5 Greatest Real-Life Rivalries In Video Game History

The great rivalries of gaming aren’t always fictional. When video games break into reality, rivalries only become more bitter — and today I’m going to talk about some of the biggest battles of personality in video game history. Whether it’s one speedrunner versus many, or two armies of online players duking it out for space bound survival, these rivalries are so huge they’ve escaped the digital confines of video games and leaked all over the real world.

For a rivalry to truly be legendary, the story has to inspire. And there are some truly inspiring stories to tell — mostly about how much we can accomplish when we’re way too pissed off. Some of these rivalries are friendly, and some are venomous. Some have been over for years, while others are still going to this day. These stories are completely insane, and most of them I’ve only just barely touched on. I highly recommend clicking the links and watching the videos that accompany each entry. They’re absolutely worth your time.


Revisit more game lists on Gameranx:


Goonswarm vs. PAPI [EVE Online]

You’ve probably heard about this — the biggest battle in EVE Online history — and maybe the biggest battle in the history of online games. It’s certainly the most expensive. Warships in EVE Online cost real-world dollars, and the latest battle between Goonswarm and a coalition that call themselves PAPI involved thousands of players — previous battles between the two groups have resulted in thousands of dollars in in-game damages, and even real-life repercussions when developer CCP’s servers crashed due to the immense player load.

Goonswarm originally formed on The Something Awful Forums and has grown into a domination faction in EVE Online — Goonswarm controls vast regions of space with thousands of players. Lead by Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco, the Goonswarm dominated the EVE Online scene way back in 2005 when they destroyed rival coalitions through sneaky tactics — they literally sent a double agent into their enemy’s ranks.

And now there’s PAPI. A loose coalition of allies lead by a player called Vily, the group wants to exterminate and dissolve the forces of Goonswarm. Why the beef? It all comes down to a disgruntled former employee. As detailed in this interview by Polygon, Vily was once a Fleet Commander in Goonswarm — but he had to take a long break for a real-life military deployment. When he returned, Goonswarm didn’t want him back.

So Vily decided to create his own thing. And it’s sparked one of the biggest rivalries in video game history. The latest battle in “World War Bee 2” isn’t the last, and we’re going to see even more money burned in an endless feud. But that’s kind of the whole point of EVE Online, isn’t it?


Rivals never back down. Learn more about the biggest rivalries in gaming on the next page.