Faker (video game player)

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(Lee Sang-hyeok)
2015 롤챔스 코리아 스프링 우승팀 SKT T1 인터뷰 (이상혁).jpg
Faker in 2015
Personal information
Born (1996-05-07) May 7, 1996 (age 23)
Seoul, South Korea
NationalitySouth Korean
Professional career
GamesLeague of Legends
RoleMid Laner
Career prize money$1,228,281.90 USD
Feb. 2013 – Nov. 2014SK Telecom T1 K
Nov. 2014 – presentSK Telecom T1
Medal record
Representing  South Korea
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 2018 Indonesia League of Legends

Lee Sang-hyeok (Korean: 이상혁; born May 7, 1996), better known by his in-game name Faker (Korean: 페이커), 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 Korea (LCK).[1]

Faker is renowned for his high mechanical skill and extremely versatile champion pool. He is best known for playing LeBlanc, Zed, Syndra, Azir, Ahri, and Ryze.[2] He is the first player to have reached 1,000 kills in the LCK, and the second to have played 500 games.

Faker is one of only two players to have won the League of Legends World Championship three times, having done so in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 editions. 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 $1,228,281.90 in prize money, and is ranked #64 in prize money won across all eSports.[3] He is widely considered to be the best League of Legends player of all time.[4] He owns 3 different League of Legends skins as a result of winning World Championship, which include SKT T1 Zed (2013), SKT T1 Ryze (2015) and SKT T1 Syndra (2016).

Early life[edit]

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 attended the same high school as Deft from KING-ZONE DragonX, which is Mapo High School.[5] He dropped out of high school in order to join SKT.[6]


Season 3[edit]

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 history.

Season 4[edit]

In 2014, SK Telecom 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 5[edit]

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.[7]

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 with his LeBlanc.[8] 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.[9]

Season 6[edit]

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.[10] 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.[11]

On July 11, 2016, Faker became the first player to reach 1,000 kills in the LCK.[12] His 1,000th kill was on MVP Beyond's Reksai, which he achieved with his Malzahar.

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.[13]

Season 7[edit]

Faker renewed his contract with SK Telecom T1 with an "unprecedented offer" [14] which was rumored to be over US$2.5 million.

On February 6, 2017, Faker recorded his first live stream 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 Tyler1.[15]

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's 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 8[edit]

Faker played his 400th match in the LCK on 17 July 2018. They successfully defeated their opponent, MVP, with a result of 2-1.[16]

SKT T1 received 4th place in the Korea Regional Finals 2018.[17] They failed to qualify for the Season 8 World Championship.[18]

Season 9[edit]

On November 20, 2018, it was announced that Faker had re-signed with a three-year contract with SKT.[19]

He had been listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019, under the category of Entertainment & Sports.[20]

On April 13, 2019, Faker along with the rest of the members of SK Telecom T1 won the 2019 Spring LCK Final.[21] This was his seventh LCK title.

On July 7, 2019, Faker and his team, alongside with three other LCK teams, won their first Rift Rivals Championship title after defeating LPL teams by 3-1.[22] He became the first and only one to have won all of the League of Legends international tournaments (Mid-Season Invitational, Rift Rivals, World Championship, All-Star) organized by Riot Games after successfully winning his first Rift Rivals title.[23]

Faker played his 500th match in the LCK on August 21, 2019, during the LCK Summer Playoffs.[24] He won his 500th game against Afreeca Freecs with Qiyana, with a KDA of 7/1/14. He won his eighth LCK title along with his team members on August 31, 2019 in the 2019 Summer LCK Final.[25] His team qualified as the LCK's first seed for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship.

On October 27, Faker achieved his 100th international win after defeating Splyce at the 2019 World Championship.[26]


Faker (far left) with his teammates at the 2013 World Championship.
Year Team Event Place
2013 SK Telecom T1 #2 OLYMPUS Champions Spring 2013 3rd
AMD-INVEN GamExperience 3rd
HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013 1st
SK Telecom T1 Korea Regional Finals Season 3 1st
SK Telecom T1 K Season 3 World Championship 1st
2014 PANDORA.TV Champions Winter 2013-2014 1st
HOT6iX Champions Spring 2014 5th–8th
League of Legends All-Star Invitational 2014 1st
bigfile NLB Spring 2014 3rd
SK Telecom T1 SKT LTE-A LoL Masters 2014 2nd
SK Telecom T1 K IT ENJOY NLB Summer 2014 3rd
HOT6iX Champions Summer 2014 5th–8th
Korea Regional Finals Season 4 2nd
2015 SK Telecom T1 SBENU Champions Korea Spring 2015 1st
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2015 2nd
SBENU Champions Korea Summer 2015 1st
Season 5 World Championship 1st
League of Legends KeSPA Cup 2015 3rd–4th
LCK League of Legends All-Star 2015 1st
2016 SK Telecom T1 Intel Extreme Masters Season X - World Championship 1st
League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2016 1st
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2016 1st
Coca-Cola Zero League of Legends Korea Summer Playoffs 2016 3rd
Season 6 World Championship 1st
League of Legends KeSPA Cup 2016 3rd–4th
LCK League of Legends All-Star 2016 2nd
2017 SK Telecom T1 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2017 1st
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2017 1st
League of Legends Rift Rivals 2017 LCK-LPL-LMS 2nd
League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2017 2nd
Season 7 World Championship 2nd
League of Legends KeSPA Cup 2017 3rd–4th
LCK League of Legends All-Star 2017 3rd–4th
2018 SK Telecom T1 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2018 4th
League of Legends Rift Rivals 2018 LCK-LPL-LMS 2nd
League of Legends Champion Korea Summer 2018 7th
South Korea 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games 2nd
SK Telecom T1 Korea Regional Finals 2018 4th
LCK League of Legends All-Star 2018 1st
SK Telecom T1 League of Legends KeSPA Cup 2018 5th–8th
2019 SK Telecom T1 Woori Bank League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2019 1st
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2019 3rd–4th
League of Legends Rift Rivals 2019 LCK-LPL-LMS-VCS 1st
League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2019 1st
Season 9 World Championship 3rd–4th

