Esports Most Iconic Moments of All Time
From heart-pumping comebacks to mind-blowing outplays and unforgettable blunders, esports has given us some truly remarkable moments. And now, we're bringing you the chance to relive these epic plays that have captured the hearts of gamers everywhere.
In this tribute to the greatest moments in esports history, we bring 8 iconic plays etched into fans' memories everywhere. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer to competitive gaming, these moments will excite and inspire you.
1) Daigo's Perfect Parry
Who: Daigo Umehara vs. Justin Wong
When: 2004 EVO World Championship Finals
Game: Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Daigo Umehara's Perfect Parry is one of the most famous moments in the history of fighting games. Both players were 1-1, Daigo as Ken and Justin as Chun-Li.
In the final round, Daigo was down to his last sliver of health and had to block Justin's decisive finishing move to stay in the game. With remarkable precision and reaction time, Daigo successfully blocked all of Justin's attacks and countered with a critical hit, winning the match and the tournament.
The moment captured on video has spread throughout the fighting game community, becoming a defining moment in competitive gaming history with over 20 million views.
The Perfect Parry symbolizes intense competition and incredible skill in fighting games. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of players like Daigo, who have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the genre and inspired a new generation of gamers.
2) The Boston Uprising's Perfect Stage
Who: The Boston Uprising
When: 2018 Overwatch League
The Boston Uprising made history in 2018 by becoming the first team to go undefeated in a stage of the Overwatch League. The team won all 10 matches, showcasing their incredible teamwork and dominance in the game.
The historic run was a defining moment in the Overwatch League and solidified the Boston Uprising as a top team. The Perfect Stage has since become a symbol of excellence in the Overwatch League. It's a testament to the vast amounts of practice that went into developing such incredible skills of the Boston Uprising that continues to influence Overwatch players and fans.
3) XPeke's Legendary Backdoor
Who: XPeke (Fnatic) vs. SK Gaming
When: IEM Season 7 Katowice, 2013
Game: League of Legends
XPeke's Legendary Backdoor is one of the most memorable moments in the history of League of Legends. In a group stage match at IEM Season 7 Katowice in 2013, Fnatic faced off against SK Gaming, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.
With the game well over the 50-minute mark and SK Gaming cruising to a victory. XPeke from Fnatic had other plans. Backdooring in League of Legends attempts to win the game through stealth and cunning by sneaking into the enemy's base while they're distracted elsewhere on the map.
Playing as Kassadin, XPeke saw an opportunity to backdoor into the enemy nexus and destroy it. XPeke's incredible feat and successful destruction of the nexus earned Fnatic a stunning victory in one of the craziest plays in League of Legends history.
4) The Six Million Dollar Echo Slam
Who: CDEC Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses
When: 2015 Dota 2 Internationale Finals
Game: Dota 2
The epic Six Million Dollar Slam went down at the 2015 Dota 2 Internationale Finals between CDEC and Evil Geniuses (EG). With a whopping $6 million on the line, both teams brought their A-game.
In the fourth game, EG had a 2-1 lead, but CDEC struck back with a brilliant play, taking out one of EG's heroes and leaving them at a significant disadvantage. CDEC attempted to capitalize on their advantage by going all out, but EG had a secret weapon - the Ancient Apparition's Iceblast, followed by an Echo Slam. The stunning play wiped out all four CDEC heroes, leaving the last one so close to death that he couldn't even mount a defense. EG took the reins and claimed the victory, earning them the championship title and the $6 million prize.
It just goes to show that with trust and teamwork, anything is possible in Dota 2.
5) The Unstoppable ZeRo: Defeated by Nairo
Who: ZeRo vs. Nairo
When: Major League Gaming World Finals 2015
Game: Smash 4
Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios was on a winning streak unlike any other in the world of competitive gaming. From Nov. 2014 to Oct. 2015, the Smash 4 player won 56 consecutive tournaments, establishing himself as a dominant force in the community and capturing the hearts and minds of fans worldwide.
