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Sidelined LOL star Faker Lee Sang-hyeok proud of his teammates for beating China in semis

Sept. 28, 2023 - 14:47 By Yonhap
South Korean gamer Lee Sang-hyeok, also known as Faker, poses for a photo at China Hangzhou Esports Centre in Hangzhou, China, during the 19th Asian Games on Sept. 25, 2023. (Yonhap)

HANGZHOU -- South Korean gamer Lee Sang-hyeok, better known by his gaming handle, "Faker," might be the biggest star at the 19th Asian Games in China. But he has been sidelined from the recent competitions for the country's first gold in the popular video game League of Legends.

After passing through Saudi Arabia in the quarters the previous day, South Korea beat its archrival China, a strong gold medal hopeful in Hangzhou, 2-0 on Thursday to advance to the final.

The semifinal was a recent head-to-head showdown of the two countries, which are in cut-throat esports rivalry.

But Lee was not with his teammates in the quarters and the semis en route to the gold medal match in the historic tournament in the esports world, where LOL and other video games made their Asian Games debut as official medal sports.

"Suddenly I have a body ache and the flu," Lee told reporters at the mixed zone after the Korea-China semifinal match, wearing a mask. "I feel better as I got an injection and took a pill today."

The gamer did not give clear hints as to whether he will compete in the upcoming final against either Chinese Taipei or Vietnam slated for Friday.

"I think I'm in good form to compete," he said. "My teammates are doing well, and we already overcame China (without me). But I can't tell about my appearance."

He thanked Koreans who gave the team big support at the China Hangzhou Esports Centre during the game against the host country, and promised to bring home the first LOL gold.

"There are a lot of fans and I'm thrilled that we won 2-0 in front of them," he said. "I know China has prepared a lot for the Asian Games, but we beat them 2-0. I'm so proud of my teammates. We'll keep going for gold." (Yonhap)