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MSI Faker
Photo via Riot Games

How much does Faker make?

Being the world's best player can leave you with a big paycheck.

When you’ve won the League of Legends World Championship three times and are the most popular player to play the game, you can command an impressive salary.

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T1’s Faker is considered the best League player ever and the closest thing esports has to a household name. He’s won countless titles since his professional debut in February 2013, including three world championships, two Mid-Season Invitationals, a Rift Rivals, and multiple LCK regional titles under the SKT banner. He’s also been the runner-up in the World Championship twice, netting hundreds of thousands for each.

So how much does a player like that make?

The fact is, we can’t know for certain. The only people who know for sure are likely Faker himself and his accountant. He has revenue streams beyond just his pro play: There are sponsorship opportunities and streaming revenues.

Even though the current details of his deal with T1 are unknown, Faker confirmed he turned down offers from China that would net him $10 million yearly alongside blank check offers from North America. Trying to guess what he earns from T1 is quite difficult, but rumors claim the number is between $1 million and $2 million while also letting him keep most of his prize money. On top of all that, Faker was also offered part ownership with his contract in 2020 and is now a part-owner of T1 Entertainment and Sports.

Liquidpedia estimates Faker has won $1,449,855 overall from all the tournaments he’s attended as of May 2023. The only player to come close to this in League is Duke, Invictus Gaming’s former top laner, who’s taken home an estimated $954,620.62 over the course of his career.

Faker also gets money from Twitch through subscribers. Even though the player has over 3.8 million followers, he has zero subscribers as of May 2023 due to his inactivity on the platform. He also declined multiple Chinese companies’ sponsorship offers, which would require him to stream on their platform while netting him around $425,000.

In April 2018, former South Korean Starcraft player and current TV personality Hong “YellOw” Jin-ho claimed Faker was earning up to $4.6 million every year, which included basic salary, sponsorship, and winnings. YellOw’s claims are guesswork, however, so we aren’t sure where these numbers come from.

Faker is also known to adopt a quite frugal lifestyle. On a Korean talk show called Radio Star, Faker revealed his monthly expenses were around $200. Considering the cost of living in South Korea isn’t that low, guessing that his deal with T1 may also be covering his living expenses may not be a far-off estimation.

Despite his low-spending lifestyle and all the offers he rejected, Faker still is far off from being one of the highest-paid earners in sports. On the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo leads the pack with $136 million, far more than what Faker has earned. Other high-profile earners include soccer icon Lionel Messi with $130 million, French soccer star Kylian Mbappe with $120 million, NBA star LeBron James with $120 million, and Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez with $110 million.

Still, that’s comparing Faker to stars in established sports that have, in the case of soccer and football, built up their professional scenes for more than a century. League was released in 2009.

Considering how quickly esports has grown, it’s safe to assume the biggest esports stars of the future are going to make even more money than Faker a lot sooner.

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Image of Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan is a Staff Writer and Fortnite Lead at Dot Esports. Gökhan graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since been with Dot Esports. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming, while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.
Image of Alex Tsiaoussidis
Alex Tsiaoussidis
Staff Writer for Dot Esports. I am a passionate gamer with years of experience covering all things gaming, esports, and streaming. I have extra love for Dota 2, Pokémon, and Apex Legends.