Faker Rubbishes 'Ageing Curve' And Hints At Many More Years At His Peak
He's the most successful player in League of Legends history, and as an overall sweetheart of the scene, nobody wants to see Lee "Faker" Sang-Hyeok hang up his keyboard and mouse.
Nearly ten years on since his first professional game and Faker has won many championships, although the hearts of the League of Legends community are his most valuable prize. Despite a two-year dip where T1's roster underwent some severe surgery, the Unkillable Demon King is back on his LCK throne, and has his eyes set on another MSI victory this year.
But when will his reign end? Like all athletes, there must be a point where it's time to call it quits, and without tempting fate - as nobody wants to see the back of Faker - the 26-year-old is often poised with the temptation to search for money in the content or business sphere instead of going for a fourth World Championship. At 26 years old, Faker has now rubbished any talks of retirement, and believes the ageing curve is not a problem.
Faker Insists Ageing Curve Is a Myth and Intends To Continue Playing For Years
Speaking in an interview with Inven Global, Faker admitted that there's no reason why someone in their early 20s wouldn't be able to perform at the pinnacle of League of Legends. "I never thought that pro players' careers had short lifespans. It’s natural for some to retire, while others keep going," he said.
"There will be veterans that are good at the game, and there’ll be those that aren’t. I never once thought the ageing curve for pro players existed, because if you remove the age from the equation, it’s easy to tell who’s good and who’s not."
"LoL doesn’t require a lot of wrist movement in comparison to StarCraft. Factors like this are why you can play longer. Whether it’s your micro or your macro, I believe those diminish slowly over time. That’s why I believe that there won’t be a huge difference between a player in their early 20s and those in their early 30s," Faker continued.
"I also became part of a great team and met great teammates, so I think that’s why I was able to play in a championship-winning environment for longer."
Where Does Faker Find Motivation?
What motivates someone that has won it all? Money? Maybe for some, but not for the elite. Over in Call of Duty, three-time world champion James "Clayster" Eubanks has often been vocal about leaving a legacy by impacting other players' careers around him. But what about Faker?
Well, his need for constant self-improvement is what fuels his fire. Like a craving, Faker isn't happy with mediocracy and feeds off getting better at even the smallest of things. Having opened up to Inven about money motivation in his early years, the legend then detailed what has changed over the years.
"I have a huge need for self-improvement. That’s why, on the surface level, winning championships is my goal as a pro gamer, but if you go deeper, my priority is to work really hard at the tasks I’m given," he said, adding "It was also my job, so I felt a sense of responsibility to be better at it."
T1's incredible ongoing win streak will come up against its biggest threat so far, as Faker prepares to take on G2 Esports, who has an impressive record as of late. Coming off the bat of 26 wins and no losses, T1 and Faker will need to stop G2's 12-win-streak to progress at MSI 2022, as the two favourites meet in a clash of the titans on May 20.