A Brief History of Competitive Surrenders

MSI 2018 is now well underway and the group stage is about to begin. One team who have now been eliminated (BAU SuperMassive) reached the Play-In Knockout Stage with an impressive 5-1 record, however this could have been better. With the group already won heading into their final match vs KaBuM! e-Sports, SuperMassive chose to troll experiment with a double-smite, triple marksman comp. Needless to say this game did not go in their favour, and the team surprised the audience further with a surrender after 24 minutes. This is not a first in competitive League of Legends, and we will now take a look at some other examples where teams chose to ‘ff at 20’ on a professional stage.

Gambit vs Samsung Ozone (Worlds 2013)

One of the first high profile surrenders came in the group stages of the 2013 World Championship. Russian giants Gambit came up against Korean outfit Samsung Ozone (who later became Worlds winners Samsung White), with the latter favoured to win the match.

Alex Ich and his squad started strongly, amassing a gold lead of around 3k by the 20 minute mark. It was the following teamfights that snowballed the game, however, as a 26 minute ace and subsequent baron gave Gambit a 15k gold lead on the 32nd minute. It was at this point that SSO surrendered the game, with only Mata alive while Gambit dismantled the base. This submission did not deter Samsung, who would go on to tie with Gambit for first place in their group.

Alliance vs SK Gaming (EU LCS 2014)

Fast-forward to the Summer Split of 2014 and another surrender was seen, this time in the European LCS. Eventual champions Alliance, with legend Froggen in the mid lane, faced off against middle-of-the-pack SK Gaming. A first blood in Alliance’s favour earned them a modest 600 gold lead by the tenth minute, and my minute 15 this had extended to 2.6k. SK secured dragon soon after this point, however a subsequent 3-0 teamfight in Alliance’s favour boosted this lead to 4k.

Heading into the 20 minutes mark this gold lead had not changed, and each team had taken 3 towers respectively. However, 1 lost teamfight and 1 lost turret later saw SK’s gold deficit lengthen to 7k in the space of 45 seconds. After 1 final pick on mid laner Jesiz, SK surrendered the game and handed the victory to Alliance. This could be seen as premature, however, as they were yet to have lost any inner turrets while Alliance were only beginning to threaten their base structures.

Fnatic vs Invictus Gaming (Worlds 2015)

One year on and yet another surrender was seen at the World Championships. Again in the group stage, EU LCS’s Fnatic were up against LPL’s Invictus Gaming in a competitive group also including NA LCS’s Cloud9 and LMS’s ahq e-Sports Club. A reasonably passive first quarter of an hour saw Fnatic only pick up 1 kill and a gold lead of just over 3k. However, a dragon fight in the 19th minute went heavily in Fnatic’s favour.

An Infernal drake followed by 3 kills found Fnatic a 5k gold lead and a 22 minute baron extended this by a further 1.5k. No further kills were secured for Fnatic for the next 8 minutes, but with a 12.4k gold lead the next teamfight meant that the Europeans wiped IG and earned their first inhibitor. Despite Fnatic backing off to reset, IG surrendered what was the opening game of that season’s tournament. Invictus would go on to exit from the group stage in last place, while Fnatic exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals where they were knocked out by Korea’s ROX Tigers.

SK Telecom vs Fnatic (IEM Katowice 2016)

Another year later on brings us to our final example, this time in ESL’s IEM Katowice. BO3 victories over TSM and RNG respectively created a final BO5 matchup between LCK’s SK Telecom and EU LCS’s Fnatic. After taking the first 2 games, SKT had the chance of a series sweep (and the $50,000 price money that went with it).

By 10 minutes Fnatic had accumulated a small gold lead while top laner Gamsu had taken first blood in minute a 8 tower dive. The tides turned shortly after as SKT took the lead after a successful teamfight where Fnatic had originally looked to have caught support Wolf out of position. Ensuing teamfights extended this lead for SKT up to 7k by minute 20 and a baron 90 seconds later upped this to 11k. By this time, a fed Blank, Faker and Bang were all solo kill threats and Fnatic had little way back into the game against an SKT that would go on to win MSI and Worlds that year. At the turn of the 22nd minute, Fnatic surrendered the match and confirmed the title in SK Telecom’s favour.

Are there any big game surrenders we missed? Let us know by tweeting @NineTeeSix!