Legendary mid laner Faker becomes part owner of T1

League of Legends superstar Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is staying put with T1, signing a three-year player contract on Monday that includes part ownership of South Korea-based T1 Entertainment & Sports.

The company called the contract the first of its kind for an esports player.

“I am excited to continue playing for T1 and am thankful for all the fans around the world who have supported me all these years,” Faker said in a statement. “I am honored to become a part owner of T1 and look forward to working with the leadership team beyond my playing career. I love this team and am proud to help mold the future of this organization.”

T1 CEO Joe Marsh said, “T1 is thrilled to have Faker on its roster for the next three seasons. Since T1’s inception, Faker has been the cornerstone of our team’s success and his undying passion for this organization will continue to drive us forward now that he is a part owner of T1 Entertainment & Sports. Even after Faker’s retirement -- whenever that may be -- he will begin the next chapter of his legacy in a leadership role with T1, helping to mold the next generation of elite esports athletes.”

Faker, a 23-year-old South Korean, first came to the then-one-year-old club in 2013 as a mid laner, and he guided T1 to League of Legends World Championship titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016. T1 was the world runner-up in 2017 and lost to G2 Esports in the semifinals last year.

Faker also helped the club win eight League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) titles and two Mid-Season Invitationals.

Last month, Faker told a Korean talk show that he was offered a “blank check” to join a North American organization, but he declined the offer.

T1 is a joint venture between Comcast Spectacor and SK Telecom.

--Field Level Media