Everyone loves an underdog. In professional league the result will more often than not turn out in the way we expect. But once in a while a team comes along and creates the upset. I present to you my take on the 6 greatest upsets in pro league. Keep in mind that this is my list and does only represent my opinion. Without further ado, the 6 greatest upsets in pro league. Enjoy!
AHQ vs EDG- Season 4 worlds
The real David vs Goliath
“I got him, i got him!” The voice belongs to AHQ support GreenTea, he has once again managed to hook EDG starplayer Namei, the at the time arguably best adc in the world. A play that would lead to one of the biggest upsets in modern league history.
Flashback to the weeks pre-worlds. The groups had been drawn and Group A looked like a pretty done deal. Samsung White, EDG, AHQ and wild card team Dark Passage made it look like EDG and SSW would duke it out for first while AHQ would go 2-4, beating only Dark Passage. However, the second seed of Garena premier league would give the chinese powerhouse a run for their money.
EDG had won the first match between the two pretty comfortably. In the second match they would be down in kills but still up in objectives and 7k gold lead. It looked as if it was going to tip in EDGs favor again. But then came Greentea.
While EDG dances around baron, Namei decides to take one step too much forwards. GreenTea is hiding at the choke point between baronpit and bluebuff, Namei doesnt see the hook before its too late. Joe Millers voice booms through with an excited “Namei is down and out!!!”. In their attempt to save Namei EDG ends up losing 3 members. Meanwhile, all five members of AHQ force their way through mid and just as the final EDG members spawn they take down the Nexus, in front of a home audience. The number two seed of the Garena Premier league has beaten Chinas number one seed.
bonus info: EDG would later win the tiebreaker, granting them second place. Today the only person remaining from this AHQ roster is Westdoor. Prydz is Analyst and GreenTea is coach.
UOL vs TSM- IEM San Jose
Great bait mate, i rate 8/8
The team with the funny name, Unicorns of love, had scraped by into the LCS. The players where fairly unknown to the casual viewer but due to their name and picks, like Poppy top, they quickly won the hearts of EU fans. In fact, they won our hearts so much that EU decided to send them off to IEM San Jose to see what they could do. “lol UOL gonna get rekt” “Uhm why are we sending a newly promoted team to get stomped by NA?” “Seriously guys, why not send Fnatic or SK” . The reddit comments did not spur much optimism for UOLs hopes.
In their first match UOL would beat, although slightly shaky, the latin american team Lyon Gaming who featured the team 8 botlane of MapleStreet and Dodo, who had been brought in due to visa issues with their actual botlane. In the second match waited NA champions TSM. It seemed as if the only confident person was UOL manager Sheepy. The casters and viewers didnt have much hope for the Unicorns.
“Haha a TF, im gonna pull out this Xerath and…wait, whats that LB pick doing ?” . UOL had with their early Twisted Fake pick baited starplayer Bjergsen into thinking tf would be the midlaner of Unicorns and such locked Xerath for himself. One can only imagine the horrors that went through Bjergsens head, as Unicorns proceeded to lock in LeBlanc shortly after. Unicorns had baited TSM and TSM had taken the bait. To puzzle TSM even further, Unicorns had twisted fate in the jungle.
It quickly became clear that Bjergsen did not properly respect this unknown Powerofevil, as a result of this he very quickly became first blooded by the jungle tf in colaboration with powerofevils LB. Bjergsen would proceed to try and outplay powerofevil in lane, resulting in powerofevil racking up kills. TSM lost game one handsomely with 6-22 in kills. Powerofevil being 10-1 on his LeBlanc. His counterpart Bjergsen was sitting on 2-7.
The second game did not go any better for the North American champions. There was no mindgame in p/b, but powerofevil was allowed his signature champion Syndra. TSM quickly found themselves beaten all over the map and losing objectives left and right. Down 4-16 in kills, half an hour into the game, it would turn into a baserace. One which UOL won quiet convincingly. The Unicorns had done it.
bonus info: The post match discussion on reddit became one of the fastest to reach rank 1 ever, and one of the most commented. Also, this was TSM jungler Santorins first official game. His performance left people wondering why TSM ever picked him up
Keyd vs IM- IEM Sao Paulo
The dawn of Brazil
Back in the beginning of 2013 the Brazil server was fairly new and not many people knew about the Brazil scene, except the mordekaiser es numero uno huehuehue memes. To change that, esl decided to host an IEM in Sao Paulo. Four Brazil teams was to be invited to fight on home soil for the cup. It very quickly became clear that the Brazil teams really stood no chance against the teams from outside of Brazil. Which seemed fair, considering how new the scene was. That is, until Keyd played their second match.
Keyd started the tournament losing to their Brazil colleagues from Insight Esports, a team featuring the now famous Brazilian player Revolta. Their next task seemed way harder as they faced the Korean team , and tournament favorites, Incredible Miracle. With a name like Incredible Miracle it is ironic that Keyd did indeed pull an incredible miracle.
In what can only be described as a slugfest, Keyd found themselves up 27-24 in kills and has exposed the Nexus of IM. People had become hard to kill with 8 out of the 10 players on the board sporting a warmogs armor. The game reached a stalemate around 50minutes at baron, until the super minions had become so close to the IM base that IM realized they needed to recall. Only problem was, Keyd would not let them. While the minions ended the game, the venue errupted as if Brazil had just won the world cup.
Watch the video below to experience max hype. Warning, turn down your speakers.
