On the second day of the 2016 League of Legends World championships Quarterfinals, Group B’s number one seed SK Telecom took on Group D’s number two seed Royal Never Give Up.
After a promising first game from RNG, SKT took decisive wins in the next three games, helping them to advance to the semifinals. After the series, The Rift Herald had a chance to sit down with SK Telecom’s star midlaner Sanghyoek “Faker” Lee to talk about the games he just played, international fame, and what kind of ability he would like to see on a new midlane champion.
Ryan Gilliam: You have been hailed as the best and the most popular player for three years now and I want to know about the love of those fans and how it’s been for the past three years and I wanted to know are you ever still surprised by the reception you get when you go to any venue in the world?
Sanghyeok “Faker” Lee: So honestly, I’m not really even that surprised any more. And you know, human beings adapt really quickly, and I think I’m kinda used to it now. I love the way the fans treat me and I think it fits my personality. So, I think that’s a really great thing.
Ryan: Obviously it was a surprise that Syndra made it through the pick ban. That’s a champion you have done very well on in the past, how did it feel to be able to pick that up and play it against RNG?
Faker: Playing Syndra a lot made me think this game was not going to be pretty chilled. So, that’s all I thought of.
Ryan: After Season 4 there was a mass exodus of Korean players who all went to China. At the time you told ESPN that you wanted to stay in Korea to represent your nation on the world stage, how do you feel like you have been able to do that in the past couple years since you said that?
Faker: We have had a pretty fantastic performance so far, so I’m pretty satisfied with the results.
Ryan: When you were in North America playing in Solo queue in Season 3 your solo q performance became infamous and everyone knew who you were. How have you had your experience this year playing in North American Solo Queue versus back in Season 3?
Faker: Compared to season 3 I feel that the NA solo queue players have gotten really good. So, I personally feel that there is not that much of a difference between NA solo queue and Korean solo queue anymore.
Ryan: Looking forward to next week, and the rest of the tournament, your potential opponents — that play tomorrow — in ROX and EDG who would you rather face?
Faker: There isn’t really a team I would prefer to meet, but I personally think that ROX Tigers has a higher chance of making it. But on the flip side, if EDG is able to defeat ROX and meet us, then I think that will be a scarier situation for us.
Ryan: This is kind of a hypothetical question but, Riot is always putting out new mid laners that you guys have to adapt to. Is there anything in the future, as Riot is making new champions, that you would like to see a midlane champion have?
Faker: I haven’t thought about it that much, but I really like the idea. If I could pick one thing, it would be a mid laner that has a projectile that doesn’t go straight, and doesn’t come out of the ground. Cause that seems like that’s all it is right now.
Ryan: I have one final question before I let you go. I know that you personally aren’t a fan of skins, but if you guys win again you already have a skin for Zed and for Ryze, what is another champion you would like your fans to have a Faker skin for?
Faker: I haven’t really thought about that right now and I think it’s going to depend on what champion I play in the finals.