Rivalries have always been one of the juiciest parts of League of Legends esports. Whenever two individuals, teams, or regions were about to clash, a surge of viewership would take over streams to see which of these two would come out on top. LoL rivalries have a special place in the esports environment since they give so much excitement to even the most uneventful games. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest LoL rivalries that have existed since the early years of League of Legends.
The Greatest LoL Rivalries in Esports
There are a lot of types of rivalries in League of Legends esports that many fans have been familiar with for a long time. A lot of these rivalries are friendly but the best ones are those that have so much at stake. Some of these pairings don’t recognize each other as rivals but the community definitely pits them against each other often. Even the simplest forms of friction between two individuals or communities can snowball into the greatest LoL rivalries that exist only to beat each other.
In no particular order, we’ve listed down 10 popular LoL rivalries that have existed since the early days of League of Legends esports. There are so many rivalries around the world that it’s hard just to put down just 10. However, we’ve chosen our personal favorites and explain how these rivalries have affected the direction of the League of Legends esports scene. Do you have a favorite LoL rivalry in esports? Make sure to let us know by leaving a comment below!
10. Bjergsen vs Jensen
The LCS is probably home to the most rivalries since the community thrives on the drama that their favorite players create. One innocent pairing that the community has created into a rivalry is Bjergsen vs Jensen. Both players are talented Danish Mid Laners that came to the LCS to prove that they’re the best at their role. Bjergsen had already established himself as the best mid laner in the LCS with Team SoloMid but the arrival of Jensen would challenge that claim.
The main reason why players consider Jensen to be Bjergsen’s biggest rivalry (and vice versa) is because they both reach a different level of success. Even though Bjergsen was the star mid laner in the LCS that would win most of the tournaments, Jensen was more successful in the international stage as he would always bring glory to North America as a region. Despite the fact that Bjergsen retired and Jensen continued to play, they are still considered the two greatest mid laners in the LCS today.
9. CLG vs TSM
Speaking of favorite LoL rivalries in the LCS, nothing beats the classic Counterlogic Gaming vs Team SoloMid rivalry that has risen to popularity in the middle stages of the NA LCS. During the early stages of the league, TSM had no other rival than Cloud9. However, the rise of CLG threatened TSM’s reign but the players didn’t want to acknowledge CLG as a good team which is how the rivalry between these two legendary organizations came to be in the splits to come.
Even though CLG wasn’t really a challenger during the early years of League of Legends, Doublelift changed the team in a way that would give them a shot at the trophy. Doublelift was the biggest contributor to the CLG vs TSM rivalry as he was the Biggest Trash Talker in the LCS and he loved to make fun of Team SoloMid. Eventually, Doublelift would leave CLG for TSM which would dampen the flames of the rivalry to an irrelevant extend. Nowadays, CLG no longer poses a threat to any LCS team.
8. Faker vs Ambition
Moving on from the west, we’ll be taking on the greatest LoL rivalries in the east. There’s nothing that encompasses the greatest esports rivalries than two world champions who competed against each other to BECOME world champions. Ambition and Faker have always competed against each other and when it comes to the Greatest Player of All-Time, there’s no better rival for him other than the only other person that managed to overcome him at the big stage.
Ambition used to be a mid laner in the LCK that challenged Faker for the title of the best but always managed to fall short. After all, Faker has already proved himself as the best player of that time. It was only when Ambition roleswapped to Jungle that he finally managed to beat his rival. These two battled in two World Finals back-to-back until Ambition’s retirement when he finally won. This rivalry is definitely one of our personal favorites because it was so impactful and high level.
7. RNG vs SKT
In terms of the most competitive rivalry in esports history, there is no pairing that faced each other more than RNG vs SKT (T1). These two legendary organizations have housed two of the greatest players in their respective roles – Uzi and Faker. They have faced each other in the knockout stages of Worlds and even in the Groups multiple times, trying to see who would come out on top but every time they did so, SKT would always come out on top against the LPL superstars.
The two have been the longest rivals in history. We can also say that Uzi and Faker have been rivals for the championships. Since these two teams have achieved so much, it’s undeniable that this is probably the greatest rivalry in LoL esports. Nowadays, RNG and SKT are no longer the teams they once were but that’s not to say they have become worse. Though restructured, these teams are looking really strong and have found pieces that will continue their legacy into the future.
6. Perkz vs Rekkles
There has always been a debate on who the King of Europe is and the names that come on the top of the list are Perkz and Rekkles. Even though Caps has claimed the title today, the historical battle between these two has sparked so many debates in forums and comment sections on social media. The two belong on separate roles but the fact that they are the face of their respective organizations and are the two best players in the league have always placed them in constant comparisons.
