In the world of competitive gaming, the best esports teams put out their strongest rosters to compete at the highest level of professional video gaming. Every year, smaller teams and new players challenge the biggest organizations for the top prize. While current rankings are calculated by earnings and points, this list of esports teams is decided by fans voting. What is the best esports team in the world?
With rosters in League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Overwatch, Dota2, Rocket League, Fortnite, PUBG, StarCraft II, and Call of Duty, the largest, highest-earning, and richest esports teams are displaying their skills at the most popular video games. While many are sponsored by large companies, some have been started by avid gamers in their homes.
As of 2020, the most famous esports teams include Team Liquid, Cloud9, NRG esports, American group FaZe Clan, SK Telecom T1, OpTic Gaming, and Evil Geniuses, which feature some of the greatest pro gamers of all time. Representing Europe, Asia, Australia, the US, South America, and more, the top esports teams are from all over the world. Learn the names of good eSports orgs with this list, and maybe you'll find yourself on one of these clans in the future.
Vote up the best esports teams and vote down the ones who don't deserve the top spot. Feel free to vote for your favorites, and add any cool and underrated teams missing from the list.
Ranking the top 20 esports teams in the world
What is greatness? Is it glory, money, fame? Or is it a certain something special that sets a team apart from the rest of the competition?
Success in esports can be hard to define, but the biggest and most obvious one is of course winning tournaments. Having superstar players with huge followings in a roster or even getting a big-name investor onboard can help propel a team to Tier 1 status.
More importantly, if you’ve never followed esports before, then getting to know the big names in the industry will be helpful in deciding which team (or game) to follow.
With that in mind, we made this ranking of the top 20 esports teams in the world that everyone in the industry should follow. The rankings are primarily based on a team’s history of competitive success, with their market values, prestige, and popularity also taken into account.
#20 – 100 Thieves
100 Thieves (or 100T for short) is young esports organization that was created by renown Call of Duty (CoD) player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag in 2017 in Los Angeles. Despite having entered the scene only a couple of years ago, 100T fields teams in League of Legends (LoL), CoD, Fortnite: Battle Royale, and Clash Royale.
Its LoL team notably became one of the representatives of the US at the 2018 League of Legends World Championship in South Korea. Such early successes have led to sponsorships from companies such as Razer, Red Bull Esports, and even the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, who have come to believe in the team’s future.
#19 – Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) initially started as a LoL team in 2010 but has since then branched out into Smite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Super Smash Bros, and Fortnite.
CLG notably turned heads in 2017 when sports entertainment holding company Madison Square Garden Company acquired a controlling stake in the team — one of the biggest moves by a traditional sports entity into the esports industry.
#18 – compLexity Gaming
CompLexity Gaming, or coL for short, is one of the oldest esports organizations in the world, having been founded way back in 2003 as a team gathered around Counter-Strike 1.6. The organization has fielded a very diverse set of teams that compete in CS:GO, Dota 2, CoD, Clash Royale, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Madden, among others.
The team’s long competitive history caught the eye of Jerry Jones, the owner of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, who purchased it in 2017. CoL now shares the NFL team’s HQ at the city of Frisco, Texas, where it began construction of its own esports facility last year.
#17 – Echo Fox
Echo Fox was established by former NBA player Rick Fox when he acquired the LoL Championship Series (LCS) spot of Gravity Gaming for $1 million in 2015. The team then branched out to CS:GO, CoD, Gears of War 4, and a huge range of fighting games, including Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2, and Dragon Ball FighterZ — where the team has seen the most success thanks to its signing of fighting games juggernaut Dominique “SonicFox” McLean.
#16 – PSG Esports
PSG Esports, founded in 2016, is the esports department of renowned French football club Paris Saint-Germain. PSG understandably started out with a FIFA team before branching out to other titles. In April 2018, PSG signed the Dota 2 roster of one of the the biggest esports teams in China, LGD Gaming â€” which rebranded itself to PSG.LGD.
Aside from inheriting the LGD brand’s rich legacy, the team reached further heights under the PSG banner, winning two Major tournaments that year as well as finishing second in The International 2018 (TI8). Since then, PSG Esports has expanded to FIFA Online as well as mobile games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Brawl Stars.
#15 – G2 Esports
G2 Esports is a Spanish team based in Berlin that has been active in games such as LoL, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Clash Royale, Hearthstone, and Rocket League.
