Faker sues groups of LCK fans that took matters too far

Faker has initiated a lawsuit against a small group of fans, after being subjected to a barrage of insults and harassment. The player’s lawyers have confirmed there will be no plea nor favourable arrangement deals.

League of Legends LCK superstar mid laner Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok has constantly been the target of critique and toxic comments, but the latest set of insults directed at the player and his family were a tad much. Slanders towards Faker’s mother and obscene drawings that would be considered “unspeakably foul” are the primary reasons for the lawsuit. Faker’s hurt stems mostly from his family being subjected to vile. While he accepts the objective assessment of his performances, which is invariably a byproduct of superstardom, such hate has clearly not gone down well with him.

Faker LCK

Image source: Redbull Esports

Case against the toxic mob

Given the case is now ongoing, Faker’s legal team have been cautious while trickling down information at the moment. What we do know for now, though, is the identities of those being sued has been protected for the moment. They’re also not in a position to confirm how many people are being sued.

Faker’s case falls under Article 311 of the South Korean criminal act. It says, “a person who publicly insults another shall be punished by imprisonment or imprisonment without prison labour for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding two million South Korean won.” Faker’s legal team haven’t ruled out the potential for future legal actions, including civil lawsuits and actions against specific online communities and groups.

T1 have been incredibly successful in the LoL, and their prominence has led to flashpoints and online mobs with fans. Players have in the past spoken about personal attacks while taking it in their stride, but that trend is slowly changing. The overwhelming sentiment now has moved from tolerance and pleas for better behaviour to fighting fire with fire. This move has the blessing of the team too, as they recognizes the mental anguish such repeated incidents have the potential to cause on their players.

Being a toxic fan in Korea is part of the experience

This isn’t the first instance of such a legal case being filed against individuals. In fact, T1 set a precedent when they filed lawsuits against fans who verbally abused their coach Kim “Moment” Ji-hwan, earlier this year. KT Rolster issued a statement recently, condemning threats made to their players and staff.

In 2020, the team had to tackle with the Nick “LS” De Cesare controversy, where T1 fans made racial and homophobic slurs online the moment support player Lee ‘Effort’ Sang-ho accidentally leaked the signing of the head coach Choi ‘Polt’ Seong Hun. Nick’s grandmother too was the subject of continuous harassment, which forced him to deactivate his social media accounts because of the toxicity. The fans didn’t take too kindly to Polt’s signing due to his perceived inexperience of coaching.

It’s natural a team as successful as T1 will find itself in controversies from certain groups of fans – it’s a byproduct of success, where love and hate comes in equal measure. The rise of social media and the anonymity it brings has been the biggest tipping point. That said, by setting a precedent and deciding to swiftly act on the matter, T1 have spelt out a statement of intent in their quest to weed out this problem. Just like he has done on and off the Rift, Faker may have set standards beyond the gaming arena as well.