They were steering for the iceberg but the captain is back. After an extended injury break, League of Legends superstar Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok came back and changed the trajectory of his team. Faker had ended T1’s five-game loss streak shortly before the playoffs of the LCK Summer Split.
The contrast between T1 with and without Faker has been obvious, forcing fans to re-evaluate the value of what the legendary midlaner contributes to the team.
Faker’s undeniable impact
Faker took a break from active play starting July 5th, due to a hand and arm injury that had been plaguing his play already weeks before the eventual timeout.
With T1 Academy mid-laner Yoon “Poby” Sung-won stepping into the role, the team played a total of eight matches without Faker, losing seven, and many of them being against low-ranking opponents.
While Faker’s individual stats weren’t outstanding, the impact he appears to have on T1’s macro game is undeniable. Fans have quantified the staggering difference, with one Reddit user, u/tiredofdev pointing towards the mind-boggling win rate difference. T
They wrote: “T1 are 57-6 with faker across the last 4 splits and 1-7 without him. Meaning they have lost more matches in the last 2-3 weeks without him than they did in the last 2 years with him.”
Another commenter, u/stupid-adcarry agreed, replying with an anecdote from the match: “That play after that dragon fight in game 2, where T1 took 3 turrets, a drag out of a single teamfight is night and day from the macro they had so far without him, just goes to show how important a shotcaller like faker is.”
The GOAT is back
Faker’s return wasn’t an absolute necessity given that T1 had clinched a playoff spot largely due to the 6-2 score it had achieved before he went on a break. According to T1, Faker himself made the call based on his medical prognosis.
LCK Summer Playoffs are merely a week away, and with T1 locked locking the 5th place in the regular season standings, the third seed will get to decide whether they will want to dodge the newly reinvigorated team around the South Korean star player.
T1 will play Liiv SANDBOX on Friday at 9 am BST / 10 am CET / 1 am PST / 4 am EST to finish out the regular season.