The results of the League of Legends World Championship — one of the most iconic events in esports — have been fairly consistent in the past decade. Although there are always some close matches and fun upsets, every year ends with either a Chinese or Korean team lifting the Summoner's Cup.
One of the few times that did not happen was in Season 2 (2012) when the Taipei Assassins went for gold. The Taiwanese team — a roster few were familiar with at the time — winning Worlds that year remains one of the biggest upsets in League of Legends history. As time has moved on, many current fans of the game are unfamiliar with how TPA managed to win Worlds, with popular discussions on Reddit of newer viewers curious about how it happened.
While the thread offered many different explanations, the team's captain and support player Chen "MiSTakE" Hui-Chung gave some insights of his own in a recent interview with the sports website, Dongzhi.
The new article celebrates ten years since MiSTakE and co. defeated Azubu Frost at the finals of Worlds 2012. Some of the details of the piece include MiSTakE's rise as a professional player, his perspective on his esports career, and his current jobs working with Beyond Gaming and M. Entertainment.
Perhaps the most illuminating part of the interview, though, was MiSTakE's insights on how TPA won Worlds. According to MiSTakE, TPA initially did not expect that they would win the tournament. He goes on to explain that after losing to Moscow 5 (one of the favorites for the tournament) in the first game of the semifinals, the team opted for comfort picks, including Wang "Stanley" June-Tsan playing Nidalee — apparently an infrequent pick in the team's training at the time.
Regarding his reasoning for how TPA won Worlds, MiSTakE explained that in addition to the team being well-practiced and possessing top individual players, other teams did not view them as a significant threat, and did not prepare well enough to defeat them. MiSTakE went on to claim that the reason his region fell in competitiveness in later years was because of other regions' playing environments improving faster than Taiwan's.
MiSTakE is one of the greatest early support players in the history of League. Though his career was relatively short and did not see him earn many accolades outside of domestic championships and his single Worlds trophy, he is renowned for many of his contributions to the metagame. He was considered one of the game's best shot callers, and helped revolutionize vision control with his deep focus on wards.