Individual awards[edit]

  • HOT6iX League of Legends Champions Summer 2013 Season MVP
  • HOT6iX League of Legends Champions Summer 2013 Mid Laner KDA Leader
  • 2013 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends Most Valuable Player Award[27]
  • Pandora.TV Champions League of Legends Winter 2013-2014 Most Valuable Player
  • SBENU Champions Summer 2015 Playoff Awards-Most Valuable Player
  • 2015 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends Best Player Award
  • 2015 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends Popularity Award
  • 2015 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends eSports Award of the Year[28]
  • 2016 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational Finals MVP
  • 2016 World Championship Most Valuable Player
  • 2016 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends Best Player Award
  • 2016 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends Popularity Award
  • 2016 Korea e-Sports Association League of Legends eSports Award of the Year[29]
  • 2017 Best Esports Player, The Game Awards
  • 2018 'Jakarta Palembang Asian Games' selected as a national player in E-Sports
  • 2018 David Yan award for most beloved gamer


  1. ^ "Faker". Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  2. ^ "SANGHYUK FAKER LEE". Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Highest Overall Earnings". E-Sports Earnings. March 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "The 10 Best Players in Esports History (2017 Update)". Dot Esports. 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  5. ^ "[기획 영상] 충격 실화! '페이커', '데프트'는 같은 고등학교였다". sports.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  6. ^ Kimes, Mina (June 10, 2015). "The Unkillable Demon King". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Kulasingham, Nilu. "Faker reportedly declined contracts valued up to $1 million in total by Chinese companies". OnGamers. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Lingle, Samuel (January 7, 2015). "Faker gets benched, comes back with a pentakill". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  9. ^ https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CV1drzCUsAEe8GB.jpg:large
  10. ^ "About Mid-Season Invitational". LoL eSports. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  11. ^ Marshall, Paul (May 15, 2016). "Korea's SKTelecom T1 wins the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational". LoL eSports. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Faker Sets A New Record - 1,000 Kills In the LCK - Interview Translated". Akshon Esports. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  13. ^ Lam, Kien. "SK Telecom T1 wins World Championship again". LoL eSports. Riot Games. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "'페이커' 이상혁, SK텔레콤과 사상 최고대우 재계약...뱅-울프-블랭크 남고, 듀크-벵기 떠난다(종합)" (in Korean). Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Mickunas, Aaron (January 8, 2018). "Tyler1's stream hits 300k viewers in 20 minutes, breaking Faker's record and crashing Twitch". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "League of Legends: SKT Faker: "I had thought that individual performance was the most important. However, nowadays, it's a lot more strategical -- there is a lot more to think about."". www.invenglobal.com. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  17. ^ "[롤챔스 결산③] 아쉽게 결승 무대를 밟지 못한 KSV-SKT T1-kt 롤스터" (in Korean). Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "[The three-time League of Legends world champions will not play at this year's tournament]". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "Faker Remains With SK Telecom T1". Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "30 Under 30 Asia 2019: Entertainment & Sports". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  21. ^ Kolev, Radoslav. "SKT are back, sweep Griffin to win LCK Spring". VPEsports. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "League of Legends: [Rift Rivals Finals] LCK Soar Over LPL for their First Rift Rivals Championship". www.invenglobal.com. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  23. ^ "'페이커' 이상혁, 라이엇 주최 대회 모두 석권…개인 커리어 통산 16관왕". sports.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  24. ^ "Faker Hits Career Milestone, Playing 500 LCK Games [League Of Legends]". Game Life. 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  25. ^ "League of Legends: [2019 LCK Summer Finals] Faker Claims His Eighth LCK Trophy". www.invenglobal.com. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  26. ^ "Worlds behind the numbers: Faker notches 100th career international win". ESPN.com. 2019-10-27. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  27. ^ "LoL, '2013 대한민국 e스포츠 대상'에서 '올해의 대상' 팀 배출". news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  28. ^ Cho, Hak-Dong (November 25, 2015). "This year's Grand Prize awarded to Faker".
  29. ^ "Faker sweeps the 2016 KeSPA eSports Awards". www.invenglobal.com. Retrieved 2019-07-09.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Taipei Assassins
League of Legends World Championship winner
Succeeded by
Samsung Galaxy White
Preceded by
Samsung Galaxy White
League of Legends World Championship winner
Succeeded by
Samsung Galaxy