Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is, hands down, the best player in the history of League of Legends. He is in the conversation for the greatest esports player of all time. He’s won major championships on multiple continents. He’s a living legend—League fans refer to him simply as “God.”
But, as we were reminded of just a few weeks ago at the annual League All-Star Event, there are actually a few things Faker hasn’t won. He was in the running to win the one-vs-one tournament, but a crucial mistake against OCE player Jackson “Pabu” Pavone led to a dramatic upset that nobody saw coming.
That got us to thinking: Are there other things that Faker hasn’t won? After so many titles, he might need some reminding that there’s still room in his trophy case. He’s already coming into 2019 with a new-look team full of stars. Add in some extra motivation, and it could be a scary year for anyone trying to go against God.
Here are the top five things Faker has yet to win.
1) The one-vs-one tournament at the All-Star Event
We get it. The All-Star Event is for-fun only, and it’s kind of bad form to go super tryhard. That’s why last year’s event was so hard to watch. That’s why, in the one-vs-one tournament, it’s kind of bad form to simply grind out wins. Fans want to see players go for kills, not CS.
But it was still shocking to see Faker lose to Pabu. He built an immense CS lead and just had to be patient. But he stepped too far trying to hit skillshots and Pabu made him pay.
To be fair, Pabu took a lot of great players down on his run to the one-vs-one final. But maybe this defeat will add fuel to Faker’s fire and lead to a big win next year.
2) On another team
At this point, Faker is synonymous with his team, SK Telecom T1. Throughout its history, SKT has always favored building around singular stars, and it’s no different with Faker. Faker’s never had to start completely over and win on another team because SKT would be fools to let him go.
But it would be kind of interesting to think of the possibilities. After TSM kicked Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng to the curb last offseason, he immediately fell into a great situation with Team Liquid, winning two straight LCS titles. Can you imagine Faker doing something similar and joining Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho on KT?
If SKT are smart, we’ll never know what it’s like for Faker to win in another team’s colors. But it sure would be fascinating to watch.
3) In another region
But why stop at just another team? Since the Korean exodus in 2014, there’s been constant speculation that someday Faker might join a Chinese team for a massive paycheck. What if he grows tired of competing against LCK mid laners and decides to test his stuff in another region like the LPL?
We could get annual battles between Faker and Song “Rookie” Eui-jin of Invictus Gaming, the man who last seized the World Championship and with it, the title of best in the world. Who doesn’t want to see the two of them go at it in a battle of regional superiority?
In this goal, he’d be following the footsteps of new teammate Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, who won in Korea, won in China, and came back to Korea to win again. Mata burnished his credentials as a legend, or bonjwa, in his own right by winning across regions. Maybe Faker will pave a similar path himself someday.
4) At another position
While we’re at it, let’s get really crazy. It’s already wild enough to imagine Faker wearing another uniform. But what if he switched positions altogether?
One of Faker’s oldest foes did it—Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong was a successful mid laner for the Blaze teams of 2012 and 2013. Then Faker came along and knocked him out of mid lane with a play that nobody can forget.
That was Faker’s first professional kill. Ambition had success in mid lane after that, but never really got revenge against Faker as a mid laner.
Then, Ambition role-swapped to jungle and led Samsung Galaxy to the World Championship finals against none other than Faker and SKT. They lost that final in a 3-2 decision, but Ambition wasn’t done. He came back the next year, and this time, Samsung completed the sweep to dethrone the kings. That’s how we got this kickass music video.
If Faker ever won Worlds at another position, Riot definitely better pull out all the stops to make him is own awesome animated feature.
5) The KeSPA Cup
Most of the items on these list are just fantasy. Faker’s not going to roleswap just so we can fawn over his jungle skills. Next year should serve as a big comeback season for Faker and SKT.
And nothing would start the year better for them than a win at the upcoming KeSPA Cup. Top teams in Korea rarely take the KeSPA Cup seriously. That’s probably why Faker’s never won—SKT are usually playing young players to see how they react to being on stage with the legendary mid laner. Even Faker has some fun, like when he tried pre-rework Galio.
But this year feels different. SKT are integrating a series of new players, the biggest change they’ve made to the roster since Faker arrived. It would be good to see the team try to fit everyone together. Maybe they’ll even get Faker his first title at this event and start filling the very few empty spots in his trophy case.