Earlier this year, the pro League of Legends team Team SoloMid (TSM) was sorely embarrassed when one of their opponents stole a baron right out from under them—with a blind shot, no less—during a tournament game. Now, they’ve finally had their revenge. Sort of.
During the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) semifinals this weekend, the TSM player Jason “WildTurtle” Tran managed to kill the big scary-looking monster Baron Nashor while the enemy team was trying to kill it in order to reap the sweet, sweet team-wide rewards that come from doing so. Surprise Baron steals happen all the time in League, of course. What made this one impressive is that he stole baron by shooting it with a long-range missile while he was still in mid lane and couldn’t even see the thing.
Watch the play in action here:
If you don’t watch and/or play League of Legends, you might be wondering: “Why are all the people in this video shrieking like ecstatic children?” Let me explain.
Baron is one of the two main monsters in League of Legends games that a team tries to kill in return for big team-wide performance boosts that help carry them towards victory. Since is so powerful, an entire team usually gangs up to take him out as quickly as possible—a tactic that leaves them vulnerable to ambushes or last-minute kill steals from some clever competitor who sneaks in and pounces at just the right moment to shave off the beast’s last few hitpoints.
Normally, epic baron steals are thus performed by people playing as fast and agile League of Legends characters—ones who can swoop in and then dart right out before they’re killed. In this case, WildTurtle was playing as Jinx, a ranged character who can shoot a large rocket as one of her special abilities. He was still by mid-lane when his team began to descend on the baron-attacking opponents. Nobody on his team had vision on the beast either—though a teammate had spotted them going in on the baron a moment beforehand thanks to a well-timed special ability he fired off. Launching Jinx’s special rocket was, quite literally, taking a shot in the dark.
What’s impressive about the move isn’t its accuracy, really—though it is cool he landed the move from so far away on an opponent that he couldn’t see. It’s the timing. Baron has a ton of hitpoints, so executing any successful baron steal means you have to jump in at the exact right moment just before the monster’s health dips below zero. Attack too soon and the enemy team will still get the kill. Attack too late and baron won’t be around to steal anymore. WildTurtle’s play was bonkers because he nailed the timing when he had absolutely no business doing so.
Ok, fine. The accuracy does matter too, though not in the way you might think. Jinx’s rocket attack doesn’t hurt NPC monsters, so she can’t normally just lob it at a beast like baron to help her team take it out in a quick pinch. However, the rocket does do a lot of splash damage, albeit in a short radius. So WildTurtle actually had to hit an a human opponent just to kill off the valuable NPC. Nice.
The moment must have felt all the more sweet for WildTurtle because TSM was previously the victim of a similar blind baron steal by none other than Piglet of Team Liquid—the opponents they were playing against in the semifinals match. REKT.
At the beginning of the season, WildTurtle had performed a similarly bonkers stunt, only that time he sniped the dragon with same long-range rocket attack—the other big scary monster in League that sits opposite to the baron on the bottom half of the map.
I think this officially makes WildTurtle the king of long-shot, probably-not-gonna-make-it-but-screw-it-I’m-gonna-try-anyways hail mary shots in League of Legends.
Top GIF via this awesome “Get Jinxed” video that Riot produced.