Faker and T1's Triumph at Worlds 2023 by Numbers

▲ Source: LoL Esports


The curtain has fallen on Worlds 2023, with T1 securing the championship. This victory marks T1 and Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's fourth Worlds championship. Beyond this remarkable feat, Worlds 2023 provided numerous anecdotes and achievements for T1 and Faker from the very beginning. Let's delve into some of the notable records.



1 - First participation, immediate triumph


Despite boasting numerous victories and a dazzling career, this was the first time Faker participated in Worlds held in Korea. In his inaugural appearance, he clinched the Summoner’s Cup, reminiscent of his initial triumph at his first Worlds.


2 - Only two losses throughout Worlds 2023


From the Swiss Stage through the quarterfinals, semifinals, and grand finals, T1 suffered only two defeats throughout Worlds 2023. Gen.G and JD Gaming were the only two teams that managed to secure a single game win against T1.



4 - Beating all four LPL teams


T1 and Faker triumphed over all four LPL teams that made it to Worlds from the knockout stage. They secured a 2-0 victory against Bilibili Gaming in the knockout stage play-in, swept LNG Esports 3-0 in the quarterfinals, defeated JD Gaming 3-1 in the semifinals, and emerged victorious against Weibo Gaming with a 3-0 score in the grand finals. Essentially, the whole Worlds 2023 was a showdown between T1 and the LPL.


▲ Source: LoL Esports


5 - Xiaohu's fifth loss to T1 and Faker at Worlds


Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao experienced his fifth defeat at the World Championship against Faker. Teaming up with Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, he bowed out in the semifinals and quarterfinals of Worlds 2016 and 2017, respectively. Although he didn't face elimination in 2019 due to the loss, he lost to Faker twice in the group stage. Again, he suffered a defeat to T1 in the quarterfinals last year and once again in the grand finals this year.


5 - Faker only needed five champions to win


Faker used only five champions in Worlds 2023: Azir, Orianna, Sylas, Akali, and Ahri. One reason behind this selection was that Faker was the only player in the tournament who could confidently face Orianna with Azir. The matchup record between Orianna and Azir in Worlds 2023 was 11-3, with all three Azir victories played by Faker.



6 - Overcoming past champions


Faker defeated six previous world champions, who won Worlds from 2017 through 2022, as he reclaimed the throne. He triumphed over JDG Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk (2017 champion, SSG), WBG Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok (2018 champion, iG), WBG Liu "Crisp" Qing-Song (2019 champion, FPX), WBG coach Yang "Daeny" Dae-in (2020 champion, DWG), LNG Lee "Scout" Ye-chan in (2021 champion, EDG), and TL Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon in (2022 champion, DRX). He conquered all six of them in Worlds 2023.


7 - Seven years since T1 and Faker’s last triumph


The last time T1 and Faker lifted the Summoner’s Cup was in 2016. Following back-to-back victories in 2015 and 2016, they reached the finals in 2017 but faced defeat. After a prolonged period, they reclaimed the throne after seven years.


▲ Source: LoL Esports


8 - Most Worlds appearances


With his eighth Worlds appearance, Faker ties the record. Alongside last year's champion and high school schoolmate Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu, he achieved his eighth appearance in Worlds 2023. The only other players with eight Worlds appearances are Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. Notably, Faker reached at least the semifinals in all eight of his Worlds appearances. T1 also played in their eighth Worlds, with only Fnatic (11 times) and Cloud9 (10 times) having more appearances.



T1 and Faker historically regarded victories as imperative, but Faker seemed to have a different approach to the game after his wrist injury. On multiple occasions, Faker emphasized his gratitude for simply being able to play. "I am thankful to be able to play the game like this," he said. Rather than being obsessed with winning, Faker had a new mindset. In the press conference after the finals, Faker said that he wanted to put on a smile even if they lost 0-3.


Faker dedicated this World Championship to his teammates. In the preview of the finals, he said, “The third trophy was for myself. The fourth trophy is for my teammates.” And by letting go of the pursuit for victory, he made victory follow him. The key to victory, it seems, required insight rather than more power.


▲ Source: LoL Esports

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