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Biggest Esports Betting Upsets of 2020

Blizzard Entertainment

2020 was a whirlwind year for esports. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, esports had to collectively figure out how to operate without LAN events. Eventually, it was smooth (enough) sailing once the online era of esports began, but the new format presented some stark contrasts to expectations.

Many esports fans learned the difference between competing in person and online. As the CS:GO community has long known, some teams simply play better online. And with LANs disappearing in 2020, there were plenty of huge betting upsets in esports.

With all of that context, let’s take a look at the biggest betting upsets in esports in 2020.

Biggest Betting Upsets in Esports in 2020
GameEventMatchupWinnerDate
OWOverwatch LeagueVancouver Titans vs Atlanta ReignTitans (+1300)Aug 16
DOTAESL ONE - BirminghamTeam Secret vs Team UniqueTeam Unique (+1200)May 27
LOLLPLOL PlayoffsFor The Win Esports vs Electronik GenerationElectronik Generation (+1200)March 22
KOGKPLGT Spring Upper DivisionGhost Owl Gaming vs RoXRoX (+1200)April 27
KOGKing Pro LeagueYTG Gaming vs All GamersYTG Gaming (+1200)May 14
R6BrasileirãoTeamOne vs FURIAFURIA (+1200)Oct 17
KOGKing Pro LeagueLGD Goose vs Hero JiujingHero Jiujing (+900)May 22
SC2Dreamhack Masters 2020: NAAsuna vs AstreaAsuna (+900)Sept 3
CSGOIEM New YorkFURIA vs New England WhalersNew England Whalers (+900)Oct 13
OWOverwatch LeagueDallas Fuel vs Vancouver TitansTitans (+900)June 20

Titans Accomplish Second-Biggest Underdog Win Ever

Frankly, the Vancouver Titans were a mess in the Overwatch League in 2020. The once-dominant powerhouse saw their entire Korean roster become dissatisfied with the organization and either demand out or retire. That led to the Titans picking up a bunch of Contenders players and, seemingly, throwing their hands up on the season.

Entering their matchup with the Atlanta Reign on August 16, the Titans were 4-14 with nothing really but pride to play for. On the other side, the Reign were a solid 10-8 and fighting for playoff positioning. Even color caster Jake “Jake” Lyon said that this was a very “advantageous” matchup for the Reign.

What ended up happening was the DPS duo of Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen and Dalton “Dalton” Bennyhoff absolutely carrying the Titans to victory. SHockWave, in particular, popped off and looked unstoppable.

The Titans entered this matchup at +1200 underdogs according to Bovada. With the series victory, the Titans tied for the second-biggest underdog victory in esports for the book while becoming the biggest underdog to win in the three-year history of the Overwatch League.

Team Secret Actually Lost?

Team Secret may have been the most dominant team in any competitive endeavor in 2020. Secret competed in 16 Dota 2 events in 2020, winning 10. This included a ridiculous stretch from May to August when the squad won eight consecutive events.

However, during that dominant run, Secret slipped in one big surprise loss.

On Day 4 of the ESL ONE – Birmingham: Europe and CIS Group Stage, Team Secret dropped a series to Team Unique 2-0. Team Unique had already dropped their first two series of the event, being swept 2-0 in both occasions. Team Secret was 2-0 on the back of two straight 2-0’s, facing little issue against highercaliber competition.

However, Unique came into Game 1 of this series and stomped Secret. Secret called GG at 38 minutes, as Unique had a 32K goal lead and more than doubled up their opponents in kills 26-17. Game 2 was much closer, as both teams fought for every inch. Ultimately, Unique was able to hold firm and win a battle and take the series 2-0.

Ultimately, it did little to derail Secret, as Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and company would not lose another game in the group stage and would win the entire event. However, we will never forget our reactions watching a closed qualifier team absolutely stomp the best team in the world.

King of Glory Becomes King of Upsets

Honor of Kings, aka King of Glory, likely is not an esport you have heard much about unless you live in Asia. Mobile gaming and esports have never really taken off in the western world, but it is absolutely massive in Asia. The game itself has over 100 million active, daily players as of November 2020 and the esports scene is thriving.

As the esport scene moved to an online-only format, huge upsets became a norm in King of Glory. Three of the top 10 biggest esports underdog victories in 2020 came from the King of Glory scene, more than any other game.

Within a span of three weeks, the King of Glory pro scene had two +1200 underdogs win.

The first happened on April 27 when the 3-7 RoX team defeated the 8-3 Ghost Owl Gaming. Earlier in the season, GOG defeated RoX 3-0 with relative ease, but Ghost Owl Gaming entered this series slumping. After opening the season 8-1, GOG had lost their previous two and went into this series reeling. RoX took advantage and claimed a 3-1 series victory.

The second +1200 underdog to win occurred on May 14 when YTG Gaming defeated All Gamers. Entering this series, YTG had lost five straight series and was scraping the bottom of the King Pro League standings. All Gamers was 10-2 and looking like the class of the Western Conference.

YTG would end up taking a 3-1 series win, their first in nearly a month.