The League of Legends (LoL) esports scene had a vibrant year, with matches featuring a lot of intense, breath-stealing action and tear-jerking narratives throughout the year.
What made this possible were the pro players, who worked hard to master the game and executed some of the best playmaking in the entire year.
We've compiled a list of some of our favourite and most memorable plays from the LoL Esports season, along with the pros who made them happen.
The Mid-Season Invitational seems like a lifetime ago now, but we can’t forget how brilliant G2 Esports was until the Semifinals.
Most specifically, their mid laner, Rasmus "Caps" Borregaard Winther, was impossible to deal with on Zoe. In a match against Chinese team Royal Never Give Up (RNG) in the bot lane, he turned an RNG gank in the bot lane to G2’s favour.
As the members of RNG collapsed on Victor "Flakked" Lirola Tortosa and Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé, caPs swept in and killed Chen "GALA" Wei and Yan "Wei" Yang-Wei, and barely missing Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao who nearly died against the G2 mid lane.
During the Group stage at Worlds 2022, RNG’s support player Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming used Sett’s ultimate, Show Stopper, to send four members of CBTC Flying Oyster flying (literally) into the mid lane and finishing them off with Sett’s Q and the help of the rest of RNG.
It was such a show-stopping move that it drove the live crowd wild as RNG continued their way to dominate the rest of the game.
Nobody expected Fnatic to perform as well as they did at Worlds. While they failed to qualify for the Knockout stage, they had an explosive journey in the Play-ins and the first half of the Group stage and pulled off some impressive plays.
The most memorable of them all was in a match between EDward Gaming and FNC, where a team fight by the river near the Dragon pit erupted after three members of EDG tried to contest the Drake from the European fourth seed.
Initially, EDG had the upper hand despite being outnumbered, taking out two members of Fnatic, leaving Marek "Humanoid" Brázda and the team’s then bot laner, Elias “Upset” Lipp.
However, despite Park “Viper” Do-hyeon’s damage on Sivir, Humanoid was able to outplay the EDG bot laner and used Azir’s engage tools to allow Upset to kill off two of EDG’s members, and then Humanoid finished off EDG with a clean ace on Tian “Meiko” Ye’s Yuumi.
RNG’s Support Meiko has been known for his Yuumi and Thresh engages. One of the most memorable ones was in a game between EDG and Cloud9 at Worlds 2022.
Meiko on Thresh skillfully hooked members of C9 with the Chain Warden’s Q and even accurately predicted where Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen was going after using his flash.
These perfect hooks from Meiko eventually got two kills in favour of EDG.
LoL G.O.A.T. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is the master of escapes in the Summoner’s Rift, and that’s why he earned the moniker “Unkillable Demon King.”
2022 was full of these moments, but probably the most memorable ones occurred on the international stage.
At the MSI semifinals match vs G2, caPs chased Faker from the mid lane into the river. As soon as Akali hit the Baron pit’s wall, Faker used Twilight Shroud to hide which direction Akali was going.
Faker jukes caPs into thinking he will go back to the T1 side of the jungle, but instead heads toward G2’s side of the jungle, where he eventually lets a turret execute him.
Another memorable moment was in the Worlds 2022 semifinal match between T1 and JD Gaming, where Faker barely survived a 1v1 with only 5 health left. Then, as the members of JDG chase him in the top lane, Faker headed to hide in the bushes and promptly used Ryze’s ult, Realm Warp, to portal away from the Chinese team.
Inhibitor turrets respawning rarely deny a team the win, but at Worlds this year, it happened at least twice, promptly earning the MVP meme among fans.
One of these incidents happened in a match between T1 vs JDG when T1 were closing in on JDG’s Nexus. Before they were able to hit the Nexus, an inhibitor turret respawned, denying T1 the opportunity to close the game out.
But probably the most memorable one was the quarterfinal match between DRX and EDG, where Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu attempted to end the game with a backdoor that nearly destroyed EDG’s Nexus.
However, an inhibitor turret respawned when the Nexus was left with 1 HP, preventing Deft from winning the game for DRX and ending in heartbreak for the Korean underdogs at the time.
Of course, who can forget the last game at the Worlds 2022 finals? While both DRX and T1 had plenty of stellar moments, we can’t forget how DRX Top Laner and Worlds Finals MVP Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon performed on Aatrox.
In his hands, the Darkin Blade was a beast that could not be stopped.
Most specifically, Kingen prevented Faker from taking a backdoor win, which allowed DRX to push toward the T1 base with Elder Drake buffs on their backs and eventually win the final game to become the Worlds 2022 Champions.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.