T1 in freefall without Faker, loses another series against bottom-ranked team


    It’s an endless arsenal of ammunition for the supporters of South Korean League of Legends superstar Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.

    For the second time since Faker’s break caused by an arm and hand injury, his team T1 has lost against the bottom-ranked LCK team DRX.

    The impact of Faker’s injury

    Click to enlarge

    On July 5, T1 announced that Faker would be taking a break due to an ongoing injury that had impacted his play starting in week 2 of the LCK Summer Split.

    T1 Academy player Yoon “Poby” Sung-won was subsequently promoted to the main team and has been filling in for Faker since week 5.

    Since then, T1 has only won a single match against Nonshim Redforce and has otherwise lost six games, two of which are against the tied-last-place team DRX. 

    Fortunately, Faker only left T1 when the team was already at a 6-2 season score, and therefore, still remains in playoff contention even though the team can no longer claim one of the two top seeds that directly seed into the second round of the LCK Playoff bracket.

    T1 faces off against KT Rolster on Saturday, who with a 14-1 score is currently sitting on top of the rankings. 

    With a loss almost assured against them, Week 9 pairs T1 against Kwangdong Freecs and Liiv SANDBOX, who are at least mathematically still capable of displacing T1 from a playoff spot.

    When is Faker coming back?

    Having Faker during the LCK Spring Split, T1 had topped the regular season standings with a dominating score of 17-1. In the playoffs, the team only fell short during the grand finals, losing to regional rival Gen.G.

    While T1 has not given a definitive date for Faker’s return, the team shared in a post-match interview that they are “aiming to have him back in time for the playoffs.” according to a translation of an article by Naver. 

    Round 1 of the LCK Summer Playoffs is set to start on August 8, 2023. With T1’s projected placement, they are likely to be forced to play either on said day or the day after, depending on the choice of the third-seeded team.


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