Faker turned down $10 million offer to leave South Korea - Dexerto
League of Legends

Faker turned down $10 million offer to leave South Korea

Published: 6/Jan/2020 14:00

by Joe O'Brien


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.

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

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.

League of Legends

T1 & LS respond to League of Legends coach controversy

Published: 24/Nov/2020 14:02 Updated: 24/Nov/2020 14:05

by Lauren Bergin


Both Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare and T1 have responded to the mass backlash against the iconic Korean organization seemingly ignoring LoL fan toxicity.

When Korean League of Legends behemoths T1 by mistake leaked that Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare would be the organization’s new coach, T1 fans went wild.

In a story that has gone viral, die-hard T1 fans have been seen giving LS racial and homophobic abuse online, as well as doxxing his grandmother and sending mysterious packages to her address. For many, T1’s lack of substantial response up until this point has been considered as them condoning the abuse, and the controversy has caused many a fan to stray away from the T1 fold.

So while it’s taken some time, both parties have finally spoken out on the situation in an attempt to clarify what has been happening behind the scenes.

One of the most famous pictures from this event is of a T1 fan’s van being parked outside T1’s HQ demanding LS’ removal.

T1 apologizes

A lengthy apology was released via Twitlonger from CEO Joe Marsh regarding the LS situation on November 24. The document is largely an apology towards the T1 fanbase for not speaking out quicker, and in turn, allowing the fans to be slandered and attacked by the press.

Marsh claims that T1 fans and South Koreans, in general, have been made victims of “unfair generalizations about their cultures, moral, and character” due to being “accused of harassing LS.” Additionally, the apology covers the unacceptable abuse towards LS that had been left on the organization’s discord, apologizing to the fans for any upset these may have caused.

T1 player Lee ‘Effort’ Sang-ho also receives T1’s condolences, as T1 did not come to his defense after the LS news was leaked accidentally on his stream.

However, most League of Legends fans were concerned with LS, who only gets mentioned at the end of the Twitlonger in a paragraph that reads as more interested in appeasing the fans than addressing any abuse and doxxing. While Marsh confirms that a “police report” has been filed regarding the package sent to LS’ mother, there seems to be very little apology directed only to LS.

LS’ video response

In a 14-minute long YouTube video, LS addresses the T1 situation and his future with the organization. While he had initially been chosen to join the T1 content creation team, questions were asked whether or not he would like to move up to the role as a coach.

While expressing that it would be a dream come true, LS clarifies that he was happier with the content role.

He expresses his apologies for any previous support of bbq Olivers’ Sebastian ‘Malice’ Edholm’s racist remarks, noting that he had not seen the messages containing the offensive comments before he endorsed the player. As a man living in South Korea who calls it home, it’s clear LS would never knowingly have participated in defending racism despite T1 fans claiming otherwise.

As for the future, LS has chosen to remain in Korea. He states that “for all the years that teams wanted me to leave Korea and go coach elsewhere or join a different org, or join different teams; one thing’s always remained true and that’s that I love Korea and I don’t want to leave here. T1 is going to enable me to be able to do everything I’ve always wanted to do and more.”

So while this may not be the dramatic response that many fans were hoping for, LS seems prepared for a bright future regardless.