When Perkz decided to roleswap to the bottom lane, the rivalry became even spicier. The two finally went face-to-face and proved to everyone who has the better impact in the team. Even though Rekkles has better individual stats, the sheer amount of achievements that Perkz acquired throughout 2019-2020 placed him at the top. Sadly, the rivalry finally ended when Perkz went to the LCS and Rekkles decided to leave Fnatic for G2 Esports, the organization that had given him a problem throughout the years.
5. TSM vs C9
Another legendary rivalry in North America is Team SoloMid vs Cloud9. These are the original rivals in the LCS and have always been even in terms of the race to getting as many trophies as possible. Aside from the orgs themselves being rivals, the Cloud9 and TSM communities have never gotten along, adding to the spiciness of the rivalry between these two organizations. The beautiful thing about this rivalry is that it exists until today, with both communities still not getting along.
This is probably one of the oldest LoL rivalries in not only in the LCS but in the world as they have both existed ever since Season 3. Instead of dying out through the years, the rivalry between these two evolved as the seasons went by. There was no doubt that Team SoloMid was the king of domestically but Cloud9 always showed up at Worlds. Even today, when all the players have all been shuffled out, the rivalry continues to become the hottest matchups in the LCS.
4. FNC vs G2
Similar to the TSM vs C9 rivalry, EU also has a long-standing rivalry between two of their most successful orgs that exist until today – FNC vs G2. The FNC vs G2 rivalry is one that has always existed in the history of Europe. Until the recent rise of MAD Lions, it was Fnatic and G2 Esports only who were competing for the LEC title. No other organizations came close to their level and always ended up that one of these two would face each other in the finals to win the trophy.
Fnatic and G2 Esports always denied each other a trophy but once it came to the international scene, they were both in a race to see who was more successful. One issue that added to this rivalry is that G2 was notorious for buying out promising Fnatic players while Fnatic was very good at developing new talent. Fnatic has won a World Championship while G2 Esports got themselves an MSI title. The race to see who is the better org in Europe continues until today and will continue into the future.
3. xPeke vs ocelote
One unique rivalry in the esports scene is the one between xPeke and ocelote. As you might know, xPeke is the founder of Origen and Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez is the founder of G2 Esports. Their rivalry began when they were pro-players in the EU LCS with these two always matching up. Whenever they would play, the fans would dub it “El Clasico” since they were both Spanish players who were in very competitive teams trying to outpace each other in League of Legends.
Eventually, the two began their own organizations and their rivalry continued. As owners, they would still compete by creating the best team in their regions. The games between Origen and G2 Esports were also dubbed “El Clasico” but the orgs didn’t really share any relevant LoL rivalries aside from that of their owners. Unfortunately, their rivalry would finally end when Origen was sold to Astralis. Even though xPeke won against ocelote more times as a pro, Carlos outlasted him in esports management sector.
2. NA vs EU
Undoubtedly the BIGGEST esports rivalry in the history of League of Legends is the rivalry between NA and EU. These two regions have always had it for each other with casters, players, coaches, fans, and even analysts joining in on the fun. This rivalry is so big that there are people who live and die on their belief that their region (NA/EU) is better than the other. Despite EU being more successful in terms of international performance in both MSI and Worlds, they still consider each other rivals.
Whenever an international tournament would arise, everybody wanted to watch the games between the LCS and LEC representatives. Social media and Twitch chat would spam “NA>EU” or “EU>NA” whenever a game would conclude in their favor. Things would often get personal between the fans on social media and long-text debates would flood comment sections as if they need to justify how they lost or won. Even today, the world still wants to watch any NA vs EU games to see who’s truly better.
1. SKT vs KT
Dubbed “The Telecom Wars“, SK Telecom T1 and KT Rolster are two of the biggest organizations in the LCK. This is not only one of the oldest LoL rivalries in the world but also the oldest esports rivalry in general. The two has always been at the top of any esports scene with one or the other dominating in a respective game. In League of Legends, SKT are undoubtedly the more successful organization with multiple World Championships and LCK Championships.
Despite the disparity in achievements, SKT and KT are still true rivals with their players taking the spirit of this rivalry to the next level. Whenever they would play, the level of competitiveness seemed to be elevated as they would perform above expectations. Though the competition is not as spicy as it was back then, the Telecom Wars would always be a legendary part of Korean League of Legends since it paved the way for what made the region so competitive in its culture for esports.