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Esports League of Legends

League of Legends: Faker, History of Success

Who is Faker?

Lee Sang-hyeok, known by his in-game name “Faker” is a South Korean professional League of Legends player. 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.

You just have to not feed.

Just keep doing what you enjoy

Faker started his journey in the MOBA genre when he was 14. His first MOBA game was a custom map in Warcraft 3 game called ‘’Chaos.’’ In his childhood, he also enjoyed solving puzzles, which seems to have made a big impact on his future career. His first experience with League of Legends happened in 2011. Faker fell in love with this game and quickly managed to climb to the highest possible rank.

His parents allowed him to do what he loves most – competitive gaming. Faker feels thankful for his parents being supportive of his career. Though it seems obvious now, at first Faker was not the Faker we know  today. It was a big risk for him. Dropping everything to pursue an esports career, literally, a move that sacrifices everything he had before, an absolute all-in.

But in the early days of the League pro vscene, I studied “HooN,” the former mid laner of EDG. I read his guide to Ryze — a champion I still occasionally play today — and that sent me down the path toward pro competition. got better and better until I hit level 30, and was being put in matches against the top talent in Korea. I was still an amateur player, but I was winning, and I eventually earned the No. 1 spot in the server rankings.

The assassin master

These are the champions that Faker is most known for. His love for assassins with high burst damage and complex mechanics is well known. All of the most beautiful plays by him are made with these champions. Such champions fit Faker well because of their high potential to dominate lane from early on and have a chance to snowball.

Going All In

As Fakers skills grew, he stayed hungry for more. Before long, he was eager to take his play to the next level. In 2013, Faker got an invite from SK Telecom Team 1, and decided to drop out of high school to pursue his dream.

SK Telecom T1 managed to win the 2013 World Championship and Faker established himself as a new high-level player in the League of Legends competitive scene. The same year, Faker managed to make one of the greatest outplays in League of Legends, the famous Zed versus Zed duel agains Ryu. People were starting to notice that Faker was in a league of his own.

Zed vs. Zed


Faker vs. Ambition

The tradition of Faker’s dominance goes all the way back to his first professional game. Facing one of the best players in the league at the time, Faker showed no signs of being intimidated.

Ambition was playing as Kha’zix and Faker was running Nidalee. While Ambition farmed under the tower, Faker was slowly poking him down and farming as well. Ambition hit level 6 and decided to level up, which freezes the champion for a brief moment. Faker got the timing perfectly, and managed to secure a solo kill, while Ambition was evolving his Kha’zix under his own turret.

Faker vs. Ambition

Years later at 2017 World Championship, Ambition was playing as the Jungler for SSG. The two veteran rivals got to meet again, this time on the largest stage. To the surprise of most, it was Ambition that came out on top this time, defeating Faker and taking the title from the defending champions.

SKT – everything is built around Faker

While SKT T1 had a lot of replacements in their history, the only member that survived through all the hard times is Faker. He is the one expected to make most of the plays, and that suits him perfectly. He is used to dominating his lane from early on. His play style consistently impressive, with an enormous amount of things he is able to do with his champion, great reaction time and understanding of all the mechanics in LoL.

2015, 2016 World Championships

After all of his great moves and outplays, and even winning the 2013 World Championship, these two years turned out to be the best years for Faker. He is one of only players in League of Legends who were able to secure three World Champion titles – two of them back to back. It’s difficult to say if anyone will have a chance to repeat or even to overcome his record.

The first esports ‘’Rock Star’’

My name is Lee Sang-hyeok. My American fans call me “God.” My Korean fans know me as “the Unkillable Demon King.” I actually prefer God, because it feels just a little bit higher.

While esports grew in popularity throughout the world,Faker became an international star. Fans are following him in the airports, trying to catch him for a selfie or a signature. Everything seems like a fairy tale. A tall, shy guy from Korea made it from nothing to everything. Dominating League of Legends, earning millions of dollars and traveling all over the world in his pursuit of a dream.


What about now

On November 20, 2018, Faker re-signed his contract with SKT T1 for 3 years. Currently, He is actively streaming and practicing all day long. It’s hard to say what’s going to be next, whether there are still higher levels that he can reach, but one thing is clear: he isn’t done yet.


Featured Image Courtesy of Riot Games.

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1 comment

McCartney April 25, 2019 at 11:15 am

“He is of only players in League of Legends who were able to secure three World Champion titles.”


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