T1’s journey begins now.
T1’s League of Legends squad is fun and hot together. Anyone who meets them face to face and talks to them for even 5 minutes will be able to immediately recognize the passion that is fueled by their fighting spirit. One day before the 2023 World Championships held in Korea, he stood in front of the camera wearing Polo Ralph Lauren’s Made-To-Measure custom suit. The place the five people are looking at is not far away. Zeus, Owner, Faker, Kumayushi, and Keria, standing in front of the starting line, cast their votes.
T1’s mid laner, the center of the game. The GOAT of e-sports who has maintained his position for 10 years. No one will refute the adjective given to Faker. If the real-time search term ranking function had been active, I have no doubt that the word ‘Faker’ would have been going up and down in the past few days. This year marks the 10th anniversary of his debut. He is an important figure and history of e-sports. He is still writing history with his own hands. Therefore, he is still far from finishing the story, and there are endless steps he can show.
GQ When talking about Faker, you can’t leave out reading. In the ‘My Essential’ interview, you also brought a book as a cherished item.
F.K. I often take time to organize my thoughts while reading. I like a quiet rest. As all my fans know, whenever I have free time, even when I’m eating alone, I open a book. Spending time with books is important to me and is my favorite time of day.
GQ Since I was wearing a suit and holding a book in front of the camera, there was a more serious and cool atmosphere than usual.
F.K. I really liked the suit. The atmosphere at the filming site was also really good. During the filming, the members took pictures of me waiting. I have a photo I want to post on my personal SNS right now, and I plan to post it while also releasing the pictorial. I feel like I am a special person because I think there is a suit that only I can wear.
GQ Is there anything you particularly cherish among mine?
F.K. Time. There is a saying, “Time is money.” I want to use my time efficiently, so I think time management is important. It’s a small thing, but if you think about it, it’s one of the big factors. We must cherish and protect it carefully.
GQ Starting with this pictorial, we are embarking on a new journey for Polo Ralph Lauren. Is there an intersection between fashion brands and e-sports?
F.K. There is someone who constantly supports me. There are many people around me who continuously support e-sports. I always gain energy from such support, and isn’t Polo Ralph Lauren even more successful thanks to the people who consistently visit me?
GQ Like Faker?
F.K. Yes, just like me. (Laughs) And you might think that the meeting between fashion and e-sports is amazing, but if you think of it as a meeting between two brands that everyone knows, it’s not awkward at all. Even without explaining it, you can clearly see what kind of brand it is and what its features are. So it’s more fun.
GQ In an interview 7 years ago, you said that you don’t know where the future Faker will be 20 years from now and what he will be doing. I’ll ask the question again. Where will the Faker of the future stand?
F.K. I don’t know what kind of life I will live. I don’t think so yet. Even now, I’m not envisioning what I’ll be like after retirement. Still, my desire to live a life of learning and growing like now will not change.
GQ What has someone named Lee Sang-hyeok, other than Faker, gained over the past 10 years?
F.K. As Lee Sang-hyeok, the process of finding my own direction in life was the greatest learning, and all the experiences in that process were meaningful. Because it has become stronger.
GQ Another event awaits you after the Asian Games, right?
F.K. Yes, Worlds Cup. This is my first time attending Worlds in Korea. I am preparing with excitement. I am so scared and have great expectations. Still, we have to overcome it. I really want to win this Worlds and end this year on a happy note. Everyone on the team worked hard to prepare with one mind. We will bring good results.
GQ I would like to end the interview with this question. What are you going to do now?
F.K. I’m going to go to practice now.
T1’s youngest and top laner. Although she is the youngest, she has the reassurance of an eldest sibling. I thought the term ‘maknae on top’ was only used for idol teams, but the same was true for T1. “What happens in 2004?” is always floating around. It seems like it would fit into this category. Despite his age (born in 2004), he is a player whose actions speak louder than his words. His play over the past few years, where he has shown a level of skill that is not like that of a rookie, gives us unspoken trust.
