League of Legends’ Faker Becomes Part-Owner of his Esports Team | Kotaku UK
By Alistair Jones on at
One of the biggest names in League of Legends has signed a deal making him part-owner of his esports organisation.Three-time world champion Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok has confirmed a new, three-year deal with T1, and confirmed a leadership role within the company after he eventually retires.
Speaking to ESPN , Faker said that “I am excited to continue playing for T1 and am thankful for all the fans around the world who have supported me all these years.I am honoured to become a part-owner of T1 and look forward to working with the leadership team beyond my playing career.”
The new contract is significant in the way it future-proofs Faker’s relationship with his team.Many aspects of the agreement are far from unheard-of – a number of former pros have gone on to found new esports organisations or moved into coaching roles – but to secure the promise of those new positions while still actively playing at the highest-level is certainly unusual.The three-year deal is the longest that LoL developer Riot Games will allow, but as Faker will only be 26 when it expires, there’s no guarantee he’ll be looking to leave the competitive scene.
Faker’s place in Korean, and indeed worldwide esports history is well-established, thanks in no small part to back-to-back world championships in 2015 and 2016, and the new deal puts to rest questions of his desire to play in other regions, but it may also set an interesting precedent for other players.
As the first generation of esports superstars to take part in established leagues starts to approach realistic retirement ages – many of them only in their mid twenties – it’s responsible for organisations to attempt to bring them deeper into the fold.Faker’s deal is unlikely to create a wave of similar contract renegotiations, but it could prove to be an important part of longevity within esports as a whole.Tags: .