On Nov. 19, T1 swept Weibo Gaming 3-0 and was crowned as champions of the 2023 LoL World Championship. It’s the fourth overall Worlds championship for T1 and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, which cements Faker and the organization as the greatest of all time even further. After the series, T1 members joined the media room for a press conference.
(To Everyone) What skins are you going to make? (To Faker) Are you planning to use it?
Zeus: I’m going back and forth between Jayce and Yone. My mind wants Yone but my head wants Jayce, or vice-versa.
Oner: I felt that there’s only Lee Sin, but there are way too many Lee Sin skins... I’m still thinking about it, but it’s most likely going to be Lee Sin.
Faker: I haven’t thought about it, so I should start thinking. I’ll be making one that many people want. I’m not sure if I’ll be using it or not.
Gumayusi: I want to make Jinx.
Keria: I thought it wouldn’t mean anything unless I get Lux, but since I didn’t play it this Worlds, it’s either going to be Bard or Renata Glasc.
(To Faker) This is another very high point in your career. Has the thought of retiring crossed your mind? Or will we have Faker for a very long time?
Faker: Since I’m still contracted with T1, I’ll still be working with the organization. I’ve been learning a lot and growing throughout my pro gaming career. This isn’t an experience anyone can have, so I’ll keep on working hard and think about retiring later on.
(To Keria) Your moment from last year that lasted all year long for losing. You have a new moment and a new great memory now. How does that feel?
Keria: I still find it somewhat surreal. I haven’t won many championships up to now, so I think I was kind of pressured when I play in big matches. Now that I’ve won, I’ve gained more confidence, and I believe I’ll be able to do well in the future as well. I think I’ll be able to do well if I’m given the chance.
(To Oner) You had some struggles through summer but you’re the best jungler at Worlds. What made that difference?
Oner: In sports, there are times when you’re good and times when you’re bad. It’s important to improve all the time instead of stopping when you’re not performing as well. For me, I think not giving up was important.
(To Gumayusi) As we all saw in the teaser, it seems that your family means a million to you. How many family members came to watch the finals today? Did you talk to them after winning the championship?
Gumayusi: Except for the youngest older sister who’s abroad, all seven family members came and cheered me on. The first thing I did after winning was contact them.
(To Faker) It seems that one of the reasons you were able to win Worlds four times was that you had exceptional faith in yourself. Is there anything that you believe in that others don’t?
Faker: I don’t know what other people believe, so I can’t speak for them. There’s one thing I firmly believed, though. I wanted to learn a lot through this Worlds, and I believed that if I always had the mindset of learning constantly, winning Worlds would follow. Luckily, I was able to win. I’m very grateful for this experience.
(To Faker) You have fans all around the world. What do you have to say about having support outside of Korea?
Faker: I’m loved by so many people from many different regions. It’s not because I’m great but because the environment allowed people to support me, which was positive for me. It’s because of them that I could work harder and improve more, so I’m very grateful.
(To Faker) You kept saying that you were thankful for being able to continue to play regardless of winning or losing. Do you think that mindset affected your performance or today’s result?
Faker: Personally, at this Worlds, I was curious how our performance would be if I didn’t think about winning or losing and just focused on the process. I believe I improved even more with this mindset. I was able to focus fully, and that improved the game performance.
As a goal, I imagined a situation where we lost 0-3, and I wanted to have a mindset where I could smile even after losing like that. The preparation process was enjoyable, and that was how we were able to get good results.
(To Keria) You were sobbing after the loss in the finals last year. This time, you won. What would you like to say to last year’s you?
Keria: I’d like to tell myself to do my best until the very end.
(To Gumayusi) During the regular season, T1 fell into a losing streak without Faker. You won Worlds today. What kind of effort did you make to get out of the losing streak?
Gumayusi: I don’t think the summer season and this Worlds had any relation. The way to get out of a losing streak is to recover mentally and physically. That way, you can spread your wings again to fly.
(To Oner) You played Lee Sin twice today. What do you think about Lee Sin?
Oner: I can’t say that Lee Sin is top-tier in the current meta, but depending on who plays it, it could become a top-tier champion. That’s why I considered it an important champion in this series.
(To Zeus) When you played Gwen into Aatrox last year, the result wasn’t good, but you played the same matchup again today.
