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Faker

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Faker
SKT Faker 2018 Summer.png
Background Information
NameLee Sang-hyeok (이상혁)
Country of BirthSouth Korea
Birthday5/7/1996
Competitive
TeamSK Telecom T1
RoleMid
Peak LeagueChallenger I
Alternate IDsBarcodeKiller (NA)
SKT T1 Faker
안무서운사람
Hide on bush
Koearn (EU)
mid fekar (NA), SKT Faker

Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok is a South Korean League of Legends player, currently playing as a Mid laner for SK Telecom T1.

Biography

Faker was born on May 7, 1996 in Gangseo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. He currently lives in Seoul.

Career History

2011-2013

Faker's early gaming experience included custom maps on Warcraft 3, particularly Footman Frenzy and DotA. He started playing League of Legends in December 2011 when the Korean server opened. Faker initially played normal (casual) games but switched to ranked play when the League of Legends matchmaking system could no longer find players of equivalent skill for him to play against. Under the name “GoJeonPa,” he climbed the Korean ladder and became a strong mid-laner, known for his aggressive play and impressive mechanics. Faker achieved the no. 1 ranking in solo queue and began attracting the attention of several Korean e-sports organisations. There were rumours of many offers from prospective teams but Faker decided to join SK Telecom T1 in February 2013 and played on their second team, “SKT T1 2.”

Faker made his competitive debut on 6th April 2013 at OLYMPUS Champions Spring 2013 against tournament favourites CJ Entus Blaze. Famously, he solo-killed Blaze mid-laner Ambition before leading his team to an upset win over the more experienced enemy line-up. Faker and SKT T1 2 continued their meteoric run through the tournament, topping group A with a 7-3 record. Their style involved heavy warding around mid-lane to ensure that Faker could play aggressively and carry the game. Of particular note was a game between SKT and MVP Blue in which Faker performed exceptionally well on Leblanc, carrying his team to victory with a score of 11-0-2. The team finished third overall after losing their semi-final match-up to the eventual winners of Champions Spring, MVP Ozone. Faker achieved 3rd place in the Mid-Lane KDA standings with a score of 4.19.

The SK Telecom roster returned to compete in HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013 where they blitzed the group stage with a record of 6-0. On their way to the finals, the team defeated MVP Ozone, the team which had ended their Champions Spring run, with a score of 3-1. Their finals opponent was fellow upstart team KT Rolster Bullets who quickly leaped out to a 2-0 lead in the series. SKT managed to even up the score at 2-2 however, before taking a relatively easy victory in the blind pick game 5 and earning their first OGN champions title. The game was memorable for a duel between Faker and opposing mid-laner Ryu, in which Faker outplayed his opponent in a Zed vs Zed matchup. The play has since become one of the iconic video clips in League of Legends and is often considered to be one of the greatest outplays of all time. Faker was awarded Season MVP for his performance over the tournament and also topped mid-lane KDA standings with a score of 5.50.

Despite their recent successes, Faker and SKT had not accrued enough circuit points to be granted automatic qualification into the Season 3 World Championship and so had to take part in the Korean Regional Finals to secure the third seed into the tournament. This they did, again defeating KT Rolster Bullets in the final to guarantee their trip to Los Angeles for the World Championship.

By this time, Faker was recognised as one of the best, if not the best player in league of Legends and SK Telecom T1 entered the World Championship as favourites. They reinforced this assessment with a dominant group stage performance, losing only one game to Chinese rivals OMG. After making short work of Taiwanese team Gamania Bears in the quarterfinals, SKT narrowly defeated fellow Koreans Najin Black Sword to advance to the final. In front of almost 20,000 fans at the Los Angeles Staples Center they easily defeated Chinese outfit Royal Club to become the Season 3 World Champions. With a KDA of 4.82 and Gold/Minute of nearly 400, Faker was cited as the player of the tournament by many.

Faker’s dominance over his position was confirmed when he was named Best Mid-Laner at the 2013 Korean e-Sports awards.

