Bjergsen, Doublelift, and Rekkles have all failed to reclaim their dominance in their respective regions. Many have criticized these people for the longest time due to their underwhelming performance in the competitive scene. While many like to blame age and burnout as the main reasons for these players’ performance decline, Faker remains at the top regardless of the season. How does this man continue to stand on top of the LoL esports scene?
Veterans in League of Legends
Faker isn’t the only active veteran playing in the current League of Legends scene. Names like Bjergsen, Doublelift, Rekkles, Jensen, Rookie, and CoreJJ are still present in the present era but none of them have retained the same reputation as the Unkillable Demon King himself. Despite being the top players in their time, how come a lot of the other players failed to attain the same standing as the legendary mid laner?
The status of veteran isn’t often met with a positive opinion among the core esports community because that would only mean that they are “washed up'”. While many older players have had their pop-off moments here and there, it is not untrue that they aren’t as dominant as the younger talent in the league. Even Faker, who belongs to the current top team in the world, still isn’t considered the top mid laner in his region outside of fan votes.
It is true that veterans are often the most valuable member of their team because they still contribute the knowledge and leadership skills that someone who has competed for years to the team. Younger esports competitors often feel more secure being led by someone who has proven themselves on the big stage. As for the organizations, having a big name on their roster adds to their brand image and is a good source of money in terms of additional fanbases and more sponsors backing them.
Unfortunately for a lot of aspiring pros in esports, organizations will always choose to add a proven veteran to their rosters rather than a promising new talent. Competition isn’t always the goal for upper management since they value being able to make more money. That’s why a lot of star players end up being in a team with subpar players because the organizations either don’t have enough budget left or aren’t keen on spending more of their funds to field a competitive roster.
How Faker Retained His Dominance on the World Stage
Faker has proven to everyone that he is the best LoL player of all time and there isn’t anyone who’s close enough to his level to dethrone this title. The only question left is how is it that this player managed to keep appearing at Worlds and even participate in most MSIs despite being one of the oldest players in the league. Is Faker a great player or a great motivation for his teammates to compete at the highest level?
First of all, Faker isn’t a bad player but he also isn’t in the same peak form that he was more than 6 years ago. Fans could argue that he is still a top 3 mid laner domestically but he definitely isn’t on the top 10 players in the region. In fact, he isn’t even a top 3 player on his own team currently (T1 Spring 2023). He hasn’t been the best player on his team for so many years now because of something that fans tend to overlook, especially the fans who don’t watch all of the LCK games that T1 isn’t playing on.
Faker belongs to one of the very few organizations in the world whose priority is to field the most competitive roster in the region. T1 is known for being a top team in all esports they belong to and they always scout the best players in the region. In League of Legends, they have always built a team that fielded the best names until the 2021 region when they decided to take a chance on developing talent by fielding an astonishing 10-man roster that they swapped around.
The blunt way to say it is that Faker has always had great teammates that helped him succeed. We’re not implying that he got carried in every instance since his performance has always been consistently good throughout his career. Although, it takes more than one great player to carry a team to the same level of success for more than a decade. We do believe that his influence and leadership plays a big part in why he helps bring the team together.
The State of Faker’s Career
Faker belongs to the best League of Legends organization in the world and he hasn’t become a liability to the team in the past years so there’s no chance of him getting kicked out or replaced. However, his age is the biggest issue in his career because he’ll eventually be forced into retirement as he’ll be undergoing mandatory military service as part of South Korea’s requirements for all of its male citizens.
The only way Faker can continue playing League of Legends is if he manages to win the upcoming Asian Games 2023 and secure a Gold Medal for his country. The LCK has become stronger overall this year and it won’t be an easy path for T1 or Faker to secure their spot as the representatives for the upcoming tournament. He’ll have to prove himself to the fans and the judges that he is still the top player in the league.
Can He Remain as the Most Dominant LoL Player Ever?
As we mentioned already, there is nothing left for Faker to prove to the world as he has already won so many international titles in different teams that there won’t be any argument to be made about him not being the most dominant player ever. The question is whether he’ll come back as the most dominant active mid laner in the league and that’s a title that he hasn’t held for a very long time both domestically and internationally.
For now, being in the strongest team in the world would have to suffice to keep himself in the limelight (not like that’s something he wants). If he manages to win another world championship title before he retires, it’ll be extremely difficult for any mid lane to even come close to his level of dominance. He deserves this title more than anyone else in the league and even though he has many haters, they all can’t make a strong enough argument to put him down.