Esports have been rising in popularity for a while now, and this increase in interest was supercharged when the pandemic lockdowns temporarily put other sports on hiatus but left League of Legends, Dota, and CSGO competitions largely unaffected. It's no surprise that the total number of esports viewers is expected to exceed 600 million as of 2023 when the market will be worth an estimated $1.5 billion. In light of this, we've been lucky to witness some of the most iconic matches as teams play for their piece of the pie. For the first time Top 10 Casinos reviews and reveals the ten best esports battles - bet you can't guess who placed #1. In no particular order here are 10 of the wildest esports matches and tournaments there have ever been.
Cloud9 and FaZe went into a final decider after taking one victory apiece on the first two maps. And what a decider it was. Entering the map things were finely poised, but during the course of the contest things could scarcely have been more dramatic. FaZe had not one but four championship points, a quartet of opportunities where they could have tied things up for an epic win. But Cloud9 defended perfectly to save each and every one, and the decider was forced into overtime. Overtime was almost a mirror image of the action that had gone before. There were three championship points, and FaZe (this time in defence) saved them all, and a second period of overtime ensued. In the end (and it took a long time to get there), Cloud9 just edged out this tightest of titanic tussles to claim the victory. We're betting esports fans didn't see that coming.
There's a reason that there are a certain number of strategies which are employed offensively and defensively by teams in esports, and moves beyond these are rare (and even more rarely successful). Player skill counts for a lot, but if you have a lone lunatic charging the whole enemy team you can bet that it is not going to end well.
That's what makes the NLB Winter Final between GSG and CJ Entus one of the wildest esports matches you'll ever see. GSG were in game five, with the tournament result balanced on the edge of a knife. But sometimes, the best strategy is to just go all in.
And that's exactly what GSG did, pushing forward. It was a massive risk to take, but between SoLo tanking like a boss and red turrets tumbling like ninepins in an earthquake, GSG wiped out the entire base of their opponents. Three inhibitors fell in 19 minutes, twice as fast you might expect, and moments later the nexus was taken out for an epic victory that took less than 20 minutes. Pretty tasty.
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Some of the wildest esports matches can come at lower levels, when the pressure isn't sky high. But sometimes the highest pressure is what you need to make diamonds (betting you've heard that one before), and that's precisely what happened in 2013 when Alliance and Na'Vi fought it out in what, for many fans, remains the single best competitive game of Dota there's ever been.
Both teams were nervously aware of how good the other side was, prompting early tower drives to try and nail down victory as soon as possible. Na'Vi were making great progress and were almost at the stage of simply needing to teleport back to base. But Alliance had other ideas, with their players canceling teleportation channels and leaving Na'Vi so close and yet so far from victory. In the end, Na'Vi were stranded, reduced to helpless spectators as their base was overrun and victory snatched away.
It just goes to show that kills and gold are nice, but if your throne falls, it's game over.
If the GSG obliteration in game five was a League of Legends steamroller, then this wildest esports match was a pendulum, with momentum swinging one way, then another, and back again. But the game isn't over until the fat lady sings (or your nexus is destroyed), and even a sliver of health is enough to keep going.
The whole Fnatic team ended up in the OMG base, only for OMG to take out the dragon in a tactical masterstroke which gave them, at the time, a substantial lead in gold. The lead changed hands multiple times before Fnatic made it level-pegging once more. The OMG nexus was one hit away from destruction, but still standing and the advantage OMG enjoyed in team combat proved decisive.
Like Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed over in the USA, this slugfest of heavy hitting strikes against players who refused to back down went the full distance, but in the end it was OMG who ended up on top. But it takes two great teams to make a match like this, and Fnatic came out with a lot of credit for their performance.
We have a continental clash on our next entry in the top wildest esports games with Royal Give Up from China and G2 Esports from Europe. Going into the match everybody was expecting Royal Never Give Up (RNG) to win at a canter. They were, after all, the number one Chinese seed. Unfortunately, nobody had told G2 Esports that they were meant to lose, and the plucky underdogs managed to take the contest to a fifth game.
Dragon-slaying helped G2 to a huge lead midway through the game. They had their backs against the wall facing the RNG onslaught in team battles, but RNG were still 10k behind on gold two-thirds into the match. And when Uzi, RNG's star player, fell at a crucial moment, the match belonged to the European underdogs in a famous victory that defied all expectations.
