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League of Legends • Nov 19, 2018

When and why is Faker officially a free agent?

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When and why is Faker officially a free agent?
LoL Esports

The greatest League of Legends player of all time is about to become a free agent.

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*Update: November 19* SK Telecom have announced dramatic roster changes as seven players depart.

*Update: November 20* SK Telecom confirm Faker's future.

SK Telecom T1’s contract with super-star mid-laner Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok officially expires on November 19, according to the LoL Global Contract Database.

For perhaps the first time since his explosive professional debut, it’s possible that Faker could go into the new season representing a new team.

The three-time World Champion and six-time domestic champion isn’t just the most decorated player in League of Legends history, but accomplished all of that as the primary star of his team, unmatched in both peak performance and longevity.

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As a result, it’s almost certain that every organization with the money to make an offer, both in Korea and internationally, will be interested in Faker, but whether or not a new team will actually be able to sign him remains to be seen.

LoL Esports
Faker with SKT ahead of the 2017 World Championship finals.

Though it’s very much expected that Faker will remain with SK Telecom, the current circumstance of the Korean League of Legends scene does raise some questions.

This year saw South Korea dethroned in a way they haven’t been since their original ascension. They were beaten internationally throughout the year, and this year’s World Championship saw all of the LCK representatives eliminated by the quarter-finals.

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Meanwhile, SKT themselves are coming off one of their weakest seasons to date, failing to reach the World Championship. There’s certainly a case to be made that if Faker isn’t happy with proposed roster changes for the coming season he could look elsewhere.

Many eyes will be on Faker to lead Korea’s triumphant return to supremacy in the coming season, and with all of the potential roster upheaval it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he might see his best chance at doing so as being with a squad under a different banner.

According to Tyler ‘Fionn’ Erzberger, Faker’s contract officially expires at 5pm PST.