Not every team who won an international tournament in League of Legends was even close to being considered favorites coming into the tournament. The victories of these teams were considered miracles as they took down tournament favorites who were expected to win it all. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest LoL esports underdogs who re-wrote the history of the game’s competitive scene for all those that followed.
The Top 5 Biggest LoL Esports Underdogs Who Won
There are only a few LoL esports underdogs that managed to get successful wins in international events. People who look at some of these names wouldn’t even know that they were considered underdogs if they didn’t know the story behind their journey into the championships. Of course, that’s why we wrote this article to re-tell how some of the teams that won these tournaments had to beat the odds to secure the trophy.
We’ll take a look at some of the teams who were counted out of the tournament before it even began. We’re ranking some of the biggest LoL esports underdogs according to how far they were underestimated and how impactful their wins are to the community. The esports scene is always filled with pleasant surprises and the people who watched these teams win were more than ecstatic at the quality of games there were given.
5. Edward Gaming | Worlds 2021
Edward Gaming winning the 2021 World Championships is probably the entry that raises a lot of eyebrows since it’s hard to see them being considered LoL esports underdogs during the LPL era of dominance. However, Edward Gaming was probably the last Chinese team people were expecting to win despite being the top seed of the region. In fact, no one even gave them any notice until they started winning the finals.
The thing about Edward Gaming is that people rooted for both Damwon Kia and T1 as the heavy favorites of the tournament. For the LPL’s side, people expected Funplus Phoenix to be the top competitor but the fact that they got eliminated by Cloud9 in Groups made the entire world laugh at the LPL. With RNG losing to EDG, the world thought that the last threat to the World Championships was gone. People were already clamoring that Damwon Kia vs T1 was going to be true finals but neither actually took the trophy home that year.
4. Invictus Gaming | Worlds 2018
Invictus Gaming is an interesting entry on this list because they are the team that demolished the LCK’s era of domination. However, they weren’t even one of the teams to watch during that tournament since that year supposedly belonged to Royal Never Give Up, who was supposed to complete the golden year after winning every other tournament in 2018. On the other side, the LCK was struggling but no one doubted that they’ll be the ones to take home the trophy again like every other year.
The finals also weren’t that exciting since Invictus Gaming managed to secure the win 3-0 against Europe’s Fnatic. However, the fact that Invictus Gaming was the first LPL team to take the trophy home signaled a new era of League of Legends that gave the fans more hope that it won’t always be a Korean team to win a major tournament. That’s why their victory was so meaningful to the entire world.
3. TSM | IEM Katowice Season 9
IEM Katowice probably isn’t as impressive as the other entries on this list, especially since the tournament didn’t include some of the strongest teams in the world at that time. However, it’s extremely impressive that Team SoloMid managed to take the trophy home despite being a North American team. At that time, people were huge fans of North American League of Legends teams but no one really thought they could take on Asian powerhouses.
This was and probably will be North America’s only time in the spotlight since the region is quickly straying away from being a competitive region. However, at that time fans can remember that there was a team out there that was built by passionate gamers who wanted to win an international tournament. The memory will remain one of the greatest accomplishments made by an LCS team.
2. G2 Esports | MSI 2019
It’s now time for a legitimate LoL esports underdog that shook the tournament scene with G2 Esports‘ win at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitationals. The team is considered to be the greatest team that Europe has ever created. The fact that they won an international event after defeating one of the most legendary teams in esports history in the semifinals speaks about the legitimacy of their status as an underdog.
Despite facing North America in the finals, they still secured their status as a true underdog since they beat one of the favorites to win the tournament to get the trophy. Their victory over T1 and MSI signaled a new age of League of Legends that gave hope to the West. Unfortunately, that dream would be short-lived but fans in Europe and NA would never forget the momentous battle where it was either one of them taking home the trophy after defeating former world champions.
1. DRX | Worlds 2022
DRX is probably the most impressive entry on this list and is undeniably the greatest LoL esports underdog to ever win an international tournament. This told the story of Deft’s incredible “last chance” tournament and how a team of no-name players quickly became known as the best players in their respective roles. They were a team who were considered a huge joke that quickly became the most respectable entries in the World Championships.
DRX began their Worlds journey at the play-ins stage where everybody said they wouldn’t even make it out since they were supposedly extremely weak. When they entered the Group Stage, everybody was sure they would be out as well. In every game they played, no one expected them to win until they had to face T1, who were the heavy favorites coming into the tournament. They won that game as well and prove to the world that even underdogs can win.