❘ Printed: 2022-10-01T22:26:22
❘ Up to date: 2022-10-02T10:20:40
Earlier than T1’s Worlds 2022 run begins, we sat down with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok to ask about his expertise in NA thus far, which area is the perfect on the planet, and what it means to be the best participant of all time.
From his time because the Barcode Killer when he smurfed on North American solo queue early in his profession to Unkillable Demon King following his many successes domestically and internationally, Faker has many titles.
However one title trumps all of them: the Biggest of All Time. Within the minds of many, Faker is the perfect participant to ever contact League of Legends. And Faker remains to be a critical competitor virtually 10 years after his very first World Championship title in 2013, with over 500 home wins within the LCK.
In our time with Faker, we requested him about each side of making ready for and taking part in by way of a match. From the method of making ready for Worlds, to what he thinks goes to be performed on the match, and his opinion on how sturdy the LPL is in comparison with the LCK.
With virtually each query got here the identical, laser-focused mentality: Faker desires to win and maintain South Korea on prime of League of Legends internationally.
Totally different nation, similar solo queue points
Getting settled into the US hasn’t been a simple process for T1’s gamers, with Faker saying that “It’s been powerful as a result of I’ve been getting used to the jet lag. However I do get pleasure from America for essentially the most half.”
T1 has the posh of skipping the Play-In stage, which supplies them loads of time to regulate to being in North America. Nevertheless, Faker was just a little unhappy about not getting the prospect to see Mexico. “It’s a bit unlucky, I’ve by no means been to Mexico.”
Champions Queue has been a sizzling matter amongst execs, and Faker had some ideas on the play setting: “It’s undoubtedly higher than solo queue, and there’s a wide variety of pros you get to play with.”
“Higher than solo queue” isn’t a excessive bar, however a minimum of it’s an enchancment. Moreover, he agrees that Champions Queue helps fight the problems associated to wintrading in ranked video games that proceed to plague solo queue in each South Korea and North America.
“For professional gamers, Champions Queue is okay. However for regular gamers, there ought to be heavy restrictions for these sorts of points.”
Faker has been closely focused by individuals betting on and wintrading in his solo queue video games over time, and he agreed that extra ought to be completed to maintain solo queue a wholesome setting to follow and play in.
Faker nonetheless thinks South Korea is the perfect area
It’s no secret that the LCK and LPL are closely favored to win compared to different areas. However when pressed on which area is stronger, Faker believes that his area nonetheless has as slight edge.
“There’s not an enormous hole between the LCK and the LPL, however I believe the LCK is healthier than the LPL.”
This led to a chat about DRX beating RNG, the crew that T1 misplaced to at MSI. There’s a rating to settle there between these two groups for Faker to again up this assertion. And Faker’s wanting to play towards RNG again in the event that they get the prospect.
“I wish to play towards RNG, and I’ve the will to win towards them this time round. Whatever the matchup, I wish to come out on prime.”
This sentiment was repeated by way of the interview. Whereas Faker definitely didn’t thoughts speaking about his opinion on different groups and areas, he additionally didn’t appear intimidated or deterred by any opponent. Above all else, Faker desires to win once more.
Virtually 10 years later, Faker has his eyes on one other World title
In the case of working towards, groups typically have completely different approaches to the sport. There’s no scarcity of angles on the lengthy, unsure street to enchancment.
Whereas some groups will attempt to put together by analyzing the opponent, Faker’s mentality is extra centered on greater than merely being higher towards sure groups: “As a substitute of specializing in adapting to the opponent, we give attention to taking part in our recreation.”
Faker’s first World Championship title was in 2013. It’s 2022, and Faker remains to be solely centered on profitable. Quizzed on what it takes to be a participant with such longevity, he mentioned: “It’s essential to maintain a grinding mindset and at all times preserve your ardour for the sport.”
The key is that there isn’t a secret. Faker is just that good. His arduous work and keenness for the sport come clearly by way of in his play. Faker doesn’t simply wish to win: he is aware of he can.
As a way to show that South Korea is the perfect area within the World and to carry onto his title as League’s G.O.A.T., Faker must push himself past his limits to earn his first Worlds title since 2016. He is aware of it, too, and his aim this 12 months was extremely clear:
“My one and solely aim is to win.”
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