2010-2020: a decade of esports plays

2020 is upon us and with it comes the end of an era that has seen esports move from the niche market to gain worldwide appeal in terms of entertainment, and even compete with traditional sports. Over the last decade, we have enjoyed hundreds of tournaments, lived incredible stories, and witnessed some insane plays, giving us lifetime memories to cherish. But which ones are the most iconic? Let’s find out now!

The $1,000,000 Dream Coil

Arguably, the $6,000,000 Echo Slam should have been top of this list, but we believe that the famous One Million Dollar Dream Coil was even more significant, especially in terms of what surrounds the action. For those who don’t know about it, this amazing play occurred during the Grand Final of The International 3, in 2013, between Alliance and the legendary Na’Vi squad. Both teams were tied 2-2 in an incredible series, considered by many to be one of the best esports finals of all time, and nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.

At the 40-minute mark, Jonathan “Loda” Berg, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist, and Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg went for a decisive push, along with waves of super creeps they somehow managed to release by destroying several Na’Vi barracks. Completely caught out, Na’Vi attempted to teleport back to defend their base, but Gustav “s4” Magnusson didn’t see it that way. His Puck blinked in right next to Na’Vi players Dendi and Puppey to cancel their teleport with its ultimate, the Dream Coil.

Unable to retreat quickly enough, Na’Vi couldn’t defend their base and literally crumbled under the weight of Alliance’s heroes and their horde of empowered creeps. After 45 minutes the fight was over, and Alliance emerged victorious, taking home almost $1,500,000 and lifting the Aegis of Champions trophy, all thanks to s4’s miraculous Dream Coil. In tribute to such a stunning performance, Valve released a special skin for Puck, created in partnership with Alliance: The Faerie Dragon wears a pink kinetic gem on its forehead, inside which you can see the exact moment when its ult landed onto Puppey and Dendi.

xPeke’s backdoor

When it happened, it was all over the news, so smart and unexpected was the action of the former Fnatic midlaner and current owner of Origen, Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez. At IEM Katowice 2013, xPeke pulled out a huge play against SK Gaming, their biggest rivals in Europe back then, and brought victory to his team.

After getting kicked out of SK Gaming’s base and losing several champs, Fnatic urgently had to pull something out, as their death-timers were pretty high. And hope came from xPeke. With his Kassadin – one of the strongest champions in League of Legends at that time – he teleported into the opposing base, used his ult to blink to the enemy Nexus and started to attack it.

Despite the combined efforts of Kev1n and hyrQbot, the Spaniard managed to dodge their spells and successfully took down the Nexus, driving the crowd – and his teammates – totally crazy. Years after, when a player uses a backdoor play in any kind of game, you’ll probably hear casters scream “xPekeeeeeee” to remind us of this incredible moment.

The flying Coldzera

Have you ever noticed the graffiti behind the truck on Mirage and wondered what was the story behind it? Well, it’s here to immortalize Marcelo “Coldzera” David’s insane play during a legendary semi-final between his team, Luminosity, and Team Liquid. This happened at the MLG Columbus 2016 and Luminosity had their back against the wall, as they were down 15 to 9. 

At the time, Team Liquid was considered a favorite, especially since they were playing on their home soil, in the US. In what was a decisive round for them, they attempted a late push into the B bombsite via Apartments. Yet Luminosity could count on Coldzera, who made an incredible job, starting with taking down adreN. Then, dropping from his barrel perch, he took the info about the rush, immediately switched back to awp, and landed a jumping double-kill noscope on ELIGE and s1mple. He ended his show with a fourth kill on nitr0, while TACO took down Hiko.

At that point, the game was over for Liquid. The Brazilians managed to pull out a comeback win on Mirage, after going to overtime. But the same scenario repeated itself on the next map, Cache. Once again, Luminosity came back from a 15-6 deficit, winning in overtime. The rest is history: after winning 2-0 against Liquid, LG easily eliminated Na’Vi on the same score and took home their first Major Win.

Of course, plenty of other bold plays deserve their place here, such as Na’Vi’s “The Play”, the Zed vs Zed between Faker and Ryu, or s1mple’s dropping noscope against Fnatic. Many of you will add that we could have talked about some less-known games, which also have their lot of crazy actions, but we decided to list the ones that immediately rang a bell when thinking of the decade’s plays. We hope you will enjoy it though, and may the next decade be even better!

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