Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok may have missed the World Championship for the first time since 2014, but that certainly hasn’t hurt his popularity.
The man often regarded as the best League of Legends player in the world currently possesses a whopping 35.4% of the South Korean vote for All-Star 2018.
The dramatic percentage of votes was brought to attention on the League of Legends subreddit, showing a photo from Kingzone DragonX Jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho’s Instagram account highlighting the disparity.
Faker currently possesses more of the voting percentage than the next four players combined. In addition, the closest in percentage is fellow SK Telecom T1 carry Bae “Bang” Jun-sik at 7.8% — a 27.6% difference.
The past year has not been kind to Faker and his teammates at SK Telecom T1. Following a 3-0 loss in the 2017 World Championship final to Samsung Galaxy, Top Laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon returned to North America to join Echo Fox. Peanut joined Kingzone DragonX after an inconsistent campaign as one half of a jungle platoon with Kang “Blank” Sun-gu.
Despite being a Worlds finalist, SKT was did not sign a known commodity, choosing instead to bring on rookies Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk and Lee “Effort” Sang-ho in the top and support positions, respectively. The previous iteration of SK Telecom T1 had to be dragged to the finish line by Faker, and this latest roster proved too heavy even for the famous mid laner to carry.
While SKT’s players showed individual growth and flashes of brilliance, the team failed to develop any cohesive synergy as the season progressed. Faker himself was sometimes accused of overreaching.
SKT missed the summer playoffs and lost their chance at a Worlds bid after being eliminated by Gen.G in the first round of the regional qualifier. Despite this, South Korean League of Legends fans have made it clear that their opinions of the organization’s recent struggles and Faker are as different as night and day.