South Korean esports team T1 Entertainment & Sports (T1) have today announced that Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok (pictured third from right) is now part owner of the organisation.
The deal is one of the first of its kind in esports history and includes a new three-year player contract for Faker with T1 effective through the 2022 season.
T1 also announced that the League of Legends pro will assume a leadership role within the organisation after his playing career and will help facilitate global operations. This move ensures that Faker will continue to be a key player in the esports industry after his professional playing career comes to an end.
“I am excited to continue playing for T1 and am thankful for all the fans around the world who have supported me all these years,” said Faker, who is regarded as one of the world’s best players, if not the best.
“I am honored to become a part owner of T1 and look forward to working with the leadership team beyond my playing career. I love this team and am proud to help mold the future of this organisation.”
“T1 is thrilled to have Faker on its roster for the next three seasons,” said Joe Marsh, CEO of T1. “Since T1’s inception, Faker has been the cornerstone of our team’s success and his undying passion for this organisation will continue to drive us forward now that he is a part owner of T1 Entertainment & Sports. Even after Faker’s retirement — whenever that may be — he will begin the next chapter of his legacy in a leadership role with T1, helping to mold the next generation of elite esports athletes.”
Established in 2004, T1 is recognised as one of the most successful organizations in the history of esports. The T1 League of Legends team was founded in 2012 and Faker joined the team in 2013 as the star mid laner.
He is renowned for winning three World Championships (2013, 2015 and 2016), two Mid-Season Invitationals and eight LCK titles with T1. Faker has won the League of Legends World Championship three times and is the first and only player to have won all of the League of Legends international tournaments organised by Riot Games: Mid-Season Invitational, World Championship, Rift Rivals and All-Star.
Faker was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Entertainment & Sports 2019 list, won the 2018 David Yan Award for Most Beloved Gamer, and was named the 2017 Best Esports Player at The Game Awards.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.