2014

Faker and SKT T1 K (as they were now known) began the 2014 season in emphatic fashion, going undefeated through the PANDORA.TV Champions Winter 2013-2014 season, defeating old rivals KT Rolster Bullets and Samsung Ozone along the way. Faker was again named MVP of the tournament and achieved a KDA of 7. This triumph made SKT T1 K the first team to ever win two seasons of Champions Korea, a feat which installed them as perhaps the greatest League of Legends team the game had seen thus far. HOT6iX Champions Spring 2014 proved to be much more difficult for SKT however, as they battled a changing meta-game and the loss of support player PoohManDu to illness. After scraping through the group stages they were eliminated by Samsung Ozone with a score of 3-1. Faker was still receiving acclaim from commentators for his performance but it was clear that his team was not the powerhouse it once was. Despite this slump, SKTs victory in Champions winter had earned them the right to attend All-Star Paris 2014 as the representative from Korea. There they competed against the winners of each of the other major regions and defeated them all, winning the tournament without dropping a game. Their international victory did nothing to improve their domestic woes however, as the team crashed out of HOT6iX Champions Summer 2014, once again in the quarterfinals, and once again at the hands of Samsung White (formerly Ozone). Faker’s performances were showing the strain of having to carry his underperforming teammates.

SKT T1 K were tied with Samsung White in circuit points and so the two teams faced off to decide who would attend the Season 4 World Championships as the second seed from Korea. This time SKT were unable to even take a game from Samsung with Faker having an uncharacteristically poor series. He was solo-killed several times by Samsung mid-laner PawN, leading some to speculate that perhaps his dominance of the position was at an end. The team was forced to compete in the 2014 Season Korea Regional finals in order to claim the final berth to the World Championship. An embarrassing loss to Najin White Shield put an end to their hopes of a second World title and capped off a disappointing season for the once-unbeatable SK Telecom T1 K.

2015

The 2015 season began with a major upheaval in the Korean League of Legends scene as governing body Kespa implemented a new league-based format and a large number of high-profile Korean stars were signed to Chinese teams. Despite rumours of lucrative offers in the order of 1 million USD, Faker chose to remain with SK Telecom T1, making him easily the most celebrated player left in the region. His new team consisted of players from his old sister team, SKT T1 S, as well as long time teammate Bengi. Controversially, Faker was forced to split his playtime on the team with the mid-laner from SKT T1 S, Easyhoon. Some believed that Faker should have started every game whilst others argued that having two mid-laners with contrasting playstyles increased the number of strategies that SKT could implement. In any case, Faker’s new team were one of the top contenders throughout 2015 LCK Spring and even went undefeated throughout the second round robin of the season, earning them second place overall and automatic placement into the semi-finals of the playoffs. Faker achieved 2nd in the MVP standings with eight best-on-the-rift performances despite playing only two thirds of SK Telecom’s games. SKT’s semi-final opponent CJ Entus jumped out to a 2-0 lead when the two teams met in the LCK Playoffs before Faker and his teammates managed to turn the series around and force a fifth and final game. In accordance with Korean tradition, this game was played in blind pick, leaving CJ unable to ban Faker’s signature champion, Leblanc. Faker proceeded to carry the game on this pick, preserving his undefeated record on the champion and elevating the renown of his Leblanc to almost mythic proportions. Faker was not required to play in the final as Easyhoon and the other members of SKT scored an easy 3-0 victory against the GE tigers. This was a record third title for SK Telecom and installed Faker and Bengi as the only players to have ever won three domestic seasons in Korea.

