Faker, T1 sue over hateful comments, 'unspeakably foul' obscene drawings

Faker may keep his cool a lot these days, but he too grows weary of unwarranted hateful posts. (Photo: Riot Games)
Faker may keep his cool a lot these days, but he too grows weary of unwarranted hateful posts. (Photo: Riot Games)

South Korean esports powerhouse T1 have filed a lawsuit against 'haters' of the League of Legends (LoL) G.O.A.T. and T1 co-owner Lee “Faker” Sang Hyeok.

The complaint was aimed at a number of people who continuously harassed Faker online.

According to the official statement released by Faker’s legal representatives and translated by Inven Global, T1 have repeatedly requested these individuals to stop to no avail.

"We found that not only were there more of these comments but also have gotten more malicious," the translated statement by Faker's legal team read.

This group was even allegedly slandering even Faker’s mother and posting obscene drawings "that would be unspeakably foul", which targeted the player and his family.

“The player, the player’s family, and all those around him continue to suffer on a mental level, so we had no choice but to file a criminal lawsuit against those that left such spiteful online comments,” the statement read further.

"Please be aware that our law firm will continue to monitor online comments to see if there are such spiteful comments that can be criminally implicated towards Faker and the T1 players, and will proactively take legal action to combat such harassment."

Faker's laywers' press conference

Faker’s lawyers, Park Ji-Won and Noh You-hyeon, from the firm APEX Law, also spoke to the Korean press about the matter after the statement was released.

“We didn’t sue all those that left hateful comments. As we stated in the statement earlier, we took action against only those that have continuously left very spiteful comments,” they said.

“Additionally, while we were monitoring the various online communities, we learned that a small group of hateful netizens’ malicious posts took up a large chunk of all the posts in those communities. The accused are a small group of people that have continuously left such posts and comments since the beginning of the year.”

Hateful comments against T1 and Faker have increased after their loss at the 2022 MSI Grand Final. (Photo: Riot Games)
Hateful comments against T1 and Faker have increased after their loss at the 2022 MSI Grand Final. (Photo: Riot Games)

It was also mentioned that the hateful comments became even more incessant after T1 failed to secure the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational championship in their home country, South Korea.

In the tournament, Chinese team Royal Never Give Up outlasted T1 3-2 in the grand finals, taking their third-straight MSI win.

Park and Noh confirmed that the lawsuit filed is under South Korea’s Criminal Act Article 311, also known as the Insult Law.

Under this law, violators are usually sentenced to a 1-2 million Korean won fine (US$765 to US$1,530). However, in severe cases, the punishment can also include jail time.

Faker's laywers said they believed the sentencing "much harsher than a simple 1-2 million KRW fine" as "these individuals have been very malicious and continuously insulted Faker".

They also plan to file a civil case should further action be needed.

T1’s legal team also emphasised that this was not a “one-off” situation and that they would be ready to file cases against repeat offenders for other players and members of T1 as well.

The lawyers also added that the admins of a “Faker anti-fan community” have sent a written apology since the statement.

Faker and the members of T1 have also been heavily insulted by numerous netizens from Chinese platforms Weibo and Bilibili. The organisation has not taken against these haters, most of whom come from outside South Korean jurisdiction.

Other incidents of hate in the LoL community

It’s not just T1 who were under fire from 'haters' among the LoL esports community.

KT Rolster, another South Korean team, were sent photos of a deadly weapon and the weapon itself to their practice room in a direct threat to the players and the staff on Monday (19 July).

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T1 CEO Joe Marsh condemned the incident in a tweet, saying, "There is no place for this type of behaviour in our sport. There is a fine line between fandom and fanatical — this crosses the line.”

He further expressed that the behaviour should not be normalised and hoped for the safety of the KT Rolster team.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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