There have been many notable memes throughout the history of eSports – most starting out with humble beginnings before growing into monster memes to be remembered by all.
1. The Curse of Fourth Place
Team Curse was a promising organization in League of Legends, with some of the top management and money in the scene. No matter what they did since joining the North American League of Legends Championship Series, however, they would always finish the end of the year in fourth overall place and miss the League of Legends World Championship. For over two years, they would continue to finish fourth no matter the start of the season, and this trend even continued when Team Curse was bought out by Team Liquid.
2. Genja the Timelord
Genja was an attack damage carry for Russia’s Gambit Gaming in their heydey of League of Legends’ seasons 2-4, when Gambit Gaming were considered one of the top teams in Europe. The famous Attack Damage Carry [ADC] was known for not always following the meta. He is now known as Timelord Genja for building champions in bizarre ways that would eventually turn into the meta builds, sometimes even a year into the future.
Genja’s largest discoveries were rushing Triforce, an expensive hybrid item, on Kog’Maw and Tear of the Goddess, a slow-paced scaling item, on Ashe and Varus. Both of these items were heavily mocked when Genja pulled these out in a real competitive game, and not just Solo Queue. Genja’s first time bringing out the Triforce build was against South Korea power Samsung Gaming at the Season 3 League of Legends World Championship and Gambit Gaming won. That Kog’Maw build is still used today, over five years later.
3. The Tale of the Cocky Greek ADC
FORG1VEN was always one of the strangest and most talented ADCs in League of Legends history. The Greek ADC was known for his skill and cocky attitude.
During the Spring Split of 2015 in Europe, FORG1VEN said during a postgame interview that he was “by far” the best ADC in Europe. The phrase “By Far” quickly spread across all regions in Twitch chat and even casters for the game. “By Far” is still used today, although not as much as during its peak of 2015.
4. The Sad End of the 1G
Summit1g is a famous and popular streamer on Twitch, with the streamer mainly playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Over time playing CS:GO, summit1g was scouted by a few professional teams to join their ranks. Summit1g’s first chance was with Splyce Gaming at DreamHack Open Austin where unfortunately, summit1g made CSGO meme history. Against CLG, Splyce had managed to get the score to 15-11 with one more round needed to win the match. It was a 1v1, with summit1g versus CLG FugLy and summit1g came out on top. However, a fire grenade was still burning near the bomb after summit1g had won the duel and the rookie didn’t notice the flame cross into his path. Summit1g would die, giving CLG the round and eventually the match in overtime.
5. The Cries of the VAC Ban
Nowadays, the phrase “VAC” is a common feature of the spam that clutters CS:GO Twitch sessions. VAC stands for Valve Anti-Cheat and is a system that Valve uses to find cheaters and hackers within their game. Whenever a player in a competitive match makes an “out-of-this-world” shot, all of the chat will spam “VAC” in a joking manner.
6. The Sad Life of Jin Air Green Wings: Sadplane and Gladplane
Jin Air Green Wings is an esports organization in South Korea that has players and teams in Starcraft 2 and League of Legends. The parent company and sponsor is Jin Air, a major airline company. The Green Wings have had an up and down time in League of Legends, with their first two teams, the Jin Air Stealths and Falcons, never making a OGN/LCK Grand Final.
The up and down nature of the squads has spawned the Sadplane and Gladplane memes, with fans of the team sometimes sarcastically posting on social media pictures of a cute Jin Air-themed aeroplane that has a big smile or frown depending on the outcome.
7. Brokenshard Dying to Red Buff
Brokenshard was one of this first Israeli League of Legends imports in a North American team. Overall, Brokenshard had a solid career that spanned over many years and he has now carved out a strong coaching career that currently has him in Brazil after coaching in North America and Europe.
Unfortunately for the Jungler, he is remembered for a simple mistake in a match against Evil Geniuses in late 2013. Just 13 minutes into the contest, Brokenshard was trying to take down the red buff, an easy jungle objective. Brokenshard was at low health, misjudged his damage and died to the minion. This was the first time in professional play that any player had died to a minion. Brokenshard dying to red buff continues to be brought up anytime any player gets too low when trying to take a buff even four years later.
8. Welcome to the Salt Mines of PJSALT
The phrase that someone is being “salty” has been a saying since the beginning of eSports history, with the catchphrase starting in the Fighting Game Community and meaning upset or jealous. In every eSport, there are salty people, with Hearthstone professional players arguably showing the most salt. In response, Twitch added the emote of PJSALT, which is an emote of a salt can dipping out a mountain of salt onto the ground.
9. The Rise of Kappa
Kappa was one of the first free emotes given to the general public for Twitch, and the symbol, which depicted a man looking at the camera with a slight smile, quickly became the universal Twitch sign for sarcasm. It was reported in 2015 that the Kappa emote has been used on average over a million times a day and the Kappa emote has been used since its debut in the eSports scene to make snide comments in Twitch chat about poor players and sarcastic overstatements.
eSports has a language all of its own and memes and catchphrases are no different. The popularity of each at any one time can fluctuate, but one thing is pretty certain: somewhere, soon, a player will do something or say something that the community will latch on to and immortalise.