League of Legends

Faker reveals how much of his multi-million LoL salary he actually spends

by Andrew Amos
Riot Games

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Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok is one of League of Legends’ richest players, but that doesn’t mean he’s a big spender, with the streamer revealing on Korean TV how little of his salary he spends.

Faker is synonymous with LoL across the East and West. He’s won three Worlds titles with SK Telecom T1, who picked up the young mid laner early in his career, and made a name for himself as the greatest player to ever touch the game.

With such accolades to his name, it’s likely that he’s made a pretty penny during his career. He’s on a rumored $2.5 million contract with T1, taken home over $1 million in prize money alone, and has a number of brand deals in his name.

MBC Entertainment
MBC Entertainment
Faker appeared on Korean talk show Radio Star, discussing his salary and social life.

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However, despite this, Faker has described his lifestyle as being relatively frugal. The star mid laner revealed he spends less than 200,000 Korean Won (US$170) a month during his appearance on Korean talk show Radio Star.

Faker would make more money than that in one stream, with the T1 mid laner regularly taking to Twitch to play LoL in front of an average of 30,000 viewers.

The details behind his frugal lifestyle aren’t completely known, with the streamer not opening up too much about how he spends his money. It’s understandable that he spends so little, however.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Faker has earned millions across his career after winning three Worlds titles and numerous LCK trophies.

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His super fans gift him everything from food to clothes, while T1 provide him with his housing. He lives a very simple lifestyle as well, professing the fact that he has a wardrobe full of plain white shirts for simplicity's sake.

The money he’s earning isn’t going to waste though. Instead of spending it as he gets it, he’s saving it to put towards others by donating to charity.

"In the future, I want to use the money I earned for charity,” he said. “The career of a professional gamer is very short, so I want to manage my career well to work as long as possible."

It’s unknown just how much money he has, but given his long career in League, it would be in the millions of dollars. This isn’t the first time the player has broached the subject of charity when discussing his salary though.

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Back in October 2018, Faker donated 100% of his streaming revenue to the UN Foundation. He was able to raise thousands in the lead-up to Worlds 2018 as he streamed almost every day. 

He also participated in Rick Fox's charity drive in December 2019, raising $62,000 for the Bahamas Relief Foundation.

Faker isn't the only pro player to give his salary back to the community either. In an interview with Korean news site Fomos in October, Invictus Gaming star Kang ‘TheShy’ Seung-lok said he’s donated over $100,000 to charity across his career so far.

The end-of-year League of Legends All-Star event also aims to raise money for charity, with pro players across the world donating their winnings from the tournament towards an organization of their choice.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Faker has already donated tens of thousands to charity, including the Bahamas Relief Foundation and the UN Foundation.

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While the money is one upside of his pro career, the lifestyle of being an esports player in Korea could be seen as a down-side. The star mid laner opened up about the lack of personal time he has, and his struggles with non-team relationships.

"Being a pro gamer made me realize that the amount of time I have for myself is very limited,” he said. “Being in a relationship will cause lots of uncomfortable things to both sides.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiMa-AvskAg

This might be seen as a negative by most, but the unkillable demon king is too devoted to his work to care. “Currently, I just focus on working,” he said. “Since I was little, I didn't care much about girls.”

Once Faker retires, he will be sitting on a fine nest egg, with plenty of time to decide how to use it. It’s a thoughtful gesture to save money for his future and to help others, and it’s one of the many reasons why Faker is universally loved in LoL.