SK Telecom T1 mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok intends to stay atop the League of Legends world as long as he can.
In an interview with OSEN’s Go Yong-jun that was conducted before the League of Legends World Championship, Faker talked about his golden age and how he approaches his idea of greatness.
“I think right now is my golden age in my career,” he said. “If before I was unsure of the future because I didn’t know what was going to happen, this year I can have an idea on if I can keep going on based on my experiences and what’s going on around me. I think the hardest period in my career was last year. There were many games that didn’t go as I wanted them to. 2014 when we didn’t qualify for worlds was also a hard time. It’s true that there is more pressure with more attention. It’s tough mentally to be going through a drop in performance. I’m telling myself that if we don’t win this year we might get criticism, but it won’t be a big deal in the long run. I think it’s important that I win the battle against myself first.”
As the two-time defending champions, SKT faces more scrutiny than any team in the world. SKT has struggled at moments during worlds, but Faker continues to be the constant in SKT’s games. He pulled his team from the jaws of defeat in last week’s quarterfinal match against Misfits in a five-game series as he continued his undefeated run as Ryze in Game 5.
But what does Faker do when he’s not playing the game? He said his most favored pastime is reading, and that he often enjoys reading books fans give to him.
“When I have time off during the season, I spend that time sleeping,” he said. “When the schedule gets tight I don’t have time to even eat, so I prioritize taking care of my health. When I get the time during my daily routine I like to read. Recently I’ve been reading Yoo Si-min’s “What is a Country” and Higashino Geiko’s “Miracles of the Namiya General Store.” I tend to read the books that the fans gift me, and I think books are the most useful. Of course other kinds of gifts make me just as happy, as the fans’ feelings are put into them.”
Faker is the undisputed king of League of Legends, and it’s been that way almost immediately after his debut in 2013. Faker said that he wants to continue being a professional player as long as he can and even after he retires, he doesn’t plan to go too far.
“I want to be a pro gamer for a long time, but it would be biologically difficult to be one in my 30s,” he said. “Even if I don’t continue to be a pro I want to work in the gaming industry. I don’t think my standards are average. I need to do better in order to feel satisfied. I want to be a player who is remembered throughout history and as a player who has always performed well.”