GQ Do you have a favorite time of day? I like even the smallest details.
ZS The moment I lie down in bed before going to bed is the best. Isn’t everyone like that? I’m looking forward to what will happen tomorrow. I often lie down, imagine it, and then fall asleep. There is no happier time than that.
GQ Do you know the “T1 family photo” floating around the community? Every time I only see serious faces at the stadium, when I see such heart-warming photos, I feel better without realizing it.
ZS It was cute to see them all gathered together. I don’t know if it’s the photo I like more because it seems like the smile in that photo is our real smile.
GQ You probably didn’t have a chance to do a photo shoot wearing a suit, so how was the photo shoot with ?
ZS I was surprised that the suits suited my brothers better than I expected. Of course, me too, hehe.
GQ Zeus’s own suit was created through Polo Ralph Lauren’s MTM (Made-To-Measure) service. Plus, a suit with the player’s name engraved on it. How does it feel to have ‘my suit’?
ZS I was so amazed that I found a suit that suited me perfectly. Ah, a sudden thought occurred to me: I shouldn’t gain weight, right? It’s perfect for my current body. I have to maintain my current physique to be able to wear it, but what should I do? . haha. If I want to continue wearing it, I need to maintain this weight now.
GQ This is a good time to see it. I hope you stay the same as you are now. So, assuming I continue to maintain this weight, when would be the next time to take out this suit and wear it?
ZS hmm… . It’s very difficult. I can’t think of it right now, but just having a suit that I can wear at any time is reassuring, so I’d like to answer ‘anytime’.
GQ How would you compare Polo Ralph Lauren, which Zeus met, and T1, which he is currently working for?
ZS Famous. Even though I don’t know much about clothes, I know Polo Ralph Lauren. The same goes for T1. It’s not because it’s the club I’m currently in, but even if there are people who don’t know LoL, they know T1. I think fame is the thing we are most similar to.
GQ Famous. That would be correct too. So, are there any related search terms that you would like to see added to the search engine in the hope that Zeus will become more famous? The nickname is good too.
ZS ‘Wooje’. My real name is Choi Woo-je. Zeus is nice, but I prefer to be called by my real name. I wish everyone would call me Wuje.
GQ Then, I will call him Woojae from now on.
ZS I think Wooje is good to listen to and comfortable. But please don’t forget ‘Zeus’.
GQ One of the important things in-game is the ‘Snow Ball’. How far has Wuje’s snowball come now?
ZS We’re almost there. I’m still working hard. My experiences so far are my snowball. I’ll roll it well and drag it to the Walls.
GQ So what about the performance you will show in the game after rolling and rolling?
ZS Growth and momentum. I’m a top laner. You can take the lead only when you are not pushed aside by your opponent. Just don’t get pushed around. Of course, I won’t be pushed back. There is a saying, “You should dream big.” I don’t think it’s just my experience that I’m basing on. It’s like living my dream. Wouldn’t my performance increase as I roll?
GQ By the time this interview is released, Walls will be right around the corner. What if you write a letter to your future friend before Worlds?
ZS Future Woojeya, I remember an interview during the summer season. You thought a lot after saying that your professional career has been smooth so far. I believe that thought would be helpful. Thanks to you, I think I will be able to do my best in this Worlds. The goal is to win. Alright.
T1’s jungler. He is in charge of taking care of the valley. These days, the nickname ‘Otani’ has stuck. If you ask him if he is good at games like Otani, he will answer “yes”, and if you ask him if he is similar to Otani, he will give the same answer. This is because he is a player with a flash of romance like Otani. He is steadily increasing his size behind the scenes. This is one of the reasons why the owner is excited about the future.
GQ What if there is time to help the owner grow?
ON I think it’s time to give feedback to my teammates after practice. The time spent exchanging feedback and growing together rather than alone is precious and rewarding. It’s also my favorite time of the day.
