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Faker is still one of the most popular LoL pros in the world

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Few figures in esports have been as enduring or as revered as Korean superstar player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.

Faker has been an enduring name through most of League of Legends’ competitive history. He has played at the game’s very highest level for over a decade, spending the entirety of that time with Korea’s premier esports team, T1.

Which team does Faker play on?

Faker plays with T1 of the LCK, the professional League of Legends competition in South Korea. He has been a mainstay for T1 dating all the way back to 2013.

With Faker leading the charge, T1 has become the most prominent and dominant name in League of Legends esports. This run of play has included three League of Legends World Championship victories in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Two Mid-Season Invitational championships in 2016 and 2017. And a sparkling total of 10 LCK split titles, a record in the world’s most stories League of Legends competitive outlet.

T1’s place in South Korean esports predates Faker. The esports organization first saw success as one of the biggest teams competing in StarCraft: Brood War, with historically successful and influential players such as Lim “SlayerS_BoxeR” Yo-Hwan and Choi “iloveoov” Yun Sung headlining those teams.

Boxer and iloveoov were not only great competitors, they were also tremendously popular, and came to represent the game they played. Faker has carried that heavy mantle forward. He is undoubtedly the best-known and most popular League of Legends player in the world, and his high-level play has continued to inspire fans and younger professional players alike.

How old is Faker?

Faker is in his mid-late 20s, and as of 2023 he is 27 years old. While still quite young, his age puts him among the oldest and most advanced players in League of Legends esports, particularly of those still playing at a high level.

Faker got his start in 2013 when he was still just a teenager. His young age at the beginning of his career means that, more than a decade into his professional career as an LoL pro, he still remains relatively young.

The Korean superstar has seemingly considered the idea of retirement from the game in the past, though he has continued to play each time. More recently, injury issues have slowed him down and have even prevented him from playing in some games. It could be that injuries are what ultimately stop Faker from playing, but for now, the legendary player is continuing on.

How much salary does Faker make on his contract?

While player salaries are rarely made public, there has been much reporting on Faker’s salary with his current contract. It is believed that Faker may make as much as $5 million annually on his contract with T1.

This number is higher than any previous earnings amount had by Faker, as in past years he has been known to make as much as $2 million annually. Changes may be heavily rooted in performance bonuses. Thus, if Faker and T1 are successful individually and as a team, Faker stands to make more money.

While this might seem like a lot of money, there’s no doubt that Faker brings an unparalleled amount of brand awareness to T1. He is the unquestioned star of the team, and when fans think about professional players in League of Legends, they think of him first and foremost. And that means they think of T1.

And it’s not as if T1 could get away with paying Faker substantially less. There have been numerous reports of other teams attempting to pry Faker away from T1 with rich contracts. Most notably, North American esports organization Team Liquid is known to have made a big offer to Faker in the past. But for now, the Korean star remains home with T1.

Is Faker on Twitch?

Faker does stream on his Twitch channel, though he isn’t necessarily a frequent streamer. Faker streams as part of his deal with T1, which sometimes sees all of T1’s pro LoL players streaming their individual practice games online.

His stream often highlights his unique personality. He is generally quiet and understated, even when complaining about his games or his teammates. He also sticks to his rule of only using default champion skins even when practicing, something that has always bemused fans and onlookers.

Even though he doesn’t stream as often as do many streaming personalities, Faker’s popularity is still plain to see. He boasts around four million followers on Twitch.

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Written by Jared Wynne

Jared Wynne has been covering gaming and esports for the past two decades. He's a former competitor in Counter-Strike, and still counts it among his favorite games along with RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

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