Note: the following article reflects the writer’s personal opinions, not those of Break the Game’s staff, therefore it should not be taken as factual.
Tournaments are fun. Especially international ones! Throughout League’s history, there have been plenty of fun events that aren’t talked about anymore. The purpose of this article is to let all of you know which past tournaments are worth watching. Just for the purpose of this article, leagues such as LCS and LCK don’t count:
5. 2010 World Cyber Games
A small event with only 4 teams attending, WCG 2010 is worth a watch because it was at a time when League of Legends was just starting. Not to mention if you’re a Sam “Kobe” Hartman-Kenzler fan, you’ll love it simply because he played for CLG at the time shortly before retiring to become a shoutcaster. The event was won by CLG with a 2-1 victory over SK Gaming. Largely unknown teams AnotherStory and ChinaHero also attended the event. Interestingly enough, the only well known name from either of those teams is Ahq’s sub mid laner Chawy. While he hasn’t gotten much play time to truly prove himself, it’s good to know Chawy has been playing the game for so long and is still going at it. This not only shows his passion for the game but also his determination to prove himself.
4. Battle of the Atlantic
Being a Western-centric tournament, BotA wasn’t exactly a high quality tournament. It also didn’t have much importance to any teams involved. It was strictly a bragging rights event between Europe and North America. Nowadays the rivalry isn’t as big because of Korea’s dominance, but back in the old days of League, EU vs NA was a big thing. So if you’re a fan of rivalries, this tournament will be a really fun watch for you! In a very funny fashion, Europe ended up winning three out of their five matches but the winning region was North America simply because Cloud9’s win over Fnatic and Team SoloMid’s victory over Lemondogs gave NA more points. So in a weird way, while NA is the official winner, both regions won.
3. Season 1 World Championship
The tournament that started it all. Nowadays Season 1 Worlds doesn’t carry a lot of weight, as it was a fairly small tournament with no Korean or Chinese teams. Still though, it’s fun to trace League to its roots and this event is definitely the origin of competition within the League of Legends eSports scene. Not to mention with 7 of the 8 teams that attended being from Europe or North America, the element of the EU vs NA rivalry is also present in this tournament! Powerhouse teams such as Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming and Fnatic participated, along with old school teams like Epik Gamer and Against All Authority. In the end Fnatic won the tournament and became the first World Champion, which ignited the competition within League in all regions.
2. IPL 5
What makes IPL 5 great is how competitive, exciting and big the event was. Not only was it stacked in terms of teams attending, it was also right after Worlds, meaning teams that didn’t do well at Worlds had the chance to redeem themselves. A lot of the games were thrilling to watch, and while groups were a bit messy and the bracket was quite clustered because of how many teams were in attendance, it’s definitely worth your time. Legendary teams such as Moscow 5, Taipei Assassins, CLG EU and Azubu Frost participated and that made it feel all the more special. And along with those teams, weaker and less known squads such as Blackbean, Team Dynamic, Team FeaF and IceLanD also participated (although all 4 teams finished at the bottom). In the end, World Elite (now known as Team WE) won the event and cemented themselves as one of the best teams in the world at the time.
1. IPL 4
While absolutely not nearly as competitive as IPL 5, what makes IPL 4 the most fun event ever for me is simply how nostalgic and relatable it is. Being almost exclusively an NA tournament with only 1 European team attending, IPL 4 was filled with NA’s original old-school teams such as Epik Gamer, v8 eSports and Monomaniac eSports as well as legacy teams like CLG, Team SoloMid, Team Dignitas and Team Curse. IPL 4 is special to me because a lot of the players that were in the tournament are the ones that brought League of Legends to a higher level with their personality and passion for the game. Not to mention the event had casters like HatPerson, TheRedBaron and Dan Dinh and while they weren’t the best at it, hearing them shoutcast felt a lot like you were watching League with your friends. Team SoloMid ended up winning the event with a victory over Counter Logic Gaming. This was the start of TSM’s dominance within North America as they would go on a tear, winning almost every domestic event that they could. I highly recommend watching IPL 4 if you haven’t because it will show you what League was all about back when it first became big. And while the competitive nature of it in present day is awesome in its own right, the passion for the game and the personality of the players was what made it special in the past.