Top 5 upsets of 2018


(Image Credit: Riot Games)

2018 was an eventful year for League of Legends esports. Some of its biggest moments were history-making upsets that shook the entire scene.

Let’s look at the 5 biggest upsets across 2018.

5. Clutch Gaming vs. TSM

The NA LCS is no stranger to upsets, but few end with TSM falling short in the playoffs. Clutch Gaming was on the fortunate end of this serendipitous moment and got past North America’s flagship organization TSM to move on to the Semifinals of Spring Split 2018. To make matters worse, Clutch Gaming then dropped immediately after to 100 Thieves, leaving TSM in the dust.

4. Gen. G vs. Griffin

The LCK was fiercely competitive domestically in 2018. With plenty of talented rosters, the Korea Regional Finals was sure to be action-packed. 

What no one would expect however was the rookie phenom Griffin falling short 3-2 to Gen. G before the finish line. 

Griffin looked like the team to beat for all of the 2018 Summer Season, even after being cutoff by kt Rolster. But just like that, Gen. G began a tear that would lead them to Worlds by winning the Korea Regional Finals. 

Gen. G’s subsequent failure at Worlds 2018 would make this result even more peculiar.

3. LPL vs LCK

Rift Rivals is our first taste of international League of Legends each year, and it offers some highly competitive matchups. The most competitive region features LMS vs LPL vs LCK. Legendary teams and players clash in what often amounts to an eventual World Champion on display. At Rift Rivals 2018 this was no different.

In the final matchup between the LPL and the LCK, the first surprising result came when kt Rolster defeated the eventual 2018 World Champions Invictus Gaming, of course it wasn’t surprising at the time. This put the expected region LCK ahead 1-0. Then the LPL made a legendary run where Rogue Warriors and Royal Never Give Up fought back, eventually securing a 3-2 win in the tournament. 

2. Cloud9 vs. Afreeca Freecs

In the Quarterfinals of Worlds 2018, Cloud9 met who many thought would be their gatekeeper, the Afreeca Freecs. 

Cloud9 battling their way up from a 10th place NA LCS spot to even face LCK’s Afreeca Freecs was history, but the North American underdogs also nailed their David vs. Goliath opportunity 3-0.

By dismantling Afreeca in three comprehensive beatings, Cloud9 managed to make history as the first NA LCS team to make it to Worlds Semifinals in seven years.

This match also eliminated the LCK from Worlds before the Semifinals for the first time in seven years. They previously hadn’t even missed the Finals in seven years.

1. G2 Esports vs. RNG

What could possibly top the most successful region in League of Legends losing all its Worlds contenders in record time? EU LCS’ very own G2 Esports eliminating Worlds favorite RNG in the Quarterfinals the very same year. 

G2 Esports proved they could hold their own leading up to their Quarterfinals clash with the seemingly invincible RNG. Still, no one quite expectedly G2 to prove a credible threat to RNG’s run to the championship. It turns out, they were a roadblock. 

G2 Esports managed to claw their way past RNG in an incredibly close 3-2 series. The series featured Hjarnan outperforming the ad carry many consider to be the best ever in League of Legends, Uzi, and mid laner Perkz going what can only be described as Super Saiyan.

Perkz finished game 5 at 11-0-3 on Leblanc. He left Summoner’s Rift looking like his cameo in the RISE video with the ire of LPL fans after shocking the world with the biggest upset of 2018.

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Brandon Ridgely

I'm the League of Legends Editor for RealSport, and a longtime competitive League of Legends fan. I focus most on the NA LCS but watch a bit of everything. Notable C9 bias. I'm probably the only person that misses Team Vulcun.

Well met.

Tips/story ideas? Let me know at [email protected]

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