Six of the Best: eSports Moments
We look back to some of the moments in eSports that will be remembered for as long as people are playing competitive games
In the mainstream press, away from the heart of competitive gaming, you will often read about how eSports is about prize earnings, big business, and the most famed pro players.
But eSports is really about the matches, and the gameplay moments that make them so watchable. With that in mind, we've handpicked six of the most exciting, important and memorable moments from the entire history of eSports.
Fatal1ty's defining comeback
It should be little surprise to see Fatal1ty's name on a roundup of defining eSports moments. Long since retired from competitive gaming, he was once – and perhaps still is – an icon of the scene. He may not have been the first eSports player, but he was the first celebrity of eSports. There are many great moments from his career, but the best must be from 2002's QuakeCon. Down 8-0 against player Aim, Fatal1ty was looking past his prime. Then, in a shade over 100 seconds, he claimed an eight-kill streak. After demonstrating those nerves of steel, he went on to win the match with a 20 point total. There's a reason he's a legend.
The 2018 Rocket League World Championships
The infamous Dignitas vs. NRG Rocket League final at the World Championships may have only taken place this year, but it has already found its place alongside the greatest moments of eSports gaming. NRG met Dignitas in the grand final, with the world watching. The very last game of the final went to 2-2. Then, with four seconds left on the clock, Dignitas scored, moving the score to 3-2. Play restarted, and the ball was flung into the air. In Rocket League, play continues after the final whistle if the ball is still in the air. Almost 14 seconds passed after the clock reached zero, all without the ball reaching the ground. Amazingly, NRG secured an equaliser. Sudden death began, with Dignitas ultimately taking victory and winning the Worlds once more. That 14 seconds though? It will never be forgotten.
The famous Fountain Hook
At the 2013 edition of the DOTA International 3 tournament, China’s TongFu found themselves facing beloved Ukrainian outfit Na'vi. TongFu initially dominated, but soon found themselves victim of one of the most exceptionally skilled MOBA plays on record. Na'vi's Dendi let rip with an unbelievable combo using the hero Pudge's hook to bring enemies to his location, in combination with Chen's fountain teleport. Managing to pull off seven 'Fountain Hooks' – as they became known – Dendi turned the tide for Na'vi by leaving TongFu's offensive planning and positions in disarray. It must surely be Na'vi's most memorable moment.
That Daigo Parry
How could we not include what must surely be the most iconic single moment from the fighting game community? You probably already know the details. It was 2004, at the legendary EVO arcade gathering. The game was Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. The players were Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong. With just a pixel of health remaining on Umehara's health meter, Wong let rip with a Super Art move. Blocks alone weren't enough to save him. Umehara needed to parry with frame accurate precision 15 times in a row. He managed, following up by finishing his rival. His legacy? The most crowd-pleasing moment in the history of any form of competitive video gaming.
NoName's Overwatch last-second Bastion assault
During the 2016 OGN APEX Overwatch tournament, LW Blue's Lee 'NoName' Won Jae secured his place in eSports history. Pitted against Kongdoo Panthera the Blues had 15 seconds to turn the match around or face defeat. Going against convention NoName decided to go Bastion in Turret mode; something rarely seen in top-level pro play, because the best know how to overcome it. His gamble paid off, securing his team victory in the last with a stunning Quick Play. He leaped on the Volskaya map's moving platform, switched into turret mode and unleashed hell; something no team would expect from fellow pros. It goes to show that sometimes doing the unexpected can land you a place in history.
Fnatic’s phenomenal LoL turnaround
At the 2017 League of Legends World Championship, the Fnatic team needed to pull of a miracle… and they did. After finding themselves in a 0-4 start in Group B, they needed two big wins. The first saw them facing rivals GIGABYTE Marines; a wildly capable team. In one of the most exciting LoL clashes in history, Fnatic emerged victorious. It was no easy victory, though, with so much drama by the moment that everyone who saw the match will remember it. That win put the wind in their sails. They also beat Immortals that same day, and secured their place in the knock-out stages.
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