I live in New England. It's fall. That means Patriots football.
But there's something better going on in Europe right now. It's the League of Legends World Championships. It's a competition with millions of viewers. And the person who dominates one game in particular is treated like a superstar.
No. More than that. He's a God.
His name is Lee Sang-hyeok. Better known as "Faker." Mina Kimes profiled him for ESPN the Magazine.
So who is Faker?
"He's a 20-year-old from South Korea who plays for SK Telecom which many people believe is the best League of Legends team in the world right now," Kimes says.
What's makes him so good?
"He's got incredible mechanics," she says. "In video games or eSports, it's the equivalent of athleticism in the physical sports. So it's things like dodging shots and initiating attacks. He's also amazing because he's able to play so many different champions."
Is he cocky?
"When I interview him I asked him if he thought he was the best in the world and he said, 'I could be,'" Kimes says.
How long will he last at the top?
"That's the tension of eSports right now," Kimes adds. "The players are very young and the careers don't seem to last that long. Some of that is due to carpal tunnel or physical attention span. But some of it is because the game itself changes so often. This is called, 'The Meta.' So the games are constantly patched and altered in a way that makes it difficult to adapt. It would be like if the NFL suddenly was like, 'Eh, rushing touchdowns are no longer worth seven points.' All of a sudden a huge swath of players would become irrelevant."
"What's made Faker so brilliant is his ability to transcend this so far, because he can play so many players."
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