Faker emphasizes ‘teamwork’ and renewed determination

This year’s Korean League of Legends ended with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk. After an eventful year that included a wrist injury and back-to-back losses to Genzie Esports in the Korean League Finals, he was crowned Best Player.

Faker has been recognized as the best esports player in Korea and abroad, adding a new record to his 10-year career.

On the 13th, the League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) held the ‘2023 LCK Awards’ at the Gwangmyeong Ibex Studio in Gyeonggi. The LCK Awards is an annual event that recognizes players for their performance in each category based on their performance throughout the year.

Faker has been named Player of the Year. It’s the first time the TGA, the gaming industry’s version of the Oscars, has honored Faker with Player of the Year honors domestically, though he’s won the award twice before (in 2017 and 2023).

“There’s a lot of people to thank for this,” Faker said upon accepting the award, “my fans, my family, my friends, my teammates for following Worlds so closely.”

His normally calm demeanor changed when he accepted the Player of the Year award, and he was clearly shaking as he chose his words. In his acceptance speech, he still emphasized “teamwork” over individual achievement, but in the press conference that followed, he expressed some regret.

“I received a lot of love and gave my acceptance speech, but there was a side of me that was ruined because I was trying to look too cool,” he said. “In the future, I will do my best to do my best for the fans, rather than trying to look cool to shine for myself,” he said.

Each of the position-specific Player of the Year categories was dominated by T1 players. The winners were: Top (“Zeus” Woo-je), Jungle (“Owner” Moon Hyun-joon), Mid (“Faker” Lee Sang-hyuk), Ranged (“Kumayushi” Lee Min-hyung), and Support (“Keria” Ryu Min-seok).

At the press conference that followed the LCK Awards ceremony, Kumayushi said, “I think I play well during Spring and Worlds, but I don’t play as well during MSI and Summer,” adding, “I’ll make up for that and become the best player next year.”

Zeus also said, “My dream was not to win the Rold Cup (Worlds), but to have fun and have fun while playing professionally.” “I want to continue to have fun in the future,” he said.

Other major awards included Best Coach of the Year (Kang “Hirai” Dong-hoon), Rookie of the Year (Kim “Phase” Soo-hwan), All-LCK First Team (Spring-T1), All-LCK First Team (Summer-KT Rooster), and 10th Anniversary Special Award (Seung-heon “Seung” Sung and Hyun-woo “Hyun-woo” Lee).


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