eSports Rivalries: Nothing But Friendly Competition


Everyone likes a good nemesis, most of us have had one, and those who have not, have been missing out. Under the right circumstances, rivalries make us strong and keep us trying to improve our faults. They make us learn new things about ourselves that we didn’t know before.

In Fight Club, the club members are unsure about themselves and softened by the world. Once they are tasked with starting a fight, they start to learn about themselves and their capabilities.

Nobody wants to start a confrontation if they can avoid it. However, can you know yourself if you’re not in a confrontational situation?

After all, how can you know yourself if you’ve never had one? Well, these gamers certainly learned about themselves from these friendly rivalries.

Mang0 vs Armada

These two have a long history as early as the Genesis 2009 tournament. Back then Mango was one of the best Smash players out there, taking on the best players. In Sweden, Armada was one of the best in Europe, however, the Europe Smash scene was small when compared to North America’s.

When Armada came to America to play smash he was ready to take on the world. The one who stood in his way the most was Mango. Mango beat Armada in Genesis 1, but Armada wouldn’t let this stop him. It is unlikely to say who will versus who in these tournaments, but Genesis 2, Genesis 3, and Genesis 4 keep meeting each other in semi-finals, finals, or anywhere in the bracket.

Optic Gaming vs Faze Clan

Call of Duty is one of the most hyped FPS out there. With so many fans around it makes it quite the competitive battlefield for Optic Gaming and Faze Clan. Their rivalry didn’t start in the competitive arena on stage, but more in the virtual world of YouTube. In the early days of YouTube gaming, both teams would upload call of duty videos to grow their channels. Each team would try their best at montages of trick shots and quick scopes to get a quick reaction from audiences. The two would compete at MLG Anaheim where Optic would get the win, but Faze Clan would avenge themselves at UMG Philadelphia, taking the win.

In the early days of the rivalry, Optic Gaming would mainly get the better of Faze always ranking higher at tournaments such as EGL 7, UMG Chicago 20212, Call of Duty Championship 2013, MLG Spring Championship 2013, however with COD Advanced warfare Faze was seen as the only other team that could beat Optic. At the same time, their YouTube sub count was just as competitive. Faze went from 100,000 subs to 1,000,000 in less than 3 years. Optic Gaming has since expanded into Overwatch and League of Legends, while their counterpart has also taken on Overwatch.

SK Telecom vs KT Rolster

The rivalry between SK Telecom and KT Rolster, two of South Korea’s largest telecom companies, is the longest in eSports. Branded as the telecom wars, these teams were both sponsored by Korea’s telecom companies which helped the growth of eSports. Back then eSports wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, however, thanks to these sponsorships, the spread of eSports have grown to an international phenomenon.

Representing SKT was Lim Yo Hwan otherwise known as Boxer, for KT Rolster there was Hong Jin Lo aka Yellow. The two competitors met face to face at Starcraft competitions in the early 2000s and will continue throughout the years One of their biggest earliest competitions was the SKY Proleague Grandfinals in 2005. Although by 2010 the teams changed rosters, the rivalry was still there.

China vs the West

In the world of eSports rivalries between regional areas are quite common, for Smash it was the east coast versus the west coast, however, in Dota 2 it was the West versus the East, China.

In Dota 2 no challenger was more formidable and harder to beat than China. China was seen as the number one competitor at the game, always dominating tournaments. China’s strategy was so secretive they wouldn’t release any replays from a tournament, scared that someone will be able to analyze what they were doing and beat them. Winning teams at The International Dota 2 used to alternate between China and the West. Recently the West has taken the edge with six championships out of nine, leaving China with 3 championship wins.


Rivalries are essential in any competitive competition and eSports is no exception. Having fun is important, but a competitive competition can be a fun thing to have.

Rivalries make things fun, they keep us on our toes and always try to make us become a better version of ourselves. After all, breaking through barriers that were thought to be impossible to break is what a good healthy rivalry is all about.


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