In esports, few games can match the scale and global appeal of Riot Games’ MOBA, League of Legends.
Since launching in 2009, LoL has grown exponentially, amassing a player base of millions in every corner of the world. However, the pinnacle of this multiplayer online game is undoubtedly the annual World Championship, colloquially known as “Worlds.”
There is no doubt that this tournament is a great spectacle in which the best of the best (both teams and players) face off for the title of World Champions. Today we embark on a journey through time, looking back at the winners of the past and the stories that led them to glory.
2011 – Fnatic
The inaugural LoL World Championship took place in 2011 in Sweden. The tournament was much smaller than we are used to today, with only eight teams competing. However, the excitement was palpable, and the stage was set to make history.
The winner was Fnatic, who crushed AAA in the grand final by 2-1, a European team that set the bar high for the future champions. Their aggressive play style and innovative strategies, led by Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez, left an indelible mark on the game.
2012 – Taipei Assassins
The following year, the championship moved to Los Angeles, and the number of participating teams doubled. This time, the Taipei Assassins from Taiwan came out on top. The team, led by star player Chang “BeBe” Bo-Wei, was considered an underdog.
However, they defied all odds and beat Korean giants Azubu Frost in the final. Their victory marked the first time an Asian team had won the championship, setting a precedent for years.
2013 – SK Telecom T1
The 2013 championship saw the rise of a new powerhouse in the form of South Korea’s SK Telecom T1. The team, led by prodigious midfielder Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, dominated the tournament.
Their precision, impeccable coordination, and Faker’s unparalleled skill led them to their first World Champion title. This victory marked the beginning of the SKT era and the reign of Faker, who is often hailed as the greatest player in LoL history.
2014 – Samsung White
The 2014 championship in Seoul was a testament to the dominance of Korean teams in the LoL landscape. Samsung White, with their meticulously calculated playstyle and near flawless execution, emerged as champions. Their victory over another Korean team, Star Horn Royal Club, in the final, was a masterclass in strategic play.
2015 – SK Telecom T1
In 2015, the championship returned to Europe, and so did the dominance of SK Telecom T1. The team, led again by Faker, claimed their second World Champion title. Their victory over KOO Tigers in the final marked the first time a team had won the championship twice, cementing SKT’s legacy as one of the best teams in LoL history.
The trajectory of these champions is a testament to the evolution of LoL as an eSport. Each victory has a unique story, etched in the annals of the game’s history. Looking ahead to future championships, we remember these pioneers who paved the way. Stay tuned for part two of our journey through the history of LoL world champions.