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What Faker’s New Contract Means for the LCK

With ESPN Esports originally reporting that Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has signed a 3-year contract with T1 that will give him part ownership among other things, the LCK ecosystem has changed quite a bit as a result. So for the T1, Faker himself and the LCK, what will this mean. It’s time to take a close look at what Faker’s new contract means for these four.

T1: Set for the Future

For T1, this contract means that their situation in the mid lane is set right up until Faker must join the military for his mandatory service. This means not only will the team have stability in the mid lane, but perhaps most importantly, it will serve as a good reason to entice possible free agents in the future to join the org if needed. Afterward, T1 luckily has another mid laner ready in Lee “Closer” Ju-hyeon.

Regardless of their future plans, T1 will now be working with three seasons left with Faker, will they be able to win another Worlds with him leading the way? With a solid start to their season thus far, T1 is already looking towards making a strong push for more domestic titles this year. But will it be enough to face off against the top teams of China and Europe? Either way, the time is ticking for T1 to win another international title with Faker leading the way.

Faker: Life After Esports

For Faker, this contract means that not only is his present situation figured out for the time being, but his future is as well. As already mentioned, this new contract will take him straight into his mandatory military service. With the rest of his pro career set, the contract has also locked in a leadership role for Faker in T1 for afterward. While the extent of his role has not been specified, the role itself along with his part-owner status of T1 will set him up for life. 

While Faker could’ve taken a blank cheque during the previous offseason to play in North America, his constant loyalty to T1 has paid off as his legacy as one of the all-time greats in T1/SK Telecom history will also be set. 

LCK: The Icon Remains

One issue Korea has always had to an extent was keeping its star players. From the original Korean exodus to now, few players have stayed in Korea. While some have returned such as Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, Faker has always stayed in Korea and remains one of the few top veteran players to have done so.

While the fear of Faker leaving Korea was always a real one, fans of the region can now breathe a sigh of relief as Faker won’t be leaving anytime soon. So now, for Korea and the rest of LCK, the one true icon of the region will end his career where he started it, without going anywhere else. While Faker’s legacy will never be questioned, in some ways, it has been made that much more important by the fact that he stayed true to his region and was always the perfect representative for Korean League of Legends.


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