The LCK victory also granted SKT a place at the Mid-Season Invitational, an event where the winners of each region competed in a dress rehearsal of the World Championship to come. The team were undefeated again in the group stage but suffered far more difficulty in their semi-final match up against European juggernaut Fnatic. After a narrow 3-2 win they proceeded to the finals where they faced the powerhouse from China, Edward Gaming. Having picked up Korean superstar Deft and Faker’s old rival PawN in the offseason, EDG were a formidable team, and showed it by taking a 2-1 lead against the Easyhoon edition of SK Telecom. Once Faker was subbed in however, the Korean team scored a victory and forced game 5. In this game Faker was baited into picking his legendary Leblanc into a team composition purpose-built to counter it, and so SKT struggled. Despite Faker’s best efforts, EDG were victorious and his perfect record on Leblanc was shattered.

Domestically however, SKT had not missed a beat and went undefeated in match wins through the first round robin of the 2015 LCK Summer Season. Faker took his supremacy in the mid lane to a new level, notching up ten MVP performances in just fifteen games played.

2016

Faker and team had a good start in 2016 as they won IEM X World Championship after beating Fnatic (3-0). They then finished 3rd in the regular split of 2016 LCK Spring but won the entire tournament after dominating ROX Tigers in a 3-1 victory. SKT proceed to winning the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational against Counter Logic Gaming (3-0).

The team placed 2nd in 2016 LCK Summer then lost to KT Rolster (2-3) in the playoffs. However, KT Rolster failed to beat ROX Tigers in the finals, thus giving SKT the chance to be one of the representatives of LCK for the 2016 World Championship which they have won (for the 3rd time) after beating ROX Tigers (3-2) in the semifinals and ending the series 3-2 against Samsung Galaxy in the finals. Moving forward, the team had to face ROX Tigers again in the semifinals of the 2016 LoL KeSPA Cup where the team's effort fell short and losing the best of 3 series (0-2).

For the 2017 Season, Faker will continue to play for SKT as the starting Mid Laner but the team added Sky to the roster as his substitute.

Trivia

  • Previously played a game called 'Chaos', also a MOBA, he credits it as a factor in easy transition he had to play League.
  • Views his team mates as his second family and thinks the family atmosphere strengthens the team.
  • Is highly regarded for his  LeBlanc play during an OGN Spring match against MVP Blue; he went 10-0-1 by 18 minutes and made MVP Blue surrender at 20 minutes. [1]
  • Faker is known for his hyper aggressive playstyle
  • Was undefeated on  LeBlanc until the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational final against EDward Gaming, where he lost with LeBlanc in game 5.
  • Faker tends to play  LeBlanc,  Fizz,  Zed,  Ahri and  Orianna.
  • He is considered the best League of Legends player in the world by many eSports journalists and pro players such as Thorin, [2] Alex Ich, [3] and Maknoon who called him the "Lionel Messi of League of Legends".
  • Dustin Beck, the vice president of Riot games, said Faker is the "Michael Jordan" of League of Legends [4] in a press conference at Staples Center
  • In the first game of the 2013 OGN summer championships Faker played Ahri and scored a GPM of 492.
  • Was both the Season MVP and the Mid Lane KDA leader in the HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013.
  • Believes every mid laner should be able to play  Twisted Fate because if mastered he teaches you to look at the mini map and,  Ryze because once mastered, you learn the importance of hitting the right keys, in the right time and order.
  • Owns two flower pots to relieve stress.
  • Is notable for not using any alternate skins for champions he plays. The only exception to this was in Game 1 of the OGN Winter Grand Finals 2013 where he used Battle Bunny Riven. Faker went on to state that this was a mistake as the OGN staff check the players accounts before the games, and the tester of his account selected the skin - which Faker didn't notice in Champion Select,[5] and SKT T1 Zed in the game vs Fnatic in the All-Star Paris 2014, when all the team used their featured skins.[6]
  • Quoted as the "Unkillable Demon King" by Cool [7]
  • Known for his amazing soloqueue performance with  Riven on the North American server during the Season 3 World Championship, earning him a 92 % win rate in 24 games.
  • Widely renowned for his deep champion pool and understanding.
  • Popularized  Riven being played in the mid lane.
  • Considers HotshotGG's  LeBlanc better than his and deserves a #thingsHotshotGGdoes tag.[8]
  • Awarded Best Mid Laner at 2013 Korean eSports Awards. [9]
  • One of two players to have won World Championship three times, along with bengi.
  • Won a 1v1 tournament involving skt members Bengi Duke Blank Bang

