  • 2017 Best Esports Player, The Game Awards
  • 2018 'Jakarta Palembang Asian Games' selected as a national player in E-Sports

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Faker". Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ "SANGHYUK FAKER LEE". Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ Lee, Timothy. "Worlds: SKT defeats ROX in five games". ESPN. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  4. ^ Magrino, Tom. ""SKT rises above KOO Tigers 3-1 to become the 2015 World Champion". LoLEsports. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ "Faker's Esportspedia Page". Retrieved June 20, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Highest Overall Earnings". E-Sports Earnings. 16 March 2018. 
  9. ^ Kimes, Mina (June 10, 2015). "The Unkillable Demon King". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ Kulasingham, Nilu. "Faker reportedly declined contracts valued up to $1 million in total by Chinese companies". OnGamers. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ Lingle, Samuel (January 7, 2015). "Faker gets benched, comes back with a pentakill". The Daily Dot. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  12. ^ https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CV1drzCUsAEe8GB.jpg:large.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "About Mid-Season Invitational". LoL eSports. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  14. ^ Marshall, Paul (May 15, 2016). "Korea's SKTelecom T1 wins the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational". LoL eSports. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  15. ^ Lam, Kien. "SK Telecom T1 wins World Championship again". LoL eSports. Riot Games. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "'페이커' 이상혁, SK텔레콤과 사상 최고대우 재계약...뱅-울프-블랭크 남고, 듀크-벵기 떠난다(종합)" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  17. ^ "[롤챔스 결산③] 아쉽게 결승 무대를 밟지 못한 KSV-SKT T1-kt 롤스터" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  18. ^ "[롤챔스] SKT, 중위권 도약 눈앞...bbq는 개막 8연패" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  19. ^ Cho, Hak-Dong (2015-11-25). "This year's Grand Prize awarded to Faker". 

External linksEdit