GQ How did you like the photoshoot taken at and the Polo Ralph Lauren store? In this pictorial, did you see a more grown-up owner?
ON I still find it awkward to stand in front of the camera and take pictures. Still, since we rarely get a chance to wear suits like this, it was both awkward and funny. I found out about TMI while taking a pictorial, and the suit suits me better than I thought. I think Ralph Lauren is a good fit for me. It’s a bit of a different story, but the suit was so pretty that I wanted to buy some other clothes. (I actually went shopping for clothes with the players after filming.)
GQ Now, clothes that fit the owner’s body perfectly and have the owner’s name on them have been created. When are you going to wear this suit?
ON Well, I want to wear it for special occasions. A day when you absolutely have to look stylish?
GQ’Let me ask you a question worthy of the name ‘ONER’. Is there anything you cherish and cherish the most?
ON Now, present. I try to do my best in everything to protect my current happiness.
GQ So, let’s choose the entrance song of my life at this moment. This moment is important, so please choose carefully.
ON Carefully… . Then I’ll do this song. ‘Fire on up’ by Paper Kings. My life motto is “Nothing is impossible.” “I put my faith and my trust in my team. As we rise from the flames. never say never”. The lyrics fit my motto perfectly. In particular, “Never say Never” is a lyric that really makes my blood boil. Even if there are failures in my life, I think my strength is creating the strength to rise again. This is so fun to me. Maybe that’s why I value the present and am doing my best. I am so happy and happy now. Be sure to listen to this song. Dopamine explosion!
GQ If you’re a professional gamer, you’re bound to have some qualifiers. What is the owner’s favorite modifier?
ON ‘Ohtani’. This is what I like the most these days. I know that fans started calling him ‘Ohtani’ after seeing the character ‘Poppy’, one of the champions who played well, who had the skill to hit his opponent as far away as a home run. Since everyone called me Otani, I started to have a goal of becoming an honest player like the real Otani. I’m trying to become the ‘Ohtani’ of the LoL world without being ashamed of my name by correcting typos.
GQ One of the important things in-game is the ‘Snow Ball’. What will be the owner’s first pick for the upcoming Worlds?
ON I think our efforts will soon turn into a snow ball. You overcame difficult times and won a ticket to go to Worlds. I just climbed a mountain. It’s time to rise once more. It’s normal this time, right? As much as I worked hard, I want to show you more.
GQ How about writing a letter to the future owner of Worlds?
ON I’m sure you’ll be waiting with half anticipation and half excitement, but I hope you prepare well and that this year’s Worlds will be a strong jungle for both your teammates and yourself. Go for it!
T1’s ADC. He is a player who always speaks the truth. Those who know the meaning of the word ‘heart punch’ can understand that this is a word referring to Kumayushi. He likes to state his goals in words and prove them with actions. He is definitely a player who always delivers when needed.
GQ Even professional gamers live a life of repeated commuting like office workers. Do you have a favorite time of day?
GU I like that vague empty time before evening practice. No matter how much time I try to practice or do, time is very limited, so I take some time for myself.
GQ How do you spend that time?
GU It’s a big thing to say, but it’s nothing special. I sing songs, play Nintendo games, or otherwise just lie down and rest.
GQ I went from just wearing a uniform to wearing a suit and taking a pictorial. I tried on a suit tailored to Kumayushi’s body at the Polo Ralph Lauren store.
GU You don’t usually decorate like this. Even if you do hair and makeup, the only place you go is like a stadium? The entire filming was different and fun. I like custom, and the suit I wore was also custom. It was even better to think that it was customized to fit my body. Wouldn’t you choose this suit when you have something important to do? Come to think of it, there is an end-of-year awards ceremony. I think I’ll wear this suit this year. I think it would be nice to wear this and receive an award.
GQ Let’s imagine for a moment. If you were to stand on the podium at the year-end awards ceremony wearing a suit unique to Kumayushi, what would be a good entrance song?
