Police have been called to increase security around LoL Park (the tournament venue for the LCK) and the T1 HQ after legendary mid laner – Faker – received threats about fans wanting to kill him. The situation hasn’t escalated yet but the premise has become a topic of conversation not only in the gaming community but among other people as well. What is the reason people want to kill Faker? And are esports fans actually crazy people?
Fan Threatens to Kill Faker
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has always been a target of criticism among the esports community with several instances of hate and non-lethal threats being thrown at him. T1 is arguably the most popular LoL esports organization in South Korea and Faker has always been the heart and soul of the team. Unfortunately, having a huge fan base also means that there are a large number of extremely passionate fans and haters that associate their existence with the team’s success.
Recently, a fan went online to post a threat roughly translating to “I will go to T1’s dormitory and harm Faker with a weapon”. The police were quick to react to this threat considering South Korea has currently been dealing with an unprecedented number of stabbing incidents in the country. While no one can say for sure whether the person was being serious with this statement, this has painted a negative image not only for South Korean esports fans but the community overall.
The person who made the threat to kill Faker has since been arrested after the police pinpointed his location and identity from his IP address. However, the LCK has made the decision to increase security in their events to prevent any possibility of an actual attack happening during their live tournaments. T1 will also most likely have an increased security detail for all their players since the incident will likely spur more people to do something stupid.
It’s probably not the first time a person on the internet has threatened to kill Faker. In fact, T1 has already tried to protect Faker from all the online hate and threats before. The real problem with this issue is that it raises global concern considering the League of Legends World Championships will be held in South Korea this year. The safety of the players, especially Chinese teams, is at heightened risk considering they have a lot of hate in the region.
Are Esports Fans Crazy People?
People are crazy about different types of things. In terms of whether or not esports a large number of esports fans have the same level of obsession with esports, it’s probably not true to an extent. There will always be obsessive fans in every community among the different entertainment genres including physical sports, music, movies and television, and even art. All of these genres have fans that would commit violent acts for the sake of the people they idolize.
In every other fandom, people have already committed violent acts against other people but esports has yet to report any major act of violence against a player or another fan. The worst that esports fans have done is type threats on the internet, promoting toxic culture in gaming. However, this doesn’t justify the people who do paint a bad image in the community by threatening other players, their families, and other people in the community.
Why Do Esports Fans Get So Mad Over Video Games?
It might feel like a funny concept that people are willing to commit murder for the sake of video game fandoms but people have to understand the depth of passion that fans have over any fandom. Like every other fandom, there are people who associate their identity and lifestyle with their favorite esports celebrity. Unfortunately, that also means that the failures can make those extremely obsessed fans angry at the results. Here are some results why people get mad over esports results:
- People who lose large amounts of money on esports betting sites.
- Jealous fandoms that curse others for their team’s misfortune.
- Frustrated fans who have invested their time and money to support a team that’s on a loss streak.
- Angry fans who think that one specific player is dragging the team down.
There are many other reasons why people get so angry at the results of esports matches. The main reason why the fan wanted to kill Faker is because of how he was forced to take a sick leave from the team to recover from an injury, resulting in a huge loss streak. There’s also the possibility that the person was supporting KT Rolster, who was recently defeated by T1 in the playoffs. Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t look good when a community tries to threaten the safety of another person.
Worlds in South Korea
While it’s unfortunate that we have to associate the actions of one man with an entire country, it has raised a red flag for players, their fans, and esports organizations over Worlds being held in South Korea. The rise in stabbing-related incidents in the country only bolsters the worry of other teams, especially now that one of the most notable players in League of Legends history is being targeted by people online.
It is only appropriate that Riot Games increase the security in the World Championships to ensure that no accidents will occur while the tournament is going on. The safety of the fans and players should be placed above all else. Even if the person who threatened to kill Faker only posted what he said out of frustration without any true murderous intent behind his words, Riot Games and the community still shouldn’t take this issue lightly.
How is Faker?
Faker is most likely unharmed from the incident since police managed to nab the suspect immediately. However, it may not be the same for his emotional and psychological state. Despite him being a pseudo-celebrity, we still shouldn’t expect that this incident won’t leave a permanent scar on his heart and mind. The only thing we can do for the legendary player is to send messages of love and support while we combat the concept of normalizing toxicity and violent behavior in video games.