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Faker blames DDoS attacks for T1’s big loss, but is it true?

Faker T1 press conference after LCK playoffs loss

T1’s  Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok pointed to DDoS attackers for the team’s inability to train properly after a devastating loss against Hanwha Life Esports in the 2024 LCK Spring Playoffs.

The LCK playoffs got off to a shocking and controversial start as HLE swept T1 3-0. After winning the League of Legends World Championship in 2023, many fans were shocked at T1’s poor performance against HLE. Veterans who followed the scene for years joked about HLE’s signing of former Gen.G players as a primary reason for the team’s loss. Gen.G is one of the few teams in Korea that has a roughly even rivalry with T1, with Gen.G generally getting the better of recent outings.

While the lackluster performance of T1 during the LCK Spring Playoffs is undeniable, Faker claims that other factors played a part in the surprising loss. He specifically cited DDoS attacks against the team ahead of the event as a factor in the loss.

Faker blasts DDoS attackers, calls out Riot after LCK Spring Playoffs loss

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok called the situation “unfair” and highlighted the need for Riot to deal with the targeted DDoS attacks.

This likely isn’t just bravado or arrogance from Faker, either. T1 players have also captured these incidents on stream. T1 jungler Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun was streaming a game after returning to action when the game inexplicably got hit by DDoS attacks. The same thing occurred for T1 support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok. 

It’s impossible to say how badly these DDoS attacks impacted T1’s performance in the 2024 LCK Spring Split Playoffs or whether HLE could’ve won regardless. Faker was reportedly unable to play solo queue for two weeks while his rivals played without issue. This also coincided with Riot’s release of a new patch, which shook up the meta and affected T1’s prep time.

It’s worth noting that Faker typically doesn’t talk about losses in the context of “unfair” situations. The seriousness may have pushed him to comment when he otherwise wouldn’t have. Ultimately, Faker admits that the better team won and T1 needs to practice harder to escape the lower bracket. T1 is still alive in the playoffs and has the chance to earn a spot in MSI 2024 alongside Team Liquid, but it will need to start its lower bracket run with a win over Dplus Kia.

Has Riot Games responded to Faker?

Riot has yet to respond to Faker’s claims regarding targeted attacks before the LCK Spring Playoffs.

The lack of response follows perceived passive-aggressive treatment and sweeping layoffs of LoL esports staff by the company in other regions. Riot moved LCS players to “closets” because the VCT Americas Playoffs had to take center stage and nixed stadium events for the league. In Europe, there were reports of an existing “crunch” culture in the LEC that was seemingly worsened by the layoffs of dozens of staffers.

While LoL esports doesn’t seem likely to get canceled any time soon, fans and personalities alike have voiced different levels of concern regarding its future. Regardless, Faker and T1 will return to action on April 7 to face Dplus in 2024 LCK Spring Playoffs lower bracket.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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