Faker: The Legendary Legacy of League of Legends

  • Last updated
  • 2024/04/15
Faker The Legendary Legacy of League of Legends
It has been nearly 14 years since League of Legends (LoL) was released, but last year’s World Series set a new record for live broadcast viewing and continues to become the most popular esports game in the world; at the just past Hangzhou Asian Games, it also became The focus of people's attention. In one of the events, the South Korean team, regarded as the "all-star team, successfully won the championship.
Speaking of League of Legends, we have to mention Korean player Lee Sang Hyuk, whose game name is Faker. Even if many people have never been exposed to LoL, they may have heard the name Faker. He is known as the "Michael Jordan of e-sports", "the troubled world of e-sports", and the "big devil" - because he is the undisputed best player in the history of League of Legends.

Michael Jordan of eSports" nicknamed God

My name is Lee Sang Hyuk. American fans like to call me 'God', and the name 'The Unkillable Demon King' is more familiar to Korean fans. I prefer the title of God because it feels more A little more advanced. In the game, my name is Faker, I am 20 years old, and I am the best League of Legends player in the world.

The above domineering words come from the beginning of an article written by Lee Sang Hyuk on the famous athlete writing website "The Players' Tribune" in 2016. The article was called Unkillable". At that time, he was preparing to win his third world championship, which was the first time in his career. The most prosperous period.

If you were to list all of Faker's achievements and honors in League of Legends, I'm afraid it would be as dazzling as a golden hoop. His greatest achievement is that he and teammate Benji are the only two players in history to win three World Series championships. Even though there were only four players to win two World Series, three of them were his teammates. He also won the Finals MVP (FMVP) twice.

LoL is a 5-on-5 tactical competitive game. Both sides need to control their heroes. Victory is achieved by defeating the opponent's main fortress. When it was first released, it didn’t attract much attention. It was not until the first season of the World Series (referred to as S1) was held in 2011 and received a huge response that markets outside Europe and the United States were gradually opened.

Grandma’s heartfelt companionship and super domineering words

Faker's parents divorced when he was young. His father recalled that he didn't know what to do with him, so he decided to play games together. He said that his son was very smart when he was a child and his academic performance was also good. However, his family was poor at the time. Faker said in the documentary that he was more worried about playing too much and not being able to pay the electricity bill than playing on the computer which would lead to a decline in his grades. He was also scolded by his family for this.

Lee Sang Hyuk first came into contact with LoL when he was 15 years old, and often played with his grandma until 4 a.m., who can still tell the details of the game content and other professional players, "I don't like second place in anything. I like to be first. When I was young, I always competed with 36 schools to win the first place in the 400-meter race. I told him, "You can't be satisfied with second, you must be first. Since you like to play games, then Just be the number one player."

Lee Sang Hyuk did not disappoint his grandma's expectations. "Because I was close to the top of the (Korean server) and often ranked very high, I became a celebrity in the school." His outstanding record allowed the traditional Korean e-sports powerhouse SKT T1 to win in his future. When I turned 17, I received an olive branch. Faker said that when he decided to become a professional player, he did not really discuss the matter with his family. He just faced it with the mentality that regardless of success or failure, it might be a good experience. "Perhaps it is because of this mentality that he Let me progress faster.

During the S3 era, the Korean league was like a "fight between gods" in the eyes of outsiders. Many highly skilled professional players sprung up like mushrooms after rain. Faker, who was only 16 years old at the time, came out of nowhere in the middle of the season and scored a solo kill in his debut game. Considered South Korea's strongest mid laner, Ambition became famous in one battle and led his team to win the world championship that season. At that time, he had only signed with the team for a few months, but he discovered that there were many fans in the United States. "That was the first time I realized that there were people outside of Korea who knew me."

In the early days of Faker, he was always unstoppable in professional competitions. In the early laning phase of the game, he directly overwhelmed his opponents to gain an advantage. He also made many shocking extreme operations, so he was called the "Big Devil" by netizens. The famous "Double Zombie Battle" is the masterpiece of his career. Due to the special format of the Korean domestic summer finals at that time, both sides were blind picks. Both Faker and the opponent Ryu chose a hero named "Zed". In the middle and later stages of the game, Faker was chased by Ryu with only five points and one health, but he used a series of dazzling operations to kill the opponent to the limit, making Faker famous.

In addition to the "double calamity battle", the scene of using Leiwen to avoid petrification and kill the opponent with extreme reaction and prediction is also recognized as one of the most exciting operations in the history of League of Legends.

After S3, Faker was gradually recognized as the strongest mid laner in the world. His early sharp and aggressive style allowed other players to kill him once in the game and it would become "a matter of lifetime bragging". He was also praised by many professional players. Players regard it as an achievement and an honor. However, he is not complacent, always asking himself what he can do better, and there are almost no scandals on and off the court. His grandma said in the documentary: "Think of others, love others more, respect others, and put yourself down. I always teach him this."

The low point after the myth of three crowns in four years

E-sports players have a very high demand for reaction, so their career life span is very short. Generally speaking, the golden age is between the ages of 16 and 21, and they are called "veterans" by the age of 23 or 24. In S7, Faker, who had won three world championships in S3, S5, and S6, was only 21 years old. Although he was still the golden age of e-sports players, his reaction and operation had declined compared to the past.

At this time, SKT experienced many changes in team members, especially the departure of their good partner Bengi, who had won three world championships together. The strength of the team was affected as a result, and the "Big Devil" decided to change his style of play. In the World Championship, he mainly assisted his teammates. In the semi-finals of 5 sets and 3 wins, he faced China's RNG. In 5 consecutive games, he selected Galio, a hero who is good at supporting. He fell from the sky many times to reverse the situation, and finally led his teammates to win 3 games. : 2's promotion became one of the classic scenes of the tournament, and it also allowed the world to see that even if Faker changes his playing style, he is still a top player who can change the situation of the game.

