T1 Faker

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Faker Voices Frustration With the State of Korean SoloQ

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Highlights
Faker was seemingly upset by the fact that it was a Chinese pro player who griefed in his game. He considered boycotting Solo Queue if this continued.
LCK staff said that the Korean accounts are given to pros who sign a pledge and that the issue was being discussed.
Top Esports (TES) substitute player Yu "Qingtian" Zi-Han issued an apology and TES also stated that it would cooperate with further investigations and would deduct his salary as punishment.

Update: The League of Legends Pro League Takes Action Against TES Qingtian

The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) issued an official statement acknowledging the negative behavior of Top Esports’ (TES) substitute top-laner Yu "Qingtian" Zi-Han on the Korean server. This comes after the Chinese pro was called out by Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok for griefing with Aatrox in the top lane and starting multiple surrender votes during the course of the game. After investigations, the LPL staff recognized that Qingtian was griefing and had an overall negative impact. According to a Twitter account called the LPL Fanclub and a Reddit thread, Qingtian was penalized for his negative behavior.

As per the LPL official regulation No. 11.2.2 and official penalty rules, Qingtian was imposed the following penalties with immediate effect:

  • He will be charged with a 50K Chinese Yuan fine (approximately $7.9K USD)

  • Qingtian will be suspended for 2 matches (BO3)

  • His Korean server account will be banned until 31st December 2022

The state of Solo Queue and ranked in League of Legends has been a hot topic of debate for many years now. Solo Queue constantly tests the patience of players, be it amateurs or pros, and pushes them to their wits’ end. No pun intended. It looks like North America (NA) might have found a plausible way to finally make Solo Queue bearable, at least for the top-tier players. Champions Queue in NA has ruled out the possibility of pros intentionally feeding or griefing in ranked games and has incentivized climbing in Solo Queue. However, it seems like even the most competitive region – Korea – is not spared of its Solo Queue woes and the Demon King was no exception.

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, star player and mid-laner of T1, recently voiced his frustrations about the state of Solo Queue in the Korean server. During a Twitch broadcast, Faker was seemingly upset with one match in particular where his top-laner playing Aatrox griefed.

What happened on Faker’s stream?

During a Twitch stream on 9th March, Faker criticized his team for their reckless play throughout the game. The Aatrox in the top lane kept dying over and over again, failed to warn his teammates about the enemy top’s possible roams, and never listened to any of the calls made by Faker. The player also started the forfeit vote multiple times during the course of the time.

In this following Twitch clip, Faker’s visible frustration with his teammate can be seen. Since the stream was in Korean, the translations can be found in Faker’s chat.

He said, “He throws again and he even has a bad mentality! This is the kind of player that I hate most but I guess Riot is fine with these kinds of guys.

Later on, Faker also learned that the top laner in question was in fact a Chinese pro player. It was revealed that the Aatrox was Top Esports’ (TES) substitute player Yu "Qingtian" Zi-Han. His in-game name was “Turned to leave” and the pro recorded 0 kills, 16 deaths, and 2 assists in the game that was eventually lost.

Screengrab of the stats of Faker's game with Qingtian who played Aatrox

Addressing the situation of Chinese pros playing on the Korean server, Faker said, “To be honest I don't understand why Chinese pros are allowed Riot Super accounts in the first place.” A Reddit post also explained this situation. The post said, “Faker is baffled at why Chinese pros keep getting super accounts in Kr [Korean] server. He stated that this keeps on having a negative effect and something that has persisted from 2015.”

This is not the first time Faker has been griefed by one of his teammates as this was actually a routine for most Solo Queue players. A Reddit comment on the same thread said, “Don't have a link but essentially betting sites had betting on Faker's SoloQ games and people would int to make him lose while betting on him losing or chain gank him 24/7 on the opposite team... creating quite the s*** experience for Faker.

Following this, Faker proclaimed, “If I meet that kind of player one more time I'll just boycott solo rank. That one was just too much.

Another Redditor pointed out that even in the Spring of 2020, Faker had the least amount of SoloQ games out of any Korean pro and won the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) by just being in Diamond 1 tier.

LCK staff respond to Faker's complaints

According to a Korean news portal named kmib.co.kr, the LCK staff responded to Faker’s complaints on the issue. T1 took cognizance of the problem and a staff member said, “We are aware of what happened in Lee Sang-hyeok's solo rank at dawn. He has communicated his intentions to the LCK secretariat, and I understand that the secretariat is currently discussing it.

In response, the LCK staff reportedly said, “The current state of affairs is that super accounts are given to all pro players who have signed a pledge/contract. This doesn't just apply to Chinese pro players, but pro players of other overseas regions as well, so it is difficult to consider this matter solely from the perspective of the Korean office/region. However, players from the LCK are of course our number one priority.

TES Qingtian issues apology

Following this incident with Faker, TES’ substitute top-laner Qingtian has reportedly apologized for his behavior in the Solo Queue game. Twitter user Sher, who has 3.8K followers, provided a TLDR; version of the pro’s apology. They tweeted, “No time to translate the details now but Qingtian has posted a public apology regarding the situation with Faker. TES also said they will cooperate with all further investigations regarding the matter and will deduct his salary according to the punishment given by the league.”

Another Twitter user translated the statement from TES and shared it for convenience.

TES Statement translation

Looks like a pro player griefing in a Solo Queue game with Faker was the last straw. It will be interesting to see how the issue pans out in the coming days.


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Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant