T1’s record in his absence was one win and seven losses in eight games. Before his return, the team suffered five consecutive losses, leaving their pride in tatters. The fallout from the collapse was compounded by the resignation of the team’s legendary coach, Bae “Bengi” Sung-woong.
안전놀이터 The team’s mood was restored with his return. The disjointed team moved in unison as if they had never been together before and cleaned up Guangdong, the new god of the East, in 46 minutes. Rather than being different, his return felt like a return to form. Lee “I’m happy and grateful to be able to play” Sang-hyuk, who admitted that the pain in his right arm hasn’t completely resolved, said that the past month has felt like a long time.
T1 defeated Guangdong 2-0 in the second round of the Summer 2023 LOL Champions Korea (LCK) held at Roll Park LCK Arena in Jongno, Seoul on April 2. Led by Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk, the team used a coordinated move to crush their opponents in 46-minutes to secure their second win of the second round. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for T1, who improved to 8 wins (9 L, -1 G) on the season and clinched fifth place in the standings.
The 31-day hiatus proved costly. After a three-week absence, T1 barely managed a single win, and under his orchestration, the team regained its former ferocity and sharpness.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played, and I’m glad we were able to win cleanly,” said Lee “I’ve been receiving treatment for a month, and I’m still not cured, but I think my condition has improved quite a bit. I think it will take a little more time to get used to it,” he said of his comeback victory, and went on to explain the treatment he received for his right arm over the past month.
“It’s not something that can be solved in a short period of time, so we have to look at it in the long term. I have to adapt not only to the symptoms but also to a new posture and style,” he said, adding that he is continuing his rehabilitation through continuous posture correction.
Commenting on T1’s performance during his hiatus, Lee said, “There were too many mistakes that cost us. I thought that individual mistakes were the biggest factor in our defeat,” he diagnosed, adding, “I was a little worried about my personal performance rather than the pressure of returning to the team. I was happy and grateful to be able to play. I was grateful to the fans for their support and cheers throughout the match, and I was touched,” he said of his return.
He continued, “I don’t think I played well. I think I’m only at about 50 percent because I have to take care of my health,” he said, adding, “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to play as well as I did in the playoffs, but I’ll do a lot of preparation so that I can play as well as I deserve.”
Lee Sang-hyuk added, “I think we need to put together about a week before the playoffs to be able to play well in the playoffs, so I’m playing. My health has also improved. I’m grateful to my teammates for their hard work. There were some tough moments, but I’m very grateful to have a foothold to grow. I hope that many fans will support us without worrying.” He concluded the interview.