Zeus: Thinking back, I didn’t have a good enough understanding of the matchup because I only prepared the Gwen pick on the day of the finals. This time, I had some experience playing Aatrox against Zika’s Gwen, and I had practiced it for a long time, so I was able to play it confidently.
(To Faker) What was the most important throughout your career as a pro player?
Faker: As a pro player, the most important thing is to always strive to improve. Having a humble attitude is also important.
(To Faker) The last time you won Worlds was seven years ago. Now that you’ve gained your fourth Worlds championship, how do you feel? Are you over the regrets from last year?
Faker: I think I was really lucky to win Worlds today. I did my best to work hard as we prepared, and that process led us to winning the championship today. I’m thankful that we luckily won the championship. I was able to learn a lot and grow, thanks to my teammates who gave me a chance to win another championship, thanks to all the supporting fans, and thanks to all the opponents who faced us. Thank you.
(To Faker) You won the gold medal at the Asian Games and finished off the year with another Worlds championship. What does this year mean to you?
Faker: Although I wasn’t able to play in many games as a starter, I was thankful for being able to have such a valuable experience and winning the gold medal. At this Worlds as well, the result is amazing, but what was more amazing was the process and our performance. I’m thankful for all the support and attention from everyone.
(To Tom) What was the main reason for today's win? What was your main focus in the draft?
Tom: Despite the fact that there were players who were absent due to the Asian Games, everyone worked really hard throughout the tiring journey. As for the draft, the players and the coaching staff all analyzed the champions every day and made modifications to our draft strategy. That’s why we were able to get good results.
(To Gumayusi) Who do you want to thank the most for winning this championship?
Gumayusi: I’d like to thank my teammates and the coaching staff for working so hard together with me.
(To Zeus, Gumayusi, Keria) Oner and Faker’s contracts won’t expire this year. The others have to negotiate with the team. T1 has said that regardless of the salary cap, they will listen closely to the players’ thoughts. What are your thoughts?
Zeus: Winning Worlds hasn’t fully got to me yet, so there’s a lot to think about afterward. My future isn’t important right now, I just want to enjoy the victory today for now.
Gumayusi: I made a pledge before Worlds began, and I probably should keep it. If the team has a good idea, I think it’ll be positive since I love T1 and all the T1 members so much.
Keria: I haven’t talked to the team about the matter since I was working so hard for Worlds. My contract ends in two days, and we’ll probably keep talking afterward.
(To Tom) You stepped in during the middle of the summer season as the interim head coach, and at that time, Faker had to rest due to an injury. What did you think back then? What changes did you make?
Tom: In-game, the communication in the side lanes wasn’t as good. As Poby had to play in Faker’s place, all the other players felt what they lacked, so they were able to improve those aspects. Since Bengi left, I thought I should do whatever I can do.
(To Gumayusi) You struggled due to a champion pool issue. What was your mindset going into Worlds? How will you prepare for next year?
Gumayusi: When I was preparing for Worlds, my goal wasn’t to pursue the championship; I wanted the championship to pursue me. I don’t think any pro player can play every champion perfectly. There are champions that I can’t play as well, but considering that some of the champions I’m good at are ones that I wasn’t as good at before, I believe I can improve those champions. I’m not sure how it’ll go last year, but I want to go for another championship with good teammates in a good team.
(To Faker) What does this championship mean to you in your career? Any words to those that need motivation?
Faker: I learned so much through this Worlds. Personally, I’m quite weak to addiction. I wasted some time while preparing for Worlds doing rather useless things, so I want to improve that. These days, things like YouTube and TikTok are very addictive, and I want to try to quit. I believe there are many people who are suffering from the same thing, so I’d like to cheer them on.
(To Zeus) You won the Asian Games gold medal and an MVP at the Worlds finals. How do you feel? What is your plan for the future?
Zeus: I did achieve many things at a young age, but there are many more days to live, and I might not be able to do as well in the future. I won’t be arrogant; I’ll try to be humble and diligent.
(To Keria) You cried so hard last year. How did those tears affect your victory today?
Keria: Since I had that experience last year, I was able to do well with that memory. I was able to do well because I learned a lot from Worlds 2022.
(To Faker) You said this Worlds was for the team. Do you have any other goals left?
Faker: My constant goal is to improve over and over. I hope fans can be happy or inspired by watching me do so.