League of Legends

Faker turned down $10 million offer to leave South Korea

by Joe O'Brien

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League of Legends superstar Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok reportedly received some enormous offers to leave South Korea for the 2020 season.

Considered almost universally as the greatest League of Legends player of all time, Faker is one of the most iconic figures in esports.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that whenever the off-season comes around, there are plenty of teams around the world that would do almost anything to tempt him to their squad, both for his legendary talent and the massive following he would bring to any team in which he featured.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Faker plans on donating over a portion of his savings to charity once he retires.

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So far, Faker has spent his entire career with SK Telecom T1 – now going simply as T1 Esports after a partnership with Comcast Spectacor – having made his professional debut with the organization in 2013. Since then, he has won eight domestic titles, an MSI and three World Championships with multiple line-ups under the SKT banner.

At the end of the 2019 season – a year in which Faker’s SKT squad won both splits of the LCK, but were unable to secure an international trophy – Faker’s contract with T1 came to an end, leaving him briefly a free agent.

While he ultimately re-signed with T1 for another two years, during a recent interview on Korean talk show Radio Star, he shed some light on the kind of offers he received, confirming a host’s statement that he received a $10 million contract from China, and a ‘blank cheque’ from North America, which would have allowed him to name his price for his services.

Riot Games
Riot Games

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The offer from China alone would have amounted to roughly eight times his total career earnings from prize money, with Faker being the only League of Legends player to have broken the $1 million barrier in prize winnings at $1,25,240.

The reason Faker turned down these enormous offers is reportedly his loyalty to his fans, who have followed him throughout his entire career in the LCK. Faker is also known not to be a big spender despite his wealth, stating on the same program that he typically spends less that 200,000 Korean Won (US$170) per month, and stating he plans to use the money he earns as a pro player for charity.

Faker’s new T1 squad recently made its debut in the KeSPA Cup, where the team reached the semi-finals before being eliminated by Sandbox. They will return to action when the LCK 2020 Spring split kicks off, the date for which has not yet been confirmed.