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Faker to advance to 2023 LoL World Championship

Aug. 20, 2023 - 14:22 By Lee Si-jin
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (T1)

After a hard-fought 3-2 victory over KT Rolster in the semifinal of the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer on Saturday, esports giant T1 have secure their spot not only in the finals, but also at this year’s LoL World Championship.

As Gen.G and T1 made one-two finishes in both spring and summer seasons, the two teams will be automatically qualified for LoL World Championship with the most championship points regardless of their performances in the upcoming 2023 LCK Summer finals.

The living esports legend Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, a mid-laner for the T1 team, will make his eighth LoL Worlds appearance among a total of 13 tournaments since 2011.

Though Faker has won multiple championships -- in 2013, 2015 and 2016 -- he has never been part of the LoL Worlds when it was held in South Korea in 2014 and 2018.

This has led many esports fans to speculate that Faker and his team will experience a career-low season if the annual esports tournament is scheduled to be held in South Korea.

“It doesn’t really matter where the LoL Worlds is held. However, I think it will be a great experience to play in front of the home supporters, so I am looking forward to the World Championship tournament,” Faker said after a semifinal match at Daejeon Convention Center in Daejeon, Saturday.

The annual LoL Worlds is scheduled to be held in Seoul and Busan in October with 22 teams vying for the grand prize of the Summoner’s Cup.

Starting Oct. 10, eight teams are set to compete in a double elimination tournament on the Play-In Stage. The preliminaries will take place at LoL Part, the stadium for LCK in Jongno-gu, central Seoul.

A total of 16 teams -- two qualifying teams from the Play-In Stage and 14 pre-qualified teams -- will join the newly introduced Swiss Stage, a non-eliminating tournament that offers a fixed number of matches, allowing the players to qualify for the next round by achieving three victories.

The Swiss Stage will be held at KBS Arena in Gangseo-gu, western Seoul, from Oct. 19 to 29.

While Busan will host the knockout stages at Sajik Gymnasium, the 2023 World Championships Finals will return to Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro-gu, southwestern Seoul, on Nov. 19.

In addition to Gen.G and T1, Bilibili Gaming, LNG Esports, JDG Intel Esports Club of China, Team Liquid, NRG, Cloud 9 of the US and the European esports club MAD Lions have secured their spots for the 2023 LoL Worlds as of Sunday.