10 Defining Esports Moments of 2016

We've seen esports grow in fits and starts over the past decade, but we've yet to see a year with such strong momentum as 2016

Neeb vs. Trap at the Kespa Cup Grand Final

Neeb becomes the first Non-Korean to win a Korean 'StarCraft II' tournament

The cradle of esports civilization is South Korea. Here, years ago, StarCraft: Brood War filled stadiums and airport hangars with screaming fans. Today, in StarCraft II and League of Legends, South Korean players reign supreme. Non-Koreans do not win tournaments in Korea. Certainly not StarCraft tournaments. Not since 2000, when Guillaume "Grrrr..." Patry scraped out a win in a Brood War event. It just doesn't happen.

Until Neeb, that is. Alex "Neeb" Sunderhaft, proud New Yorker and Protoss player, won the 2016 KeSPA Cup 4-0 over Cho "Trap" Sung Ho in a spirited, lopsided romp.

You can argue that StarCraft II is on the downswing, with KeSPA discontinuing Proleague (the world's longest-running esports league) in 2017. But that doesn't change the fact that Neeb, on October 3rd, did what all previous non-Korean StarCraft II stars had failed to do – he beat the masters of the sport at their own game.