Faker is free: T1 star gets military exemption with Asian Games gold
Getting a gold medal finish was the only way for South Korea’s LoL competitors to gain exemption from military service, and they’ve pulled it off. Among other legendary Korean players on the team, T1 star Faker has earned the right to compete as long as he wants.
For most League of Legends pros in South Korea, there’s a hard cap on how long you’ll be able to keep competing within the region. Either you go elsewhere when the time for your mandatory military service comes or you drop out of pro play for two years, likely never to return.
With T1’s Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok dropping out of high school early and starting to compete at such a young age, he was able to play for a long time without the clock ticking above him being noticeable. However, despite his illustrious career, it seemed that even the god of League of Legends would have to bow out soon.
But South Korea’s win at the 2022 Asian Games has given him the one and only chance he had to evade the need to halt his career. Alongside Chovy, Kanavi, Zeus, Keria, and Ruler, Faker is one of the few South Korean players uninhibited by the mandatory service that has ended other players’ careers.
T1 Faker takes home the Asian Games gold medal
Despite only having to play one match on the big stage, T1 Faker has acquired an exemption from South Korean military service. He made himself an athlete to watch at the Asian Games among other sporting figures, and was so popular that he had a hard time eating in peace.
And, in all fairness, the one match Faker played was an utter stomp of a 17-minute match where he went 12/1.
Though Chovy was the one driving the team forward in the mid lane for most of South Korea’s run at the Asian Games, T1 Faker was a standout member, even from the sidelines.
And, if T1’s nosedive earlier this year without Faker is anything to go by, he has just as much impact out of the game as he does inside of it.
And, with that, Faker will be able to continue to add to his legacy without having to worry about spending 18 months in the army. With his T1 contract running until the end fo 2025, he’s got at least two years left as the face of League’s most iconic esports organisation.