Faker gets a stock option from T1

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is a 26-year-old who made history in League of Legends. He is the player with the... Radu M. | 30. January 2023

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is a 26-year-old who made history in League of Legends. He is the player with the highest number of Worlds trophies (three) and Worlds Grand Finals (five). His legacy will not be equaled for a long time to come and T1 knows this.

The South Korean esports organization has had Faker as its player since 2013. Back then, T1 was called SK Telecom T1 K. The company has changed in the last decade but Faker remained loyal and refused to leave despite the many failures that occurred between 2018 and 2021.

Faker’s stock option

It’s a common practice for top companies to give their best employees stock options. This makes them naturally interested in staying with them for the long run and growing their value.

Recently, Faker received such an opportunity from T1. It remains to be seen if he’ll take it or not but what is certain is that he was offered the possibility to buy 5.66% of the shares.

Accepting the offer would allow him to become a shareholder and receive dividends each year. More importantly, it would guarantee to T1 that the most prestigious player in the history of League of Legends will remain part of its brand.

The deal makes perfect sense for both sides. And since Faker has already demonstrated his willingness to make sacrifices for T1 and his loyalty to the organization, he’s almost certainly going to accept the offer.

The only problem is that the purchase of that stock is quite expensive. Faker would need to invest $10.5 million, which is a lot of money for an esports player. Is he ready to take such a risk?

Of course, on the surface, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing. But it’s still a risk that he needs to calculate carefully. If anything goes wrong with T1, with the South Korean esports scene, with Riot Games, or with esports in general, he’s going to lose a lot of money.

What if WW3 breaks out in 2 years? What if something else goes wrong and triggers a massive decline in the esports industry? The number of bad scenarios is certainly not zero and Faker is probably aware of that.

Furthermore, it’s not entirely clear that Faker wants to be involved in T1 or LoL for that matter for his entire life. And this deal basically requires him to remain an active and hardworking member of these communities.

Header: Riot Games