T1 Faker takes LoL Worlds 2023 title to complete esports’ greatest comeback story
Despite not having taken a World title since 2016, Faker’s maintained his status as the greatest player of all time. However, he’s cemented it even further after taking the 2023 title and adding a fourth Worlds win to his name.
Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok’s name is synonymous with League of Legends at this point. He defined the early days as the player who dominated internationally from the start, though that iron grip has since been shaken.
T1’s been consistently strong, but they haven’t been the absolute best in the world for a long time. Another team always came in to rip the title away from them, whether that be in the finals or semifinals.
Last year seemed to be their year, but DRX had the absolute best underdog run in Worlds history by being the first team to win the event from Play-Ins. With Faker being injured earlier this year and T1 taking an immediate nosedive, faith in the team wavered. Many thought they may not make it to Worlds 2023 at all.
However, Faker recovered from his injury and came back with a vengeance to lead his team to victory. With T1 coming back from a loss streak after years of falling just short, it’s no exaggeration to call this the greatest comeback in the history of esports.
Faker earns himself and T1 a fourth title at LoL Worlds 2023
The biggest thing to note with Faker is the fact that he’d be an exceptional player worth highlighting even without the history of his achievements early in the game’s life cycle.
T1 looked lost with him on the bench, laying bare just how important he is to have on the team. Even aside from his mechanics and individual performance, his leadership in-game is absolutely necessary for this team to shine.
However, since his return, the team has had a massive resurgence. Despite losing 3-0 to GenG domestically, they’ve only improved more and more as Worlds 2023 has gone on, and they ultimately managed to shut Weibo Gaming out of the finals completely.
And, though Faker had a strong series, Zeus played a huge role in their win by outpacing and outtrading TheShy in every game. He managed to win the 1v1 in every circumstance, creating a ton of pressure in top lane through the series.
This is a big step up from MSI 2023 where Zeus dropped the ball a bit, something he reflected on in an interview with Dexerto following their loss. He’s clearly regained a lot of confidence since then.
With Faker being signed to T1 through 2025, he doesn’t plan to retire any time soon. Not only that, but he doesn’t intend to take a golden parachute and ride his fame to take home a paycheck; Faker’s going to keep competing at the highest level, even as his career and unrivaled tenure within the scene continues to grow.
Despite almost a decade of being denied his fourth title, Faker managed to claim it after one of T1’s bleakest years in organization history. And he’ll likely be looking to make it a fifth in 2024.
Though it’s unclear if T1 will keep this Worlds-winning roster next year, at least the new generation of T1 was able to earn a Worlds title before splitting up.