Ibai Llanos, one of the most popular Spanish-language streamers and content creators, was hospitalized on November 12th in Seoul, South Korea, after falling ill with a high fever. Llanos was in South Korea to attend and participate in the League of Legends World Championship, one of the biggest esports tournaments in the world.
The sudden hospitalization generated concern amongst Llanos’ millions of fans across the globe.
Ibai Llanos Garatea, better known simply as Ibai, was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1995. The 27-year-old has risen to fame recently as one of the most prominent Spanish-language streamers and content creators on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
With over 9 million followers on Instagram alone, Llanos has broken viewership records with his streams and helped propel the popularity of esports and gaming content amongst Spanish-speaking audiences. He is known for his energetic and exuberant commentary style.
Along with soccer star Gerard Piqué, Llanos founded KOI, an esports organization that fields competitive teams in various titles, including League of Legends and VALORANT.
Reason for Visit to South Korea
Llanos traveled to South Korea to attend and participate in the 2022 League of Legends World Championship, one of the most widely viewed and prestigious tournaments in esports.
The tournament features the top teams from professional leagues across the globe competing for the coveted Summoner’s Cup and the title of world champion. As an owner of KOI’s League of Legends team, Llanos supported his team and engaged with his fans in South Korea.
Millions tune in online each year to watch the World Championship broadcast. This year, they marked the first event held in South Korea since 2016.
Hospitalized After Falling Ill
On November 12th, Llanos posted on his Instagram stories that he was in a South Korean hospital and feeling quite ill. He stated he was “all messed up” and “sick, no, even worse.”
While he did not specify what exactly prompted the hospital visit, Llanos later shared that he had come down with a high fever that was not subsiding, leading him to seek medical attention.
After receiving treatment and medications from doctors, Llanos updated fans that he was feeling somewhat better. He noted differences in medical care from what he was accustomed to in Spain.
“They have given me a ton of pills, and it is different than in Spain, where they give you one or two pills that work for various things. Here, they give you six. It is not as concentrated. They do it differently,” remarked Llanos about the South Korean healthcare system.
Nonetheless, after a period of rest and hydration aided by intravenous medications, Llanos was discharged from the hospital in improved condition.
Recovery and Return to Worlds Tournament
Llanos reassured worried fans with posts on social media confirming he was fully recuperated and ready to resume his activities in South Korea following his brief hospitalization.
He shared photos of himself smiling next to a cardboard cutout of Lee Sang-hyeok, a South Korean esports star better known by his gaming handle “Faker.” Llanos’ posts highlighted his energetic spirit and commitment to enjoying the World Tournament.
While his health scare caused temporary concern, Llanos seemed unfazed by the incident and quickly bounced back to participate in the remainder of the League of Legends tournament.
Llanos delighted fans by streaming several marquee matches, providing his spirited Spanish-language commentary and analysis alongside guests like fellow streamer Ander Cortés. The Worlds tournament concluded on November 5th after an exciting finals match between China’s EDward Gaming and South Korea’s T1.
What This Means for Llanos’ Future
With his hospitalization in the rearview, Llanos figures to continue his meteoric rise amongst Spanish-language streamers and content creators. At just 27 years old, his pioneering streams and events have already broken viewership records on Twitch and beyond.
Llanos established himself globally in 2021 when he organized an exhibition boxing match between popular YouTubers. The event garnered over 1.5 million concurrent viewers on Twitch, setting a new record.
In 2022, Llanos followed up with La Velada del Año II, another boxing event with high-profile content creators that again smashed the viewership record.
Moving forward, Llanos’ hospitalization is not expected to slow down his ambitious streaming and business pursuits. If anything, the outpouring of fan support during his health scare underscores his massive popularity and influence within Spanish-language gaming and esports.
As his esports organization, KOI continues to grow and raise its profile. Llanos executes more record-shattering streaming events. His reach is only expected to expand outside his native Spain. While a high fever briefly knocked Llanos down in South Korea, the resilient streamer and entrepreneur quickly got back on his feet to deliver more energetic content to his millions of dedicated fans worldwide.