The big devil Faker collapsed

Facing Samsung Galaxy, also from South Korea, in the finals, SKT fought hard until they fell behind 0:2. When they were forced to the edge of elimination, Faker made consecutive low-level mistakes and was caught by his opponent and killed first, resulting in the defeat. The opponents hugged each other excitedly when they won the championship. When the camera cut to the SKT competition room, Faker, who is usually calm, wise and indifferent to emotions and anger, collapsed on the table and cried bitterly until his opponent came to shake hands. He stood up to pay his respects, but then continued to blame himself and cry.

This scene of Faker crying bitterly at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing is the scene that impressed many Lee Sang Hyuk fans the most. This was the first time he lost in the finals, and it also made us finally understand that the man who killed everyone in Summoner's Rift The versatile and invincible Faker is actually an emotional person.

This defeat was a huge blow to Faker, and SKT was unable to even enter the World Championship the following year. Before the start of the S8 World Championship, the Korean League of Legends League released a documentary about Faker, telling how he had a rare birthday with his family since he became a professional player. He appears to be enjoying time with his family, but in the film he also goes to be evaluated by a sports psychologist.

After filling out a multiple-choice questionnaire, he immediately took off his glasses and broke down crying. "I feel questioned by my past self," the psychologist said after reviewing his questionnaire. His stress levels had reached breaking point.

Faker, who is accustomed to winning the title on the world's highest stage, expressed that he is not sure whether he can perform better next time. Psychologists said that this is because the memory of failure has been hidden deep in his heart, and Faker has been using it to evaluate himself. "My requirements for myself are much higher than simply winning games. In the past two years, I have not been able to meet everyone's expectations of me." "You have been trying your best to be the best player, right?" "Yes. ” Faker answered without hesitation.

It is this character of striving for perfection, never being lazy, never blaming teammates, and never admitting defeat that can make Lee Sang Hyuk stand at the top of League of Legends. Once during a live broadcast, he lost the game because he didn't play well. A fan comforted him and said that he was just in poor condition, but he directly responded: "I didn't play well, please just say I didn't play well." Don’t blame it on poor condition. You only saw my face during the live broadcast, how could you know this?

Let go of the burden, accept yourself and move forward again

After the psychological consultation, Faker understood that excessive self-requirements had caused pressure to plague him. "Since 2018, I think I have started to follow other people's standards instead of my own. Since then, I have decided not to look at what others say about me, whether it is good or bad."

Faker has learned to let go of the pressure in 2020 and no longer carries all the burdens on his shoulders alone. Although his age and performance are not as good as before, his strength has begun to be questioned by the outside world. Many people believe that it is time for him to be glorious. Retired. Yet he insisted on continuing to work hard in the hope of becoming the best player in the world again.

In last year's S12 World Championship, T1 (the name of SKT's sponsor was removed in 2019, leaving only T1), led by Faker and several talented young people, reached the finals again after 4 years. The opponent was from the play-offs. The dark horse DRX has struggled to advance all the way, while T1 is the favorite to win one championship and one runner-up in the spring and summer regular season. The fourth career championship was just around the corner, but the battle ended at 2:2. In the life-and-death game, T1 finally lost an upset due to poor performance by Faker and another teammate.

Once again defeated in the finals, Faker no longer broke down and cried like he did in the Bird's Nest 5 years ago. He was able to accept the disappointing results calmly. He began to learn how to accept failure, and also understood that success and failure are inevitable for professional players. Go through.

In the new season, after Faker returned from injury for the first time in his career, he was like a thorn in the sea, leading the team all the way to the finals in the Korean playoffs. Although they lost 0:3, he still got a ticket to the S13 World Championship and once again challenged for the No. 1 spot in his career. 4 world champions.

Faker actually participated in the last Asian Games. At that time, e-sports was only a performance event and was not counted as an official medal. That time, he lost to China and won the silver medal. In fact, since S1, the 11 world championships of LoL have all been won by Asian teams. Except for S2, which was won by Chinese Taipei, the other 10 championships have been divided between China and South Korea. Therefore, this Asian Games is a top-notch showdown, and this is also the case. The 27-year-old "veteran" once again proves that he is still young in the international arena. Although he only played one game due to illness, he still successfully helped the Korean team win the gold medal, leaving no suspense about his military service.

He immediately returned to South Korea after the Asian Games to prepare for the World Series. Although T1 was not expected to reach the finals before the World Series, the fourth championship that Faker had been pursuing seemed to be in vain. Unexpectedly, T1 became stronger and stronger as they competed, and they only lost once in the whole process. Rival GenG. The moment they defeated LNG in the top 8 and entered the top 4, they became the only LCK team in the Korean League this year. Facing the other three teams from the Chinese LPL, they took on the task of defending the dignity of the Korean team; Faker originally He has never lost to an LPL team in a BO5 event. As a result, he continued this legendary data and defeated JDG (Jingdong Esports), who was regarded as the favorite, in the top 4, preventing his opponent's "golden road" from being completed. Finally, Game3's "Push of the Century" was hailed as one of the best operations in history.

In the finals, they faced WBG (Weibo Esports), which was considered second-rate in terms of strength. T1 won 3:0 in a crushing manner. Faker finally completed his dream of four crowns. His legendary status in LOL is believed to be unmatched. Be shaken.


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This article was originally published by PLAYLUX