Three-time world champion Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s legendary work ethic has almost become cliche at this point, but he revealed in an interview with Sports Chosun why he feels the need to do so.
“When I was younger, I was happy to just make more money,” he said. “But now I have to carry a large sense of responsibility. I don’t think I’m worthy of the pay or the love of the fans I’m receiving, so I need to work harder.”
Despite the growth of esports and his personal success, Faker said that he wouldn’t recommend his line of work to anyone, reflecting on his decision to jump into it.
“At the early days of LoL, its success as an esport wasn’t for certain,” he said. “However, as I maintained my ranking at the top, I felt that I had a talent for it and jumped into the world of professional gaming. If you only aspire to be a professional without proper preparation, it’s most likely to fail. This is why I don’t recommend this line of work.”
The article also went into detail about the routine of League of Legends power SK Telecom T1. Days begin at noon and continue until 11 p.m., with three hours scattered in between for eating, resting, and basic strength training. The time after that is for personal practice, and Faker’s day usually ends at 4 a.m.
The head coach of SKT, Choi “L.i.E.S” Byung-hoon, went as far to describe Faker as “often the player to turn the lights out in the practice room,” and praised Faker’s dedication to his craft.
“Although he is at the top of the world, he’s still just as scarily serious about getting deep into the game,” he said. “Not limited to just his performance or the symbolic significance he wields, he deserves the best treatment in any team based on his dedication.”
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games