If you have even a cursory awareness of esports, you’ve almost certainly heard of Lee Sang-hyeok, aka Faker. Blending sublime skill and unpredictability, he’s perhaps the best League of Legends player on earth, and definitely among the most exciting. Today, he finally started streaming on Twitch, quickly shattering viewership records despite a stream that was, uh, rough.
Faker’s stream peaked at over 245,000 concurrent viewers, making it the most-watched stream hosted by an individual in Twitch history, according to PVP Live. It was a long time coming. Faker used to have a deal with Korean streaming platform Azubu that granted them exclusive rights to his matches. At one point another streamer found a loophole and started streaming Faker’s solo-queue matches without anybody’s permission, which royally pissed off Azubu, Riot, and SK Telecom (the team Faker’s on), so needless to say, Faker’s streams have been a point of contention over the years.
That, in part, explains why his first-ever Twitch stream attracted such a colossal horde of viewers. Faker is a huge name, and people have been waiting for this day. Disciples showed up in droves because their “god” is finally free.