The top esports moments of 2021

The last day of the year is often a time for reflection on those that preceded it, and that is no different in the world of esports. Despite the continued shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the industry’s collective head, plenty of momentous occasions gave fans something to cheer for in 2021. From League of Legends to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — from in-game to real life — let’s take a look back at some of the top esports moments of 2021 (in no particular order) before getting ready to make more memories in 2022.

Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov proposes after major win

After a hard-fought win over G2 Esports to claim his first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major trophy, Natus Vincere in-game leader Boombl4 decided to push his luck even more by proposing to his girlfriend back home, live on stream.

 

The proposal drew a roar of support from the PGL Major crowd and a shocked expression from interviewer James Banks.

“Oh my!” Banks said. “Well, that is a stage to do it on.”

Boombl4 later confirmed that his girlfriend accepted his proposal on Instagram.

— Declan McLaughlin

EDG Worlds Win

EDG win Worlds 2021 as the stream broke viewership records. | Provided by Riot Games

The 2021 League of Legends World Championship brought a lot of surprises in the group stage, namely the mysterious collapse of tournament favorites, FunPlus Phoenix, and a last minute substitution for Fnatic. After the quarterfinals, the tournament looked all but over, with DWG KIA poised to become the second-ever back-to-back world champions with a strong possibility of going completely undefeated along the way.

But T1 weren’t keen on letting DK steal away a Worlds

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10 most memorable moments in sports in 2021

As athletes returned to the playing field and fans returned to the stands, there was some level of normalcy in the sports world in 2021.

Still, COVID-19 left its mark on athletics this year — from the empty venues at the delayed Tokyo Olympics to controversies over vaccination with players like Aaron Rodgers and Kyrie Irving.

COVID wasn’t the only way health was spotlighted in sports in 2021, though. Stars like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles brought renewed attention to mental health as well. While not a sports moment, the health of all-time golf great Tiger Woods made worldwide headlines after he was seriously injured in a car accident in February.

When it came to winning trophies, it was a very good year to be a Tampa sports fan.

Here’s a look at the top 10 moments in sports from 2021, in reverse order:

10. Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups (July 7)

The first of two Tampa Bay championships on this list came from the Lightning, which won its second straight Stanley Cup and denied the Montreal Canadiens’ pursuit of the first Canadian championship since 1993. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the series MVP with a shutout in the Stanley Cup-clinching Game 5. Pat Maroon, who played for the Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues in 2019, also became the first player to win three straight titles in almost 40 years.

9. Braves win the World Series (Nov. 2)

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