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S. Korea wins gold in League of Legends competition; Faker tops podium

Sept. 29, 2023 - 23:18 By Yonhap

South Korea team competes against Taiwan during the Esports League of Legends final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Friday. (AP)

HANGZHOU, China -- South Korea won the inaugural title of the League of Legends (LOL) competition at the 19th Asian Games in China on Friday, helping LOL superstar Lee Sang-hyeok, or Faker, become a gold medalist at the Asiad.

In the LOL final held at China Hangzhou Esports Centre in Hangzhou, China, the team of Lee, Seo Jin-hyeok, Park Jae-hyeok, Jung Ji-hun, Ryu Min-seok and Choi Woo-je beat Chinese Taipei 2-0 to claim the Asian Games crown.

This is South Korea's second gold from esports, which made their Asian Games debut as medal sports in Hangzhou, after one from Street Fighter V was won by 44-year old gamer Kim Gwan-woo the previous day.

Earlier this week, Kwak Jun-hyouk won the bronze medal in the FC Online competition, a multiplayer online football game formerly known as FIFA Online.

At the Hangzhou Asiad, seven esports are contested for seven gold medals. The competitive video game tournaments, especially among professional gamers, served as a demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

In LOL, the popular multiplayer online battle arena video game developed in 2009, two teams of five players battle in head-to-head combat to destroy the opponent's "nexus," a large structure deep inside the enemy base.

South Korea became the Asian Games' inaugural LOL champions in an invincible feat. It had been undefeated in its five matches at Hangzhou, without even dropping a set.

In the final, South Korea set its lineup of five players without Lee, who captains the all-star team, as it did in the neck-and-neck semifinals against archrival China.

After taking the first set in 29 minutes, both teams battled back and forth in the beginning of the second set before taking the lead in the 18th minute.

Then, South Korea did not allow their opponents to catch up and destroy the nexus. (Yonhap)