Despite being only established in 2013, the organization has made quite an impact on the LoL competitive scene, where it has been a stalwart of the European LoL Championship Series (LCS) since 2016. G2 won the LCS Spring and Summer seasons twice in a row in 2016 and 2017, and in the 2018 LoL World Championships, the team notably upset top Chinese team Royal Never Give Up to finished at third place.
#14 – OpTic Gaming
OpTic Gaming is a North American organization that has fielded teams in CoD, CS:GO, LoL, Fortnite, Gears of War and Overwatch. The team also boasts one of the biggest and most dedicated fanbases in esports, dubbing themselves as the ‘Green Wall.’ OpTic is currently owned by Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez and Neil Leibman, co-owner of the MLB team Texas Rangers.
#13 – FaZe Clan
In terms of sheer popularity in social media, FaZe Clan beats all other esports teams by a mile — boasting over 15 million combined followers on social media platforms, as well as subscribers on Twitch and YouTube.
The organization made its name across various FPS games, when it was still known as FaZe Sniping and had its logo in virtually every FPS montage video online. FaZe has since then expanded into other titles as well, most notably FIFA.
#12 – Team SoloMid
Team SoloMid (TSM) is an esports organization based in the US that was founded in 2009 by former LoL pro player and entrepreneur Andy “Reginald” Dinh. TSM has fielded teams competing in LoL and Hearthstone, but has an especially large presence in battle royale titles such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
The team is behind only FaZe Clan in terms of social media popularity and is also the second most valuable esports company according to Forbes — having been valued at over $250 million.
#11 – Gen.G Esports
Gen.G Esports had its roots in the Korean LoL team Samsung Galaxy. As the organization’s name implies, it is the esports team of the South Korean electronics giant, Samsung. The organization was founded in 2005, competing in StarCraft II (SC2) under the name Samsung KHAN. The organization would make its biggest splash in LoL, with its Samsung White team winning the 2014 LoL World Championship (Worlds 2014) and Samsung Galaxy placing second in Worlds 2016 before winning Worlds 2017.
Later that year however, Samsung announced that they would no longer be sponsoring teams, which led to the organization being acquired by KSV eSports, which then rebranded to Gen.G Esports in 2018. As Gen.G, the organization expanded to other titles such as CoD, PUBG, Fortnite, and Overwatch — where it owns the Overwatch League franchise Seoul Dynasty.
#10 – Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas, better known as NiP, is a Swedish esports organization that was founded back in 2000 centered around Counter-Strike 1.6. The team did well enough during those early days of Counter-Strike but would be disbanded two times — first in 2002, then again in 2007– before it reached the pinnacle of success in CS:GO.
In 2012, NiP assembled one of the most legendary lineups in CS:GO’s history that would go on a run of absolute dominance from September of that year to June 2014. From September 2012 to April 2013, NiP went on a record-setting streak of 87-0 in LAN tournament map wins, not to mention making it to five straight major finals.
NiP started to fall off hard in 2014, and while there were periods of partial recovery for them, the team has failed to reach the same heights since. Even so, “NiP magic” continues to live on in the hearts and minds of hardcore CS:GO fans. Aside from CS:GO, NiP has also been active in other titles such as Dota 2, LoL, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and Fortnite, among others.
#9 – Virtus.pro
Virtus Pro is a Russian esports organization founded back in 2003 that is mostly known for the massive success of its CS:GO and Dota 2 teams.
In 2014, the organization signed the popular Polish roster that would go on to be dubbed “Virtus.plow” for their explosive playstyle. Despite being prone to periods of ups and downs, the team remains one of the most successful teams in CS:GO of all time, accumulating several high-profile tournament wins, most notably the EMS One: Katowice Major back in 2014. That lineup was also the longest standing 5-man roster in CS:GO to date, only ending with a roster change last year.
As for Dota, Virtus.pro has long been active in the game and even fielded teams during the days of Dota 1. While only attaining marginal success in the early days of Dota 2, the organization hit its stride when it signed a roster of the best players from the CIS region in August 2016. It has since then become one of the most dominant teams in Dota 2’s history, boasting no less than 10 LAN tournament wins since the core roster came together — though Virtus.pro has yet to win a championship at TI.
#8 – OG
While OG may be one of those rather unorthodox one-game esports teams, it has reached heights that any other organization would be envious of. It was founded by Dota 2 pro players Tai “Fly” Aizik and Johan “notail” Sundstein back in 2015.
