Miracle runs: Esports’ biggest underdog stories in 2023
Esports competitions feature exceptionally skilled teams and they’re often regarded as favourites to secure victories. Yet, within this competitive scene, plucky underdogs eagerly await the chance to defy expectations. Explore the narratives of the biggest esports underdogs in 2023 and find out why they deserve your attention.
The esports scene has magnificent games and tournaments where underdogs have delivered upsets despite the odds against them. Uncover the competitive world of esports and learn how underdogs, against all odds, captivated fans’ hearts throughout the thrilling journey in 2023.
The biggest underdog runs in esports’ 2023 season
The esports world is filled with thrilling moments and in 2023, it witnessed some game-changing narratives that resonated with fans because they show anything is possible in competitive video games.
Evil Geniuses’ journey in the 2023 Valorant Champions Tour (Valorant)
In the early stages of the 2023 Valorant Champions Tour, Evil Geniuses were toiling away in the VCT Americas League. They were at the bottom of the standings with a 1-5 record but they managed to address their issues and quickly ascended to the top.
EG found a way to stabilise the roster with Max ‘Demon1’ Mazanov joining the team. As the year progressed, EG carried underdog status, and their perseverance bore fruit at the VCT Champions.
In a stunning turn of events, they surpassed expectations, clinching a victory and taking home a trophy alongside the $1 million grand prize from the overall $2.25 million prize pool.
Quadrant’s victory over OpTic Gaming at Arlington Major (Halo Infinite)
Throughout the 2023 season, OpTic Gaming dominated the Halo Infinite scene. They were the favourites to win the Halo Championship Series (HCS) Arlington Major until they got knocked down to the lower bracket by Spacestation Gaming. They matched up with Quadrant in the lower bracket who just beat Complexity Gaming in the second round.
Despite Quadrant being the unanimous underdog, they had a fantastic performance and eliminated OpTic after a full five-game series. The Streets map was a nail-biting finish when Quadrant won and bested the giants of professional Halo.
Bilibili Gaming’s upset over T1 at MSI 2023 (League of Legends)
T1, a perennial titan in League of Legends, boasts an impressive three World Championship victories. Star player Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok and the rest of T1 suffered defeat at the hands of Bilibili Gaming in a 3-1 series in the fourth round of the MSI 2023.
Bilibili executed a strong strategy of taking control from the first few minutes of each game. During team fights, the main damage dealers were always in the right positions while the supports hung back and used their skills to control the clashes. While BLG eventually lost in the grand final, it was a monumental underdog esports League of Legends result.
Quest Esports at Bali Major 2023 (Dota 2)
Quest was initially a Division II side at the start of the 2023 Dota 2 Pro Circuit but worked their way into Division I and eventually qualified for the Bali Major. Entering as underdogs for the tournament, they faced PSG.LGD were one of the biggest favourites in the lower bracket.
Quest took the series in a clean 2-0 sweep with the first game ending at just 19 minutes and 25 seconds. It was a magical snow-ball lineup with Pangolier and Slark as the focal points and they stumped the core heroes for LGD with Ember Spirit and Anti-Mage. The second game was more competitive but their Morphling carried them to a trademark win over China’s best team.
Genghis D0n’s standout performance at EVO 2023 (Tekken 7)
Tekken is often dominated by players from South Korea, Japan, and more recently, Pakistan. Competitors from the United States have always been underdogs since they don’t have the same infrastructure as the Asian players.
Don ‘Genghis D0n’ Brown stood out at the 2023 EVO tournament where the usual South Koreans typically dominated. People were surprised by D0n’s presence in the upper bracket, especially with his use of Katarina instead of popular characters like Jack 7 or Dragunov. D0n secured a fourth-place finish after beating Oh ‘Meo-IL’ Dae-il and losing in a hotly-contested match against Feng and Kazumi player Lim ‘Ulsan’ Soo-hoon.
What you should remember for underdog betting on esports
Underdog betting is simply going against the odds-on favourite. It is a tough choice, but it requires courage and proper knowledge. To improve your chances, consider these factors before locking in your wager.
Factors that play a role in teams becoming underdogs
If you’re looking to maximise your wagers by betting on underdogs, consider these essential factors:
One win can ignite momentum: Underdogs thrive on positive energy from winning one game. Winning a game boosts their confidence as it proves to them that they’re capable of competing at a high level and achieving success. This leads them to build on their success for future matches and put more effort into securing more victories.
The ‘surprise’ factor: Underdogs want to convince everyone they deserve the recognition. Some teams do not have information about them, leading to bettors overlooking them. To combat this, lesser-known players and teams can use unconventional strategies to throw the favourites off guard and get unexpected upsets.
The underdogs are more desperate for a victory than the favourite: The underdog and favorite have differing perspectives on getting a win. Favourites are prepared to win the game but the underdogs are ready to fight tooth and nail to win and employ every possible strategy to beat their opponent.
Why should you try esports underdog betting?
Esports underdog betting is synonymous with taking risks as you place wagers on the least likely outcomes. That allure lies in the potential for high-risk and high-reward scenarios.
Successful betting on underdog esports teams requires thorough research. Ensure your predictions are well-founded by exploring every possibility, increasing the likelihood of winning massive payouts from your cryptocurrency bets at Sportsbet.io.
Looking back at underdogs across esports’ history
Reflecting on stories of dark horses across esports history, there have been remarkable underdog esports teams and players that excelled in high-level competition. Find out more about them and how they managed to change fans’ perspectives on their competitive dynamics.
What is the biggest upset in esports history?
Esports has experienced plenty of big upsets, this has led to a few standouts leaving their mark on the industry. Here are the candidates for the biggest upset in esports history.
OG’s historic glory at The International 2018 (Dota 2)
OG faced roster chaos right before the TI 2018 qualifiers, losing two players and leaving the squad with only two active members and a coach substituting as a player. OG managed to create a team out of necessity but it turned out to be the greatest team in Dota 2 history.
Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein and his team entered TI 2018 ranked as the worst of all the 18 teams. They emerged as one of the strongest teams as the tournament progressed, ultimately winning the grand final over PSG.LGD in a thrilling five-game series.
Luminosity Gaming’s rise at MLG Columbus 2016 (CS:GO)
In 2016, South American Counter-Strike was not at its peak, but Luminosity Gaming defied the odds by reaching the pinnacle of the circuit. They won South America’s first Valve Major at MLG Columbus, confirming their rise to the top of CS. It was a fantastic performance for LG as they beat favourites Natus Vincere in the final.
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