League of Legends superstar and SK Telecom T1 midlaner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has been included in Forbes Asia’s ’30 Under 30′ list for Entertainment and Sports.
Faker is generally regarded as the greatest LoL player of all time, primarily due to his unparalleled prowess in the midlane all while leading SK Telecom to three LoL World Championships in 2013, 2015, and 2016. The 22-year old South Korean is also arguably the most popular LoL player in the world, helping elevate the LoL esports scene in his country to even greater heights.
For its 30 Under 30 lists, Forbes took into consideration factors such as demonstration of leadership, impact, and success — all of which Faker has in spades.
Faker boasts the most prize money won from tournaments in LoL with a total of $1.175 million, according to esportsearnings.com.
Many have also touted him as one of the highest-paid players in all of esports, even if the exact figures of his salary remain undisclosed. Former South Korean StarCraft pro and current TV personality Hong “YellOw” Jin-ho claimed that Faker made a minimum of three billion won or approximately US$2.6 million a year, as reported by the South Korean news site Korizon.
Separate reports also claimed that Faker was offered US$2.5 million per year to re-sign with SK Telecom T1 following their third world championship win. Aside from his salary and tournament winnings, Faker also earns thousands of dollars more from sponsorships and revenue from his Twitch streams.
Only a handful of other players in esports can boast of having the same influence and sheer star power that Faker has. What is even more impressive is that he is just 22 years old, meaning he still has plenty of years left in his prime to compete and add on to his long list of accolades.
Faker is not the first esports athlete to make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Team Liquid midlaner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, Dota 2 The International 2018 champion Johan “Notail” Sundstein, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Champion and MIBR player, Jake “Stewie2k” Yip have all been previously named in the list.