The Best Sports and E-Sports Moments of 2016
This year wasn’t all that bad
2016 may not be everyone’s favorite year but it has its good moments. At the very least, this was a good year for both sports and e-sports. So before we finally bid this year goodbye, let’s look back on some of its unforgettable highlights.
The Epic NBA Finals
Anyone who’s anyone was swept up in the narrative that was the epic clash between a LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors with the golden boy Steph Curry. It could have easily been anyone’s game, with that of the season’s hotshot team with the best record and the massively popular Steph Curry going up against one of the game’s last remaining giant’s from an ending era: LeBron James. The series went the full 7 games with the Cavs fighting their way back from 2-0 to even the game at 3-3, before finally winning their first and LeBron’s third NBA championship.
The Black Mamba Says Farewell
Also in the world of basketball, Kobe Bryant, one of the long-time legends of the sport this side of the millennium finally retired. Famous (or infamous) for his unparalleled shooting ability and absolutely dominant style on the court, the Mamba went out in style, shooting a whopping 60 points against Utah Jazz, basically ending his career by reminding everyone one last time that he is, in fact, the best. The basketball world mourned, but we chose to see the moment as one of the best of the year because it both highlights the amazing career of one incredibly driven man and of the signs of the new era of basketball legends about to begin.
Michael Phelps Becomes Immortal
Though he’d already been at the top of the world from all the medals he’d received prior, Phelps showed this year that despite being 31 and somewhat old for an Olympian, he’s not done at being the best just yet. At the Rio Olympics, he added 6 more medals to his belt, 5 of them being gold, putting his total at a record high of 23 gold medals out of 28 total. At this point, he has more Olympics medals than many of the world's countries combined.
TNC Gaming With The Biggest Upset In DOTA 2 History
Filipinos appearing on the international e-sports stage is not a rare occurrence actually, and Mineski has been doing it for years for DOTA and Counter Strike. We, however, have usually dropped out of tournaments early. But this year, a bunch of local boys with big dreams from TNC Gaming fought their way up the lower brackets to take an unprecedented top 8 slot. What’s more, they shocked the world by eliminating 2-0 the tournament favorites, team OG. The boys, surpassing their idols, were so elated by their victory they jumped and cried and whooped in the players' booth.
ESL One Manila and the Manila Major
Proving that this was a great year for Philippine DOTA, we also hosted two premier DOTA 2 tournaments in ESL One Manila and the Manila Major. Both are grand events in the DOTA 2 world, with prize pools in the millions of dollars and all the best teams in the world converging in one country to shake up the power rankings. It just so happened that this year, the Philippines was chosen to host both tournaments and the world got to see just what a big deal the game is to the fans here. Since then, they began to recognize more and more that Philippine DOTA is among the best DOTA in the world.