GU Panic! ‘High Hopes’ by At the Disco. Just listen to the first part and you will understand. Actually, even though this song is not an entrance song, it is a song that makes you feel good. The lyrics and title are hopeful, and the feeling of the song ringing loudly is full of hope, making it perfect for a busy commute to work. “I hate going to work~ I hate Mondays~” I recommend this to people like this.
GQ Worlds Cup is just around the corner. How are you preparing for the upcoming games?
GU Take a break first. Separation between work and rest is very important to me. I think I need to rest well so I can show off my skills at Worlds. I need to rest well and go back to practice.
GQ I wanted to ask about the formula R=VD, which means “if you dream vividly, it will come true.” What would it be like to enter a value for R (Realization)?
GU Of course, winning the World Cup. Even before I became a professional gamer, I dreamed of winning the World Cup. I’m really curious about myself winning. The future of winning may be close or far away, but it will definitely happen. I don’t doubt myself.
GQ “The phrase “T1 is where the best players are” suddenly comes to mind. I thought this might not be a meme, but a catchphrase that will introduce Kumayushi in the near future. What if you write a letter to the future Kumayushi who is heading towards victory?
GU Hello Minhyung. It’s starting soon. As I said in the off-season interview, this year’s Worlds is a competition with a lot at stake and a lot of meaning. I believe our team can definitely do it. I, Kumayushi, believe that I can definitely do it. Let’s go win Worlds with confidence! T1 fighting!
Supporter of T1. Although the name Supporter sounds soft, Supporter Keria is a sharp light. Watching a live broadcast full of K-language makes you feel like he’s in his 20s, but he’s a delicate player sharpening his sword in front of the keyboard. He can’t grow every time, but he is trying to do so and is realizing it by struggling with his body. That’s why you might want to see more performance at the 2023 World Championship.
GQ I think life as an athlete is tiring. When do you feel small happiness?
KR It’s dark early in the morning when I go home from work. Unlike other office workers, we usually leave work early in the morning. I love the early morning air that makes me feel, ‘Ah, I lived hard today too.’ It is also a time of small consolation for me.
GQ It’s been a while since you last had a photo shoot. How was it?
KR Maybe the suit suits me better than I thought? Hehe. This will be the first time since last year’s awards ceremony. It’s been a long time since I wore a suit. Before this shoot, I came to the store, had my measurements taken, and was waiting for my suit.
GQ Did you like the suit?
KR I was half worried and half excited, but the suit that suited me perfectly arrived. There is also Keria embroidery on the inside of the jacket. Thank you for making the pretty suit.
GQ What does Keria value?
KR My people. Since I started working as a professional gamer, my surroundings have changed. My activity time is very different from that of ordinary people. The radius is also very different.
GQ I guess it’s because of the season, right?
KR yes that’s right. There are times when I can’t focus on the people around me, so I try to focus on my friends and family during the off-season. Work is important, but it is also one of the elements that cannot be left out of my life.
GQ Other than the nickname ‘Keria’, is there an iconic nickname that you love?
KR ‘Yeokcheongoe’. I get excited when I hear this name everywhere. It means that he is the greatest genius monster of all time. Just the fact that these three letters refer to me gives me great strength. So my solo rank ID is also ‘Yeokcheongei’. I want to fill my name with positive words like this nickname.
GQ What snowball should you start rolling for the big game ahead?
KR The present me is relentlessly doing my best every day for the future me. I think the snowball is already rolling, just because you can’t see it. If I win the first game, I’ll start to see the snowball I’ve been rolling, and it will gradually get bigger. I’m looking forward to seeing what effect the snowball will have. If you stick to your plan and don’t get pushed out by your opponent at the bottom early in the game, won’t you be smiling at the end?
GQ Please say something to Keria, who will be smiling brightly in the future.
KR I had a hard time going to the Asian Games. It may be crazy, but we’ve arrived at the Walls again, so let’s run again. Worlds win!