Korean legend Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk is a world star who has it all. He’s got the skills, the world-class career, the personality, and even a silver medal at the Asian Games… but there’s only one thing missing: gold. Now it’s time to hunt for gold.
He’s off to a good start. The Korean LoL Taeguk Warriors, competing at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG), swept Hong Kong and Kazakhstan in Group A on Friday at the Hangzhou Esports Center in Hangzhou, China, to top their group and secure a spot in the quarterfinals. It took the Korean LoL team just 40 minutes to reach the quarterfinals, including a 17-minute cut to win their second game of the tournament against Kazakhstan, which featured Lee Sang-hyuk. ‘Overwhelming’ is the only word that comes to mind.
For Lee Sang-hyuk, the Hangzhou Games marks the last time he will compete in the Taekwondo Games. He has had a world-class career, but no gold medals. It’s a powerful motivation to win.
Lee is a one-of-a-kind “one-club man” who has been a mid laner for T1 (formerly known as SK Telecom T1) for 11 years after making his professional debut in 2013. He has become one of the best players in the world, having won the domestic LoL Champions Korea (LCK) 10 times, the international Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) twice (2016-2017), and the world’s most prestigious event, the LoL World Championship (Rolld Cup), three times (2013-2015-2016).
His popularity was also felt in Hangzhou, home of the Asian Games. When the Korean LoL team, led by Lee Sang-hyuk, landed at the Hangzhou airport on the 22nd, there was a long line of about 100 fans and reporters waiting for them at the arrival hall. “I came to see ‘Faker’,” said one Chinese fan. Most of the people here are waiting for ‘Faker’,” said a Chinese fan. In the midst of the enthusiastic welcome, there was even a fight to get a closer look at Lee Sang-hyuk.
If Team LoL knocks out Saudi Arabia in the quarterfinals, they’ll face ‘nemesis’ China in the semifinals. The matchup between the heavy favorites, South Korea and China, is practically a final. The winner of this matchup will go on to win the gold medal 토토사이트.
What’s more, Lee Sang-hyuk has a debt to pay to China. At the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, where esports was a pilot program, Korea lost to China and had to settle for a silver medal. This year, the title of the inaugural gold medal is on the line, so they’ll have to be extra determined.
“China is very strong, and I want to play with a humble heart and no pressure,” said Lee Sang-hyuk after the group stage match. “I’m disappointed with the last tournament, but it’s a new challenge, so I’ll just focus on this one.”
The Hangzhou tournament is significant because it marks the first time that esports has become an official sport. So we can be even more eager. And here’s to our legendary Lee Sang-hyuk’s golden step, which may be his last.