T1’s star mid laner and captain Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is the next to donate a serious sum of money to organizations battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China. On Monday, Faker tweeted out that he has donated approximately $25,000 (30M KRW) to Community Chest of Korea nonprofit organization.
“I hope that everyone bands together to overcome this terrible situation, and I hope to see real support being given to those needing it,” Faker wrote.
With the gesture, Faker is following the example of several of his LCK colleagues and major Korean esports organizations. Gen.G and their Overwatch League franchise Seoul Dynasty were the first to offer their charitable support, announcing in late February that they will donate all March homestand earnings, together with merch and in-game sales till end of March, to battle the coronavirus outbreak. A week later, Gen.G’s mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong donated approximately $4,000 to the cause, followed by DragonX and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon who each put 10M KRW for a total of $16,800 donation, supporting the same nonprofit Faker has now chosen.
The coronavirus has been a growing concern in South Korea, which is the second most-affected country in the world after China. As of Mar. 8, the World Health Organization reports over 7,100 confirmed cases and 50 total deaths. The spread of the virus has had a serious impact on esports as well, with the LCK going on indefinite break and Overwatch League homestand games being cancelled. Even in the West, organizers are taking serious precautions. Last week, Riot Games cancelled the planned LEC Spring Finals in Budapest and moved them back to their smaller, more controlled Berlin studio. The week prior, the major IEM Katowice esports festival was played without live audience over the same concerns.