This year was undoubtedly one of the biggest yet for esports, but that doesn’t mean we were happy about it. Big hype also means big letdowns, and we’re still quite upset about the events of the last 12 months.
Below are the year’s biggest disappointments, including stream moments we wish we could forget, game design that should have never made it out of beta, and one massive roster swap that left everybody reeling.
It’s time to bring in the new year, because I’m still pissed off about the old one.
9) When your opponent locked in Elena
Ultra Street Fighter IV carried with it many updates for the fighting franchise, but hidden among them, a terror just waiting to be unleashed on its players. Elena is supposed to be some nature-loving princess from eastern Africa, but in reality, she is a grindy, annoying fighter that takes way more effort to defeat than she should. Her crouch jab combined with healing ability simply makes playing against her one salty pain in the ass.
8) When that Bob Ross stream had an episode with a guest painter
The launch of Twitch Creative in October was highlighted by an 8.5-day stream of all 403 episodes of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting. Fans across the net tuned in to watch as Bob paint trees, clouds, trees, birds, and trees, for days on end. That is, unless you tuned in during an episode when a guest painter took control of the easel, in which case cries of “Bring back Bob!” echoed throughout the chat. Average salt levels only returned when the episode ended and Bob once again picked up the brush.
7) When you lost money because every match in CS:GO is fixed
Okay, well, not every match. But when you heard that iBUYPOWER had rigged their match against NetcodeGuides.com during CEVO Season 5, suddenly everything made sense. It’s not your fault that you lost all those bets, it’s all just match-fixing! And when you had to explain to your mom that you stole her credit card and lost $3,000? That was fixed too! And when you had to take that part-time job to pay her back? Fixed! Tinfoil hats are a great accessory to wear when ringing in the new year.
6) When GamingParadise cancelled a $50,000 Dota 2 tournament three days before it started
What’s better than a tournament that pops up from out of nowhere promising tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and is hosted in a wonderful beach resort? Well, it’s probably not one that cancels with just days left before it starts. Still, somehow the brainiacs over at GamingParadise decided to completely cut out their Dota 2 tournament, and leave the $50,000 grand in prizes floating somewhere in the wind (or, more likely, lining somebody’s pocket somewhere in Slovenia). This salty moment is brought to you by an organization that still hasn’t brought its website back up since the debacle.
5) When Reynad promised never to stream again
Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk, owner of Hearthstone team Tempo Storm, is one of the most popular figures in the game. So when he raged out at his chat on stream and threatened to quit, Hearthstone fans went into salt overdrive, blaming him, the chat, the community, basically everybody except themselves. Of course, salt levels returned to normal two days later when Reynad took it all back and resumed streaming.
4) When Colin Cowherd said that esports was lame
Get your salt shakers ready, it’s time to talk about esports on the TV! Sure, esports were featured on HBO, ESPN, and many other mainstream outlets over the course of the year, but no moment was saltier than when shockjock Colin Cowherd went on record about esports. Whether it was bringing the “basement dweller gamer” stereotype back from the dead, or simply calling esports fans “booger eaters,” Cowherd let loose a cornucopia of dull insults that, nevertheless, sent esports fans into a salty rage.
3) When your opponent played a Mysterious Challenger
Some Hearthstone cards are good. Some Hearthstone cards are great. But two cards in seemingly every Paladin’s deck since the release of The Grand Tournament expansion are sure to be the epic “Mysterious Challenger.” Since the card’s release, it has driven the creation of an entirely new deck based solely on playing it, along with multiple secrets, in a single turn. When combined with the already-strong Paladin core, like Muster for Battle and Shielded Minibot, this has shot the Secret Paladin deck to the top of the meta—and caused tears to fall on keyboards around the world.
2) When you didn’t get into the Overwatch beta
You waited and waited. You saw the pros get in. You saw your friends get in—and they don’t even want to play! But still, you aren’t in the Overwatch beta. And then, to top it all off, those goddamn developers had a goddamn beta weekend when you could play. And you were out of town at your goddamn aunt’s house. And then you got back and it was over and everybody said it was awesome. And now the beta is going on a goddamn break for a month. Goddamn.
1) When Doublelift left Counter Logic Gaming
For Counter Logic Gaming fans, it was like Santa came early and left nothing but coal under the Christmas tree. Doublelift, beloved player and Counter Logic Gaming’s eminent superstar, had left the building. Even worse, the announcement video featured the star tossing his old uniform in the trash like it was nothing. It was like a slap in the face and a punch in the gut all rolled into one, but even worse, it meant that CLG fans had to start following Team SoloMid’s Reginald on Twitter. A month has passed, and the League subreddit is still filled with enough salt to bury a small country.