Faker Is Back in the LCK After Arm Injury & Break
July had been a turbulent month for storied Korean esports organization T1 with its star mid-laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok taking a break from pro play due to an arm injury. Additionally, the team's former head coach Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong also resigned from his post after the end of League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) 2023 Summer Split Round 1 on 8th July.
It looks like August has really brought a air of positivity with T1 announcing the return of Faker ahead of its series against Kwangdong Freecs (KDF) on 2nd August on Week 9 of LCK 2023 Summer Split.
The organization posted a message from General Manager Becker Jung, which has raised the morale of all T1 fans and supporters.
Faker Makes Much-Awaited Return to LCK in the Last Week
In the last month, T1 fielded T1’s academy mid-laner Yoon "Poby" Sung-won as a substitute for mid-lane and noted that Im “Tom” Jae-hyeon would be standing in as the team’s head coach for the remainder of the 2023 season amidst Faker's break and Bengi's resignation. Things were looking super bleak for the team as it was trying very hard to make it to the LCK Summer Playoffs.
Now that the top six teams are locked in for the Playoffs, with T1 being the last one to secure that slot, the team has some breathing space to regroup and come back stronger. On 29th July T1 qualified for the playoffs, but the unfortunate part being that it will have to play an elimination match in the first round of the playoffs.
In the announcement post, Becker Jung said, "Though we have secured a spot in the 2023 LCK Summer Playoffs, we hope to bounce back from our current standing. With that said, 'Poby' has returned to the T1 Esports Academy (T1A - Challengers' team) since this week, and we would like to thank him for all his efforts."
He noted that after a thorough discussion with the coaching staff and Faker himself based on medical prognosis, the pro player chose to return starting with the Week 9 match against KDF.
"We hope that the fans stick with us for the remaining 2023 LCK Summer Split and show support and energy as we prepare for the Playoffs," added the GM.
In the eight LCK matches that Faker missed, T1 went on a major losing streak, winning only one of those regular matches. In Week 9, T1 takes on KDF and SANDBOX Gaming and these two series will likely allow Faker to find him rhythm and get over the rustiness before the all-important Playoffs.