Achievements

2016
Date Event Result
2017-05-21 2017 Mid-Season Invitational Gold.png SK Telecom T1 3 : 1 G2logo std.png G2 Esports
2017-04-22 LCK 2017 Spring Playoffs Gold.png SK Telecom T1 3 : 0 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster
2016
Date Event Result
2016-10-29 2016 Season World Championship Gold.png SKT T1 3 : 2 Samsunglogo std.png Samsung Galaxy
2016-08-12 LCK 2016 Summer Playoffs Bronze.png SK Telecom T1 2 : 3 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster
2016-05-15 2016 Mid-Season Invitational Gold.png SK Telecom T1 3 : 0 CLGlogo std.png Counter Logic Gaming
2016-04-23 LCK 2016 Spring Playoffs Gold.png SK Telecom T1 3 : 1 ROXTlogo std.png ROX Tigers
2016-03-06 IEM Season X - World Championship Gold.png SK Telecom T1 3 : 0 Fnaticlogo std.png Fnatic
2015
Date Event Result
2015-12-13 All-Star Los Angeles 2015 5v5 Gold.png LCK Allstars 2 : 0 EU LCSlogo std.png EU LCS Allstars
2015-11-13 2015 LoL KeSPA Cup SF.png SKT 0 : 2 Everlogo std.png ESC Ever
2015-10-31 2015 Season World Championship Gold.png SKT T1 3 : 1 KOOlogo std.png KOO Tigers
2015-08-29 SBENU Champions Summer 2015 Playoffs Gold.png SKT 3 : 0 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster
2015-05-10 2015 Mid-Season Invitational Silver.png SKT T1 2 : 3 EDGlogo std.png EDward Gaming
2015-05-02 SBENU Champions Spring 2015 Playoffs Gold.png SKT T1 3 : 0 GETlogo std.png GE Tigers
2014
Date Event Result
2014-08-30 2014 Season Korea Regional Finals Silver.png skt t1 k 1 : 3 NJWSlogo std.png NaJin White Shield
2014-08-09 ITENJOY NLB Summer 2014 Gold.png skt t1 k 3 : 0 NJBSlogo std.png NaJin Black Sword
2014-06-08 SK Telecom LTE-A LoL Masters 2014 Silver.png skt t1 0 : 3 Samsunglogo std.png Samsung Galaxy
2014-05-14 bigfile NLB Spring 2014 Bronze.png skt t1 k 3 : 0 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster Bullets
2014-05-11 All-Star Paris 2014 Gold.png skt t1 k 3 : 0 OMGlogo std.png Oh My God
2014-01-25 PANDORA.TV Champions Winter 2013-2014 Gold.png skt t1 k 3 : 0 Samsunglogo std.png Samsung Ozone
2013
Date Event Result
2013-10-04 Season 3 World Championship Gold.png skt 3 : 0 Royallogo std.png Royal Club
2013-09-07 Season 3 Korea Regional Finals Gold.png SK Telecom T1 SKT T1logo std.png 3 : 1 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster Bullets
2013-08-31 HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013 Gold.png SK Telecom T1 SKT T1logo std.png 3 : 2 KT Alogo std.png KT Rolster Bullets
2013-06-29 AMD-INVEN GamExperience SF.png SK Telecom T1 SKT T1logo std.png 0 : 2 MVP Bluelogo std.png MVP Ozone
2013-06-05 OLYMPUS Champions Spring 2013 Bronze.png SK Telecom T1 2 SKT T1 2logo std.png 3 : 0 CJ Frostlogo std.png CJ Entus Frost

Media

Interviews

2013

2015

2016

2017

Articles & Videos

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Highlight Videos

2013

2014

2015

2016

Gallery

External Links

References