However, all streaks must end, and for ZeRo, that end came at the hands of Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada Martínez. Nairo had been steadily rising through the ranks throughout 2015, and it was at the Major League Gaming World Finals he triumphed over ZeRo.
The match was a nail-biter, with both players bringing their A-game and leaving everything on the stage. In the end, Nairo's mastery of Zero Suit Samus and his relentless pressure proved too much for ZeRo. Nairo secured the win to end ZeRo's Guinness World Record winning streak.
While the loss undoubtedly disappointed ZeRo, it did not deter him. He went on to win the next 11 tournaments he competed in, solidifying his champion status. For Nairo, the victory was a defining moment in his career and proof of his skill and determination.
This legendary match forever solidified both players' incredible talent and resilience, fully displaying the fierce competition in Smash 4.
6) The Unstoppable Fountain Hook: Dendi's Epic Play at The International 3
Who: Na'Vi vs. TongFu
When: The International 3 (2013)
Game: Dota 2
Dota 2 International 3 is remembered for one of the most epic plays in the game's history: the Fountain Hook. This iconic moment in Dota 2 showcases the talent, quick reflexes, exceptional teamwork, and strategic mind of Na'Vi's mid-laner, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin.
The Fountain Hook is a play that involves surprising the enemy team by attacking them while they're under the protection of their own base's fountain. It requires Pudge's Meat Hook to drag the enemy, combined with Chen's teleport spell, to bring him back to your fountain for a guaranteed kill.
In the match between Na'Vi and TongFu, Dendi pulled off the Fountain Hook not once, not twice, but seven times in 30 minutes, leaving TongFu unable to stop him. Dendi's mastery of the Fountain Hook, combined with Na'Vi's teamwork and understanding of the game's mechanics, resulted in a resounding victory for the Ukrainian team.
The Fountain Hook at The International 3 is a moment that has become a defining moment in Dota 2 and a demonstration of Dendi's skill and mastery of the game. It is a play still discussed and celebrated by the Dota community today.
7) S1mple's Record-Breaking Aces
When: IEM Cologne 2021
Game: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
When it comes to CS:GO, getting an "ace" is the ultimate show of dominance. It means taking out the entire enemy team all by yourself, and it's a rare feat in the world of competitive CS:GO.
But Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, the star player of Natus Vincere, wasn't content with just one ace. At the IEM Cologne 2021, s1mple shattered records by pulling off FOUR aces in a single tournament, cementing his status as one of the greatest CS:GO players of all time.
With his incredible aim, lightning-fast reflexes, and unwavering determination, s1mple dominated the competition and led Natus Vincere to victory at IEM Cologne 2021. If you're a fan of CS:GO, you won't want to miss these epic aces from the MVP of the tournament.
8) The ROX Tigers Show Their Bite
Who: ROX Tigers vs. SKT
When: Worlds 2016 Semifinals
Game: League of Legends
In the world of League of Legends, the ROX Tigers were a force to be reckoned with. With their sights set on dethroning the reigning champions, SKT, the two teams faced off in a highly anticipated matchup during the semifinals of Worlds 2016. The entire series was nothing short of epic, but one play stands out as the crowning jewel.
In the series' third game, with the score tied 1-1, ROX was fighting to secure their lead. SKT was putting up a strong defense and thought they were about to win, but that's when ROX's Pray and Peanut stepped in and showed their teeth. In a clutch play, they caught SKT off guard and turned the game around, putting ROX on the path to victory.
The debate may continue on whether or not eSports can be considered an actual "sport." However, these iconic moments in its history highlight the incredible skill and intense competition that comes with high-level competitive gaming. These unforgettable plays, from Daigo Umehara's stunning comeback against Justin Wong to the legendary "Fountain Hook" by Dendi, showcase the competitive spirit and thrill of victory that are hallmarks of any sport. As the world of eSports continues to grow and evolve, these moments will undoubtedly secure their place in the annals of gaming history.
Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.