All That Matters 2018 started off with a banger of an opening panel, as moderator Jasper Donat hosted some of the biggest names in eSports.
But the true beauty was his analogy to describe his first e-sports event as “a cornflakes moment.” Essentially, a moment that causes one to pause and drop the spoon, in awe of what they are seeing.
E-sports might have exploded recently, what with tournaments having multi-million prize pools, competition streams reaching millions of viewers worldwide, and stadiums being filled to the brim, cornflakes moments are happening aplenty. However, back when e-sports was merely in its infancy, players showed off their mettle, making plays that made grown men scream.
In this list, all kinds of games make an appearance, with classic moments happening as early as 2001. Now, it’s showtime.
PLAYGU! PLAYGU! from Starcraft: Brood War
South Korea is well-known as the powerhouse of e-sports. Their players dominate the scenes in games like Starcraft II, League of Legends and Overwatch. However, before all the razzmatazz, there was one game that started it all: Brood War.
Blizzard Entertainment released Starcraft in 1998, but it was the expansion Brood War that really took off as an e-sport. South Korea took to the game like a moth to flame, and it wasn’t long before tournaments was being televised nationally to millions of adoring fans.
One player dominated the game, and is perhaps the first e-sports celebrity. Known simply as The Emperor, Lim ‘BoxeR’ Yo Hwan slaughtered the competition with a rarely seen race, the Terran. In the video, in glorious 240p, perhaps the first Starcraft meme was born as BoxeR showed off incredible micromanagement to tear his opponent apart.
Can you see what is happening? Maybe not, but the caster’s energy is simply infectious.
The Daigo Parry from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) is the OG fighting game tournament. If there was a player good at any fighting game, be it Street Fighter, Tekken, or Marvel vs. Capcom, you will probably find them here competing for the title.
In EVO 2004, already legendary Street Fighter player Daigo Umehara sealed his status as one of the best to ever play the game. For context, there were two kinds of defensive techniques in that version of the game: block and parry.
Blocking is just holding down a button, but you’d still take damage. Parrying required you to time your move perfectly to avoid any damage. How perfectly? The window was four frames out of thirty, which meant seven one hundredths of a second. He did it not once, not twice, but fifteen times, and proceeded to win the match on a sliver of health. As you can see, his nickname “The Beast” was well-deserved.
Oh, one more thing. This moment has been so impactful in fighting game history that it has its own Wikipedia entry.
SpawN’s Ninja (Almost) Defuse from Counter-Strike 1.6
Counter-Strike 1.6 is a game that many hold close to heart. Countless hours spent in dingy LAN cafes playing it, while the actually pro players would spend countless hours in slightly less dingy LAN cafes.
Abdisamad ‘SpawN’ Mohamed is one such pro. Simply known as the Living Legend, SpawN played Counter-Strike at the highest level right from the beginning. Nothing exemplifies SpawN’s balls of steel more than the above clip, as he deftly dodges two enemies by abusing line of sight to get to the bomb.
Unfortunately, the crowd cheering gave his performance away. What could have been the “best defuse” in the history of the game is now only the “best (almost) defuse” in the history of the game.