Faker competing with T1 in the LCK Summer Split 2023
Photo via Riot Games

A decade of Faker: Looking back on LoL’s greatest superstar

Ten years ago today, a legend was born.

Ten years ago today, the greatest League of Legends player of all time—Faker—emerged on the pro scene.

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The League G.O.A.T. made his professional debut on April 6, 2013, against CJ Blaze, winning the game in a dominant fashion and beginning a career of brilliance that still persists to this day. With 10 domestic titles and five international championships to his name, there’s still room for more in Faker’s trophy case. 

Perhaps what’s most impressive about Faker and his status as the best-ever is his longevity. Few players have been able to put together 10-year careers in League, and none of them who have 10 years of service have played as well as Faker over that span. 

Today, we celebrate the greatest player to ever grace pro League of Legends by taking a look back at his accomplishments, as well as a look forward at what’s yet to come. 

Faker’s debut 

Ten years ago today, Faker made his professional debut with SK Telecom T1. His first game was one of the most anticipated debuts for a rookie at that time—and Faker didn’t disappoint. He opened up his career with a solo kill of CJ Blaze mid laner Ambition, diving him under tower and blowing up his health bar with a rapid-quick Nidalee combo. Just six minutes into his time as a pro, Faker had already made a statement: he was here to play. He went on to finish that game with a perfect scoreline of 5/0/8. 

Later that year, Faker and SKT ran the table in pro League both domestically and internationally. After Faker won the Champions Summer 2013 MVP award to go along with SKT’s domestic title, they came into the World Championship that year as a potential favorite to go all the way. SKT ended up hoisting the Summoner’s Cup after posting a game record of 15-3 at that tournament, marking the beginning of League’s first real dynasty. 

Photo via Riot Games

Domestic dominance

Faker has played the entirety of his career in the LCK, and during his 10 years as a pro, he’s consistently been at the top of Korean League of Legends. Faker has won the LCK a total of 10 times and has finished atop the league at least once in each calendar year dating back to 2013 all but once (2018). He’s also won three straight LCK trophies on two separate occasions during his career—once between 2015 and 206 16 and again between 2019 and 2020. 

All of Faker’s international placements

Faker staring at the Summoner's Cup ahead of the Worlds 2022 finals.
Photo by Lance Skundrich via Riot Games

Faker’s recognition as the greatest player ever is largely due to his prominence on the international stage. Because he qualifies for international events so frequently, many fans have come to recognize him as one of the most consistent players ever. But Faker doesn’t just show up at international events; he shows out. 

In his 10 seasons, Faker and SKT/T1 have only missed Worlds three times, and each time he’s gone to the event, he’s placed in the top four without fail. When Faker goes to Worlds, the semifinals are his floor and the Summoner’s Cup is his ceiling. He’s won Worlds three times (2013, 2015, 2016), while placing as a runner-up in 2017 and 2022. 

Faker has also qualified for the Mid-Season Invitational five times in his career, winning the event in back-to-back years between 2016 and 2017. He’s finished at MSI as a finalist twice and a semifinalist once. 

YearMSI placementWorlds placement
2013Tournament Not Yet CreatedWorld Champion
2014Champion1Did Not Qualify
2015Runner-upWorld Champion
2016MSI ChampionWorld Champion
2017MSI ChampionRunner-up
2018Did Not QualifyDid Not Qualify
2019SemifinalistSemifinalist
2020Tournament Not Held2Did Not Qualify
2021Did Not QualifySemifinalist
2022Runner-upRunner-up

1The 2014 All-Star event later evolved into the Mid-Season Invitational.

2The 2020 Mid-Season Invitational was not held due to COVID-19 restrictions, although T1 would have qualified as Korea’s representative had the event taken place. 

Still on top, 10 years later

Photo by Lance Skundrich via Riot Games

Faker is still a force to be reckoned with in professional League and T1 are still on top of the Korean circuit. After coming a game away from an international title on two separate occasions last year, T1 ran it back with their full five-man roster and are in the midst of blazing a warpath through Korea. This season, T1 posted a near-perfect 17-1 match record in the LCK Spring Split and have already qualified for MSI 2023. 

This weekend, Faker and T1 will face off against the winner of a lower bracket final match between KT Rolster and Gen.G in the LCK Spring Finals. Should T1 win that match, Faker would have his 11th domestic title of all time and the team would march into this year’s MSI as the first seed out of Korea. Unlike previous years, major region teams get two representatives at MSI, meaning T1’s place at the tournament is secure regardless.


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Author
Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.