Faker is sponsored by SK Telecom, South Korea's top wireless operator Image: Twitter
Lee Sang Hyeok aka Faker has taken South Korea to new heights in gaming. He is the world's best League of Legends gamer and his pay package and fame can match any high-profile basketball or baseball player's in his country. And the next bit of information is sure to surprise you: Faker is a high school dropout. Yup, you heard that right.
He will be one of the biggest names to participate in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia, where eSports will be held as a demonstration event.
22-year-old Faker entered the world of video games when he was in elementary school and later on, he became a pro in the League of Legends by rapidly climbing up the LoL rankings. In the beginning, he got his friends to form a team and compete in amateur tournaments. As soon as he got a call for a professional team in 2013, he dropped out of school and made his way to the top, defeating the best names in the game.
According to Channel News Asia, South Korea has always been a powerful contender in the world of gaming. It enjoys ultra high-speed Internet and the cyber cafes are armed with powerful high-end computers catering to young gamers. Internet gaming zones can be found in nook and corners.
South Korea's eSports scene is similar to the soccer culture of Germany, where young talents are nurtured by academies. Faker is believed to be paid at least $2.6 million a year by his sponsor SK Telecom, South Korea's top wireless operator. There are more than 25 million players in South Korea, which makes up for half its population and it is the world's sixth biggest video games market.