One professional League Of Legends team not only won the gold prize at a tournament but also won an exemption from South Korea’s mandatory military service.
Earlier this week, the Asian Games hosted various esport tournaments for popular games such as Street Fighter 5, EA Sports FC, and Dota 2. But it’s the South Korean League Of Legends team that won the ultimate prize in a match against Taiwan.
As APNews explains, the South Korean government makes exemptions so athletes, musicians, and dancers can skip military service - as long as they bring their country enough renown through winning notable competitions and prizes. Even though there’s been some controversy around whether esports pros should be considered for the exemptions, the League Of Legends team won so hard they couldn’t really be denied.
What makes the victory even more impressive, is that the team’s star player (Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok) wasn’t even playing in this particular match against Taiwan. When the gold medals were handed out, though, Faker received some of the largest cheers, since he’s one of the most recognisable pros in the League Of Legends scene. Despite not playing in the final, Faker also won exemption from military service - just in time since too, as Faker’s service would have been due within the year.
Faker did have some encouraging words for his teammates, who handily made up for the star player’s absence. “I was sad not to be playing in the gold medal match,” Faker said after the gold win. “However, from a team point of view, everyone did a good job, so I think winning the championship is the best however it is done.” South Korea also won gold in the Street Fighter 5 tournament.
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