Faker’s Legal Team Files Lawsuits Against Those Who Verbally Harassed Him Online
Being a pro player in the world of esports means that one is constantly under the lens of the community and always being subjected to criticism. However, one has to draw the line between criticism and harassment to maintain a healthy environment. Reinforcing this, on 19th July, South Korean esports organization T1 and its legal team filed a criminal lawsuit against those who wrote malicious comments toward its League of Legends star player and mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. The organization and Faker’s legal team – Apex – reportedly provided official statements in front of the Jongno Police Station and also addressed the media, according to a report by .
Faker’s legal team and T1 file lawsuits
The constant harassment and spiteful online comments have caused Faker, his family, and those around him undue amounts of stress and pain, said the legal team’s statement. As per a translation of the statements given by Inven Global, Apex said, “With respect to Faker’s opinion on this matter, we are filing criminal lawsuits only towards those that repeatedly and habitually left such malicious comments, as he felt that these individuals need to be severely sanctioned. As such, there will be no plea nor favorable arrangement deals.”
T1 said, “The suits that we’re filing today are not one-off measures. T1 would like to clarify that should there be additional cases of those that violate the personal rights of our players, we will proactively take legal action to protect our players.”
While addressing the media, Apex and T1 revealed that they were suing a small group of people and that they have taken action only against those who have been continuously leaving spiteful comments. They did not specify what the comments were or what level of severity they were since it would reveal the identity of those getting sued. However, they stated that there were slanders directed at Faker’s mother and “drawings that would be considered unspeakably foul.”
Notably, the lawsuit is being filed under the Insult Law of the Criminal Act Article 311. The legal team stated that it noticed an influx in these posts and that their severity had gotten worse after the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 and that it wanted to take action.
According to Inven, in case of an insult law in Korea, the accused are reportedly fined between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 KRW (Korean Won) which amounts to $764.58 - $1529.17 USD, and depending on the severity and frequency, there could be jail time. “In our case, because these individuals have been very malicious and continuously insulted Faker, we believe that the sentencing will be much harsher than a simple 1-2 Million KRW fine,” said the legal team.
Esports organizations in South Korea have been putting toxic fans in their place by calling them out and taking legal action. Recently, , which fields its team in the League of Legends scene, released a statement condemning some of its fans for reportedly sending a weapon to its practice facility.