As the 2021 Season in League of Legends is about to begin, it's time for the crew of Inven Global to take one last, reminiscent look at the whirlpool of a year that was 2020. And what better way to do it than to give out some end-of-year (though technically start of the year now...) awards?
We're happy to announce the inaugural edition of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the crew of Inven Global, the IGA's are awarded to the best teams, players, talent, and stories in competitive League of Legends for 2020, split in 13 categories. Today, we present you the third of those categories: the "Most memorable moment of 2020" award, presented to the matches, moments, and plays (in and out of the game) that made 2020 unforgettable.
Previously on Inven Global Awards:
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#5: FLY vs TES @ Worlds 2020: NA's last hurrah
FlyQuest securing their first Worlds appearance was somewhat of a surprise. And even after a stellar performance throughout 2020, the team still had to fight and prove they were worthy of it with a pesky question mark over their heads.
When DRX defeated them a second time and kicked them out of quarterfinals contention, FLY had little to fight for. They had two more matches left: one was against the low-rated Unicorns of Love, whom they beat before, and the other was against the heavyweight tournament favorite Top Esports, who were 4-0 at that point. By pressuring objectives, FLY somehow managed to defeat TES after securing one last Ocean Soul, finishing the game, and snatching one final victor for North America on their way out of yet another Worlds group stage.
#4: G2 vs DWG @ Worlds 2020: The DAMWON steamroller
G2 Esports faced DAMWON Gaming in the semifinals of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, losing 1-3 to the soon-to-be world champions. A botlane and jungle supremacy from DWG outperformed the LEC champions, which only ignited the fury of Rasmus "Caps" Winther in game 2. On Twisted Fate, Caps stole the spotlight, and tied the game 1-1 together with a great Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski on Kindred.
The series began with a victory over the European team, where their botlane and jungle were outperformed by the opponent, igniting the fury of Caps in game two. On Twisted Fate, the Mid Laner was praised for his dominance, in great synergy with Jankos as Kindred.
The victory over DAMWON regained the hope of LEC fans, but unfortunately, the moment of glory was short-lived. After the LCK’s clear domination in game three, G2 Esports faced arguably its worst loss in the tournament, as game four ended in just short of 20 minutes — the fastest, most-dominant high-profile Worlds match in recent history, raising the question just how wide the gap between the western and Asian regions had become.
#3: Cloud9 regains LCS title after 6 years @ LCS Spring
Cloud9 took a 12-0 start of the 2020 Spring season to an unprecedented 26-2 record to win their first LCS title in six years. The star-studded team had honors awarded to their head coach Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu, named Coach of the Split, while their jungler Robert "Blaber" Huang received the MVP award.
Cloud9 swept FlyQuest 3-0 in the grand finals after a dominant performance throughout the entire split, ending the first game by a landslide of 21 kills, four Dragons, and two Barons, while the opposing team struggled to recover from Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen's eight-kill streak.
Whether it was hubris, complacency, or failure to adapt, the team’s performance did not pull through in the Summer Split, as rival team TSM knocked them out of Worlds qualification. Finishing the season in fourth place, Cloud9's streak of seven consecutive Worlds appearances was ended, while TSM finally returned to the crown stage after a three-year draught.
RUNNER-UP: MAD ends the Schalke 04 #MiracleRun
The entire world kept up with the Schalke 04 Miracle Run as they blasted off from 1-10 to 8-10 in the 2020 LEC Summer Split and made it to the lower bracket of the Summer Playoffs, where a 3-0 over German brothers SK Gaming got them to the next round to play MAD Lions.
With a promising start of the series, Schalke aggressively targeted their enemies individually, punishing them for their mistakes and fiercely attempting to get Drakes to finish the game clean, giving the audience high hopes for a good outcome. That was until MAD Lions aced them into oblivion.
The Royal Blues deserve the runner-up position in this category because they kept the dream alive until the very last moment and glued every LEC fan to the screens. MAD Lions eventually made it to the Worlds Play-in stage, but their success was almost overshadowed by the fate of the very opponent they had to defeat.
WINNER: DWG reclaims the Summoner's Cup for the LCK
Once crowned the kings of League of Legends, South Korea went two consecutive years without a trophy in hand as the LPL took over in 2018 (Invictus Gaming) and 2019 (FunPlus Phoenix). For a moment, with the rise of JD Gaming and Top Esports, it looked like 2020 would be LCK's third trophy-less year in a row, but then DWG entered the competition looking unbeatable, with picks and playstyles that could go virtually anywhere. As they plowed through the playoffs bracket, eliminating the "LCK Killers" of G2 Esports on the way, DWG faced Suning for the title.
When DAMWON entered the Pudong City Stadium, they were met with an audience more silent than a library as they prepared to play the home-city team. In a four-game series, the LCK champions continued to assert their dominance to finally hoist the Summoner's Cup over their heads. Worlds 2020 finally came home to the LCK.
Next on Inven Global Awards: The best top laners of 2020 (Tuesday, Jan. 19, 10:00 PT / 19:00 CET)