Another fantastic trans-continental contest in League of Legends was between Korean side SK Telecom T1 (SKT) and Misfits Gaming (MSF) of Europe. SKT were three time world champions and heavy favorites to take the win, but MSF managed to drag them into a fifth deciding game.
Things were cagey early on, with SKT slowly building a small gold lead, but very little in it between the two teams and MSF only one or two thousand gold behind. Things stayed tight, SKT slew the dragon but halfway into the game things were still way too close to call. Could MSF pull off a huge upset? SKT weren't storming away, but were they biding their time or had MSF's earlier performances put them in a state of uncertainty? Then SKT got multiple kills in a matter of minutes and, almost from nowhere, built up such a head of steam they were able to wipe out MSF's base and secure a well-deserved and hard fought victory. MSF didn't manage a fairy tale win but they certainly put up an amazing fight in one of the wildest esports matches you'll ever see, and one which saw a lot of bets come in.
Cloud9 and Alliance are two of the few teams to have multiple appearances on this top 10 wildest esports matches list, so you know when the two of them go head to head there's the potential for some historic drama. In the quarterfinals of Frankfurt, these two teams went at it. Alliance had some smart tactics, splitting their push in an offensive that Cloud9 simply couldn't counter.
Instead, Cloud9 decided that attack was the best defence, and tried to take down Alliance's base, while their opposition scrambled to get back in time. Even as tier 4 towers were in the process of being destroyed, the Alliance team rolled up in defence and wiped out their opponents, presenting the perfect chance to assault the almost defenceless Cloud9 base. The match was effectively over, and all Cloud9 could do was watch as Alliance took the win and destroyed their throne.
Not all the wildest esports matches are title-deciding contests. Sometimes, a quarter or semi can throw up an amazing match, as is this case when Fnatic met NiP in 2019. It didn't have the start of a classic, Fnatic overwhelming their opponents 16-6 on Cache, but the move to Overpass saw the team denied despite having two match points to wrap the win up early. Instead, the map had a late finish with three periods of overtime, and both teams having to save map points to keep things going. After the marathon was over, NiP squeaked the victory 25-22, taking the match to a third and final map.
Dust 2 was the location for the deciding contest, and saw big leads change hands early on (NiP up by five, then Fnatic winning seven on the bounce and forcing NiP to save yet more match points). Things were so tight that yet more overtime was required to settle things, and in the second period Fnatic eventually crossed the line 22-20, having failed to capitalize on a match point in the first period. This kind of exciting, nail-biting fun is exactly why more and more audiences are falling in love with esports.
Most of the time, defying strategic conventions is doomed to failure. There's a reason, after all, why certain strategies are picked time and time again. Trying something different can be creative and brave and will usually lead to defeat. But Gigabyte Marines are a Vietnamese team known for their unorthodox ways, and that can make them tricky to play against, as Fnatic discovered in 2017. In this match, Gigabyte Marines power-levelled Nocturne (their jungler). But would it pay off?
In the early stages things moved to and fro with the lead, always slender, constantly changing hands. But a breakthrough happened around the 20 minute mark when multiple kills paved the way for Gigabyte Marines to take down an inhibitor. This was the start of their march to victory, with a baron kill along the way. Minutes later Fnatic were wiped out and Gigabyte Marines enjoyed a crushing win in just over 24 minutes.
Team Secret has often had a stellar lineup but a curious difficulty in nailing a victory. Up against Vici Gaming, could they turn things around?
The first game started badly for Team Secret. Horrendously, in fact. But then the advantage of the splitpush strategy started paying dividends, and the superstar team members did their thing. Vici Gaming's barracks were reduced to dust and mega creeps were a'spawning. Vici Gaming were on their knees, just waiting for the killer blow. But the killer blow never came.
All's well that ends well, as Shakespeare once wrote, and this was a perfect example of it. In a move of defensive defiance that would've made Leonidas proud, Vici Gaming rallied to an epic defence of their base and, against all the odds, bounced back from near certain defeat to claim the victory.
Whether you prefer League of Legends, CSGO, or Dota, this list of some of the wildest esports matches has plenty of great moments from yesteryear, and with the ongoing rise in audience numbers, we can only expect more good stuff in the years to come from the world of esports. It's also easy to see why, with all this growth and action, that many of the top international online casinos now offer esports gambling as a market.