Top 7 Most Iconic Moments in League of Legends History
Updated July 25, 2023.
Riot Games has seen over a decade of intense, hair-raising gameplay from players all over the world in their highly successful MOBA: League of Legends. Since the game's launch, the fantasy universe and aesthetic it birthed have grown into multiple game genres, from card games to FPS shooters.
With so much content from Riot out there, there are bound to be some stand-out moments that have shaped, influenced, or outright mind-blown the League of Legends fanbase.
Here are our 7 favorite moments that went down in the League of Legends history books.
1. SKT T1's Wombo Combo (Worlds 2017)
I've watched this moment consecutively more times than I'd like to admit, just to decipher what happened in this chaotic moment of team perfection from SKT T1. Let's set the scene:
It's day 2 of the 2017 World Championships, and the stakes couldn't be higher. SKT T1 is up against EDG, and they've been taking a beating. It's 30 min into the match, and the team kills are 9-0 to EDG, SKT has a 10k gold deficit, has lost 5 more towers than their opponents, and Baron is about to spawn. At this crucial point of the match, both teams are forced to either push mid or contest Baron Nashor. Feeling aggressive with their lead over SKT, EDG decides to push mid. They extend just far enough to let SKT pull off what could be the greatest moment of synergy in professional League of Legends history.
All within a 3-second window:
- SKT initiates with Rakan's charms and knock-ups pulling EDGs whole team together
- This is followed by Cho'Gath's flash-silence and MORE knock-ups
- Then, Faker lands a beautifully placed Orianna shockwave (yeah, another knock-up), and Jarvan IV gets a flag-jump through the crowd providing yet another knock-up
- During all of this, Twitch deals constant huge damage, piercing through all his targets with his ultimate
It's a lot to break down, but with the commentators going nuts and the live crowd screaming in the background, the moment certainly induces a wave of goosebumps. It is definitely worth watching a few times over to truly appreciate the infamous wombo combo by SKT T1.
2. Faker vs. Ryu 1v1 (Hot6 Champions Summer 2013)
This epic moment in 2013 was the true start of Faker's fame as the face of LoL and the best player of the game. During the intense 5th match of the grand final of the Hot6 Champions Summer Tournament, both teams could select their champions at will in a blind-pick match. Both SKT T1's Faker and KT's Ryu picked Zed, generating tons of excitement at the potential 1v1 Zed plays in mid-lane. However, little did anyone expect the jaw-dropping outplay that would come from this matchup.
At the 32-min mark of the match, Faker appears to overstep into KT's base, taking loads of tower damage. Then, just as Ryu shows up to finish the job with his own Zed, Faker displays a show of incredible decision-making, timing, and raw skill that could remain unmatched to this day.
Simply googling "Zed vs Zed" will have this clip show as the top result, and it's definitely worth checking out if you want to witness the highest level of League of Legends skill the world has to offer.
3. ROX Tigers PraY's Famous Arrow Long-Shot (Worlds 2016)
In the semi-finals of Worlds 2016 against SKT, ROX Tigers' PraY showed us all just how effective Ashe's ultimate can be—even if it's not during a fight or securing a kill. Many avid LoL fans claim that Worlds 2016 was one of the best series to date in the professional LoL world.
The atmosphere and goosebumps-inducing screams from the crowd and commentators were spectacular, as PraY sent off his Crystal Arrow across the map to prevent SKTs Ekko from recalling. This gave ROX enough time to push the game to victory.
4. xPeke's Backdoor (Intel Extreme Masters 2013)
Every time I've watched the clip of xPeke backdooring SK Gaming's base with Kassadin on low HP, I'm hit with a strong feeling of nostalgia. I remember watching this match live with my friends during a LAN, the room erupting after a tense hour-long match. I also remember playing League of Legends right into the early hours of the following morning trying to replicate the move.
It was an incredible moment that feels like it was set in time as one of the best moments in LoL eSports history. The backdoor maneuver that xPeke pulled off was so notable that, to this day, players still refer to the move as an "xPeke" when done successfully.
5. KT Rolster & Invictus Gaming Base Race (Worlds 2018)
I've never come across another professional League of Legends match where I couldn't tell who's going to win till the announcers called it. If you're unfamiliar with what a base race is, it's where both teams are inside each other's base, racing to take down their opponent's nexus for the victory. This match was so tight that a split seconds difference could have determined which team stayed in Worlds 2018.
In a 5-match battle to see who'd win the quarter-finals, KT Rolster was 2 matches down against IG in Worlds 2018. In an amazing show of effort, they won the tightest base race ever and pushed all the way to match 5 before IG took the win.
6. First-Ever Finals Pentakill by Suning's Bin (Worlds 2020)
There have been loads of pentakills during Worlds over the years. However, none had seen the finals of Worlds until 2020, when Bin from team Suning would show the destructive power of Fiora in the hands of a pro. It's no wonder she's one of the most popular female champions in the game.
During the 2nd match of the finals, Suning put all of their efforts into feeding and snowballing their already-strong Fiora. After 30 min, Suning's Bin had been fed enough gold to become a problem for DWG, and he and his team were waiting for the right moment to strike. So, when Ornn missed his Call of the Forge God(a crucial initiation for DWG) during a bunch-up in mid, Suning wasted no time in rounding their opponents up for Bin.
Sadly, with the lockdown in place during the Worlds 2020, the lack of the live crowd does make the moment feel like it's missing something, despite how amazing the casters were.
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7. The Elder Drake (Worlds 2017)
The opening ceremony of Worlds 2017 in China was as impressive as the tournament itself. The show kicked off with a heartfelt clip from Riot Games about how the game brings people together and keeps them connected across the world. This was followed by amazing live performances by globally-known performers, hundreds of backup dancers, amazing audio, and great lighting. Finally, there was a giant friggin' Elder Drake that flew around the stadium, landed on the stage, and roared at the crowd before flying off.
Of course, the dragon wasn't real, but its the closest thing they could get without actually building a giant robot Elder Drake that actually flew into the stadium... Who knows, maybe they'll pull it off one day, but until then, we're going to be seeing the dragon in AR(augmented reality) only.
AR performances usually mean that effects and models are added into live footage of the stadium, making it seem like there are actually giant statues, a ferocious dragon, or popstar Ahri herself on stage. The effect appears much more "believable" when you're watching from home than it is live, though the whole thing must have been breathtaking regardless.
I feel privileged to have witnessed some of these epic moments when they happened, and honestly, I'm glad I got to revisit those epic times while writing this piece. League of Legends really did—and still does—have an amazing production team, a loyal fanbase, and a well-polished game that culminates together to create some awesome experiences that are worth revisiting over and over.
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