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Coming from behind – the best underdog victories in esports

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Serral - Underdog winner of the World Championship - Source: Blizzard Ent.

Serral – the underdog winner of the SC2 World Championship. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

A good underdog victory has several elements – a strong leading team or player, ‘sure’ victory conditions, and a practically chanceless contender looking for the win. Since there is often a big skill gap between pros and aspiring pros, esports is the ideal field for underdog victories – and here are the three best.

Taipei Assassins shakes up League of Legends Worlds

In 2012, TA was known for being a top team, but after making the jump to Worlds by the skin of their teeth, the underdog team managed to just defeat NaJin Sword, before meeting tournament favorite Moscow 5. After losing the first match, they managed to come back big and win 3:1 in the finals, this netted them a million USD.

OG rocks the International 2018

Dota 2 has many strong teams – OG was not really one of them in 2018. While it was a well-known name in the scene, OG had a slow start, and with an amateur player on their roster, nobody expected them to perform at TI8 either.

Surprisingly, they managed to fight their way to the finals with a series of near-misses and okay performances, before surprising everyone by winning the title… and 11 million US dollars with it.

The next year, OG came back in another role entirely – after defending their title and snatching a second championship win, they are now the team to beat!

Serral dominates StarCraft II

Since time immemorial, SC2 has been dominated by skilled South Korean players, with very few non-Koreans in the top ranks – at least until 2018, when Serral, a Finnish player not only managed to win the World Championship series (the first non-Korean to do so) but also winning over a quarter million dollars – the ultimate underdog victory.

Melanie Hawthorne

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