Bonus info: All 4 Brazil teams was knocked out of the group stage. Incredible Miracle won the tournament, only dropping that one game to Keyd
Alliance vs Kabum- Season 4 worlds
Brazils finest hour and the kiss of death
The match that EU will never forget, and the one NA will never let EU forget. Somewhat unexpected Kabum had won the Brazil regionals, followed by a win in the wildcard tournament and a spot at worlds. At worlds Kabum found themselves 0-5 in the group, as expected. Only a match vs Alliance remained. Alliance played for advancement into quarters, Kabum played for the honor of Brazil.
Having manhandled Kabum in their game 1 and coming fresh from a perfect win against Korean team Najin White shield it would look as if beating Kabum was a matter of time. In fact, i dont think a single person outside Brazil thought Kabum had any chance. Unfortunately for Alliance the european champions found themselves on a backfoot most of the match. While the game was close in kills it seemed as if Kabum continously found the necesarry picks to break Alliance little by little. Lead by Tinowns fantastic Ahri, Kabum broke down Alliance in one final teamfight at the doorstep of the Alliance base. As Tinowns Ahri charmed Froggens Fizz the casters very fittingly labelled it “The kiss of death”. It was over. A sloppy and cocky Alliance was out of worlds, at the hands of wildcard team Kabum. Kabum had pulled off the biggest Brazil upset since Keyd.
The moment is best remembered from the casters point of view. A completely shocked Deficio drops his jaw and claps his hand in stunned amazement for Kabum. As seen below.
Bonus info: Both Kabum and Alliance went into a massive slump post worlds. Both have claimed 7th place in both their last splits
KMT vs NiP- LCS spring promotion
The fall of the Ninjas
The unknown polish team had barely scraped by the challenger stage. With a win in their last game against favorites TCM they had claimed the third spot into the promotion stage. NiP would pick KMT as their opponent, believing this would be a fast and easy way back into the LCS.
At a time where NiP fielded a powerhouse of a lineup containing ZoroZero, HyrQbot, Nukeduck, Freeze and Mithy it was hard to believe how the org had ended in relegations. But not to worry, the polish team of KMT seemed severely outmatched. At least on paper.
In a slow game 1 with the teams feeling eachother out, Vander and Celaver on Thresh and Vayne seemed to control the game. The game lasted almost 50 minutes yet sported only 13 kills in total. By all means it was a tactical affair. One which KMT won.
In game 2 NiP seemed to have woken up and came out swinging. They dominated the game and kept finding kills. Especially Freeze was having a big game on Lucian going 7-1-4. But it became harder and harder for NiP to deal with the KMT splitpush and Overpows Kayle. While behind in both kills and gold, KMT decided to say F it and went towards the NiP base with Overpow pushing botlane alone. As 3 NiP members held top inhib tower Riven and Renekton of Nukeduck and ZoroZero went to deal with Overpow who was on his way towards the naked bot inhibitor. Overpow could not care less, he disposed of both Riven and Renekton on the spot and won KMT the game.
In game 3 the spirits of NiP seemed broken from the disaster that was game 2. KMT took the game without too much trouble and suddenly these unkown polish guys found themselves in the LCS.
bonus info: NiP never recovered from their loss and never found themselves back in the LCS. Today the org has no LoL team
TPA wins worlds- Season 2 worlds
Back in season 2 it was all about CLG.EU and M5. The real question for worlds was who of the favorites would win? Would it be CLG.EU with the at the time arguably best mid in the world, Froggen. Would it be the see hero kill hero team of Moscow 5? Or perhaps the korean overlords of Azubu Frost. Or Chinese powerhouse World Elite. Noone cared about the Taipei Assasins and their obscure region of Taiwan. But they would, soon enough.
As a first seed of their region, TPA had a seed directly to the quarterfinals. Their first match would be against korean Najin Sword. Najin had 3-0ed their group containing CLG.EU, Dignitas and Saigon Jokers and seemed to be a heavy favorite.
In game 1 Najin took a heavy beating of 3-13 with TPA midlaner Toyz going 6-0-5 on his Orianna. While game 2 was much closer, Toyz would carry his team going 7-0-5 on Anivia. Toyz had not died 2 games in a row to a korean team. TPA now had the worlds attention.
In the semi finals the russian team Moscow 5 waited. In game 1 M5 made TPAs quarter final win look like a fluke as the russian powerhouse absolutely trashed the Taiwanese team. But then the Toyz and Bebe show came along. In game 2 TPA returned the favor and trashed M5. Toyz was on his signature champion Orianna and went 5-0-9 and adc Bebe on Vayne went 7-1-4. It all came down to a final game.
In a very close game 3 it was again Toyz and Bebe who tipped it in the favor of TPA. Toyz anivia went 2-0-9 and Bebe on Ezreal 5-2-7. Toyz had once again not died two games in a row. Suddenly TPA found themselves in the final. By now people started to believe TPA might actually win.
In the finals the korean giant Azubu Frost waited. In a slug fest of a 26-28 game 1, azubu came out on top. Largely thanks to their midlaner Rapid Star who had stopped Toyz and gone 13-5-12 on his Karthus. Participating in 27 out of 28 kills.
In game 2 TPA would come out on top in pretty much every lane and Toyz and Bebe once again stole the show with amazing performances on Karthus and Caitlyn. Game 3 and 4 TPA would absolutely destroy Azubu Frost. Going 11-3 and 21-6. TPA had become world champions and Toyz had become an instant legend. Most likely we will never see an underdog like this win worlds again.
Bonus info: Toyz is close to qualifying to Season 5 worlds with his team Hong Kong Esports