OG dominated the Dota 2 scene for two years; winning the Frankfurt Major in 2015, the Boston and Manila Majors in 2016, and the Kiev Major in 2017. OG also claimed consecutive Major victories as well as defended a Major title as returning champions. But despite all that, the team did not win when it mattered the most in TI6 and TI8.
Prior to TI8, OG’s roster was gutted when two of its members — including team founder Fly — left for Evil Geniuses. This forced the team to qualify for Dota 2’s biggest tournament yet — with a prize pool of over $25 million — with only a ragtag roster that had everyone predicting yet another early exit for OG.
However, the team would astound viewers with a Cinderella run that culminated in a 3-2 victory over PSG.LGD in one of the most legendary matches in all of esports, with OG walking away with the Aegis of Champions and over $11 million dollars — the biggest prize that any esports team has won in a single tournament to date.
#7 – Astralis
Much like OG, Astralis is a one-game esports team that has achieved legendary status in esports through sheer dominance in their one game: CS:GO. In its current era of dominance, Astralis boasts 11 tournament victories, the IEM Grand Slam, and back-to-back Major victories at the FACEIT and IEM Katowice 2019 Majors — where they have gone on a ludicrous playoffs streak of 12-0.
Their level of dominance is unprecedented in the history of CS:GO and goes beyond just their tournament results, one that can be likened to how the Golden State Warriors have both dominated and changed the NBA.
Astralis superstar Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz’s mobile AWP style has become the standard by which the skill of AWPers are now judged, similar to how Stephen Curry ushered in an era wherein three-pointers are the center of NBA offenses. Astralis also collectively redefined utility usage, forcing their opposition to better understand utility play just to keep up with them.
#6 – Natus Vincere
Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) is a Ukrainian organization whose name means “Born to Win,” something that it has been able to embody for the most part thanks to the success of its teams in Dota 2 and CS:GO.
Na’Vi was the team that won the first iteration of Dota 2’s premier tournament, The International, back in 2011. With Danil “Dendi” Ishutin as both the face of the franchise and even the game itself, Na’Vi dominated the scene from 2011 to 2013 — boasting 21 tournament wins in that span along with two second-place finishes at TI, the only Dota 2 team to have done so. While the team started falling off in 2014 and is only a shadow of itself now, Na’Vi — along with its Dota poster boy Dendi — have achieved an unassailable status as legends of the game.
In CS:GO, Na’Vi made its splash by becoming the first team to win three major tournaments in one year: namely, the Intel Extreme Masters, Electronic Sports World Cup and World Cyber Games in 2010. Na’Vi continued with moderate success since then, mostly playing the role of rivals to other top teams such as Luminosity Gaming, Virtus.pro, and Fnatic, among others.
The team signed one of the best CS:GO players of all time, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, in 2016 to begin its resurgence in the scene, highlighted by top-two finishes in two straight Majors and a victory at ESL One: New York. The team most recently won the BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018 and even developed a bit of a rivalry with CS:GO top dogs Astralis.
Aside from Dota 2 and CS:GO, Na’Vi also fielded teams in LoL, World of Tanks, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite, and PUBG.
#5 – SK Telecom T1/T1 Entertainment & Sports
SK Telecom T1 (SKT T1) is arguably the most popular and iconic team in LoL, even if it has now rebranded to T1 Entertainment & Sports and branched out to battle royale games. SKT T1 has its franchise superstar and LoL G.O.A.T. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok to thank for that.
Initially, SKT T1 had two teams; SKT T1 S, acquired in 2012; and SKT T1 K, which had Faker and was acquired a year later. While SKT T1 K was known as the organization’s secondary team, it outperformed the primary team by winning the Season 3 World Championship and becoming the only team to not lose a single game in Champions Winter 2013-2014. Both SKT T1 teams failed to make it to Worlds in 2014, however.
The next year, SKT reformed to only have one team, then went on to win the LoL Champions Korea (LCK) Spring and Summer Splits, as well as the 2015 World Championships. In 2016, SKTT1 won IEM Season X, the LCK Spring Split, the Mid-Season Invitational, and then became the first back-to-back LoL world champions. While the team won the LCK Spring Split and the Mid-Season Invitational again in 2017, their quest for a three-peat at Worlds was thwarted by Samsung Galaxy.
While the team has been struggling to go back to the form it had during its glory days, SKT T1’s utter dominance of the LoL scene was undeniable, being the only franchise to boast three world championship under its belt.
#4 – Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses (EG) is one of the oldest North American professional gaming organisations, having been founded in 1999. EG is known to have fielded highly successful teams and players in every esports title it has featured, and is thus recognized among the world’s most premier esports organizations.
While the team had its start as a North American Quake clan, its first major esports entries were in Dota 1 in 2008, then StarCraft: Brood War the year after. The organization them ramped up its operations in 2010 by entering SC2 with the game’s release, as well as the fighting games scene — with the notable signing of fighting games legend Justin Wong.
While EG had been fielding Dota 2 teams since 2011, it took over 3 years for the organization started to make waves in the scene. In 2014, EG signed an up and coming North American lineup that was captained by Peter “ppd” Dager, going on to finish 3rd at TI4 — the best results an American team had at that point. Later that year, EG’s parent organisation, GoodGame Agency, was also acquired by Twitch.
The year after, the departure of two of its players forced EG to make bold decisions to have a roster fit to participate in TI5 — including the signing of then 15-year old Pakistani pubstar Syed “SumaiL” Hassan. Despite largely being written off that year, EG went on to win TI5 and a grand prize of over $6.6 million — the biggest of its time. Since then, EG continues to be the top team in North America and has even finished in the top 3 in TI6 and TI8.
After TI6, EG became one of the first player-owned esports organizations when the captain of its Dota 2 team, Peter Dager, retired from competitive play to become CEO. He would later step down from his position to return to a career as a professional player.
Aside from Dota, SC2, and fighting games, EG has also been active in titles such as Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, Super Smash Bros., and CoD — where the team won the 2018 world championship.
#3 – Cloud9
Cloud9 (C9) is a North American organization that started back in 2013 when former Team SoloMid manager Jack Etienne bought the Quantic Gaming LoL team for $15,000. Six years later, C9 has grown to become one of the most valuable esports companies, worth over $150 million according to Forbes.
C9 grew as big as it did mostly thanks to its success across a wide variety of titles, especially in LoL where it got its start. C9 has been a mainstay of the NA LCS, winning the Summer finals in 2013, the Spring Finals in 2014, the Regional Finals — as well as the Rift Rivals — in 2017 and 2018. Due to the team’s success in its region, C9 has appeared in all the World Championships since its inception, reaching as far as the top 4 in 2018.
In CS:GO, C9 made history by becoming the first North American team to win a Major Championship in a legendary comeback victory over FaZe Clan at the ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018.
C9 also bought a franchise spot in the Overwatch League to represent London back in 2017. Their team, named the London Spitfire, would go on to become the champions of the league’s inaugural season.
C9 has also fielded teams in Dota 2, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., and Rocket League, among others.
#2 – Fnatic
Fnatic is an esports organization that was started in the United Kingdom back in 2004, but has since then grown to be a truly global brand in esports — with LoL, Dota 2, and CS:GO as their main competitive domains.
Fnatic made history by becoming the first-ever LoL world champions back in the game’s first season in 2011. While 2012 was a quiet year for the team as they failed to qualify for Worlds, they bounced back to become one of the top teams of the EU LCS — boasting victories in multiple season splits and top 4 finishes in Worlds 2013 and 2015. 2016 was another down year for the team as they failed to make it to Worlds again, but they inched themselves back to contention and managed to reach top 8 at Worlds 2017. Fnatic then made its resurgence in 2018, dominating the EU LCS Spring and Summer Splits, as well as Rift Rivals, but they fell short of repeating as world champions after losing to Invictus Gaming.
In Dota 2, the organization started out in 2012 by understandably picking up a European roster. But underwhelming results prompted Fnatic to make the bold decision to pick up a Southeast Asian roster in 2015. The move paid off when the team finished at fourth in TI6. Since then, the team has continued to be one of the top teams in its region and looking for its next TI break.
However, it was in CS:GO that a Fnatic team truly achieved legendary status. The team entered the game in 2012, but had its era of dominance from 2015 to 2016 — when it assembled its renown lineup that won six-straight LAN tournaments, including back-to-back Major wins at ESL Katowice and Cologne in 2015. That legendary tag is not purely sentimental either, as they hold the longest “Legend status” streak of 12 consecutive majors. That status is given to all players that make it out of group stage at a Major, which nets them direct invites to the next one if they stay together in their team.
Fnatic’s success in those three major titles allowed them to expand to others, including Fortnite, FIFA, and Street Fighter V. The organization has also become of the most valuable in the industry as a result, being worth $120 million according to Forbes.
#1 – Team Liquid
No other team can quite boast the history and influence in esports that Team Liquid has — a name that is for many almost synonymous with the industry itself. The organization had its roots as a gaming