Misfits have failed to claim victory in their League of Legends World Championship quarter-final. They were just edged out by a SK Telecom T1 side that will now go on to face either Royal Never Give Up or Fnatic in the semi-finals.
At one point it looked like Misfits were heading for a shock victory. They pulled 2-1 ahead, but were unable to claim that all important third game.
Their surprise performance sent video game streaming service Twitch into overload. At one point, 280,000 eSports fans were on the platform watching the action unfold. The stream chat descended into chaos as swathes of rival fans cheered their teams on.
What’s the big deal?
If you’re unfamiliar with the league of Legends’ eSports scene, you may be wondering why this is a big deal.
For those that don’t know, League of Legends is a popular multiplayer online game. Teams of special power-wielding characters fight against each other in a virtual battle arena. Unsurprisingly, LoL has used the rise of eSports to build a huge community of gamers that play competitively for multi-million dollar prize pots.
The League of Legends World Championship is the game’s biggest tournament and it continues to grow each year, with more money on offer and more people tuning in.
The 2017 World Championship has already provided plenty of excitement. There were some surprising results in the groups and Samsung Galaxy provided a big shock in the opening quarter-final game against Longzhu Gaming.
However, no team has quite captured the attention of eSports fans like Misfits.
The cause of such hysteria as Misfits pulled ahead was due to the lowly status of the team heading into the tournament, combined with the stature of their opponents, SK Telecom T1.
SKT entered the tournament as the favourites to clinch the trophy, having won the tournament for the past two years. Those victories followed their initial World Championship win back in 2013.
Misfits, on the other hand, were predicted to be overrun in a group containing an abundance of quality in Team WE, Team SoloMid and Flash Wolves.
And yet they managed to steal second place with a tiebreaker win over Team SoloMid. They have failed to clinch a spot in the semi-finals. However, Misfits can walk away with their heads held high, having valiantly fought the champions all the way to the end.
What does this mean for Misfits?
Unfortunately, Alphari, Maxlore, PowerOfEvil, Hans Sama, IgNar and Paragon head home.
They have failed to progress and are therefore no longer in with a shot of winning the $2.13m prize pool.
However, their displays here will have undoubtedly provided them with a popularity boost in Europe. While their continental peers, G2 ESports and 1907 Fenerbahce, failed to make it out of the group stages, Misfits have provided European eSports fans with a new team to get behind this year.
However, Europe’s hopes of their first champion since the inaugural 2011 season now rest on Fnatic. They will face SK Telecom T1 in the next round, should they overcome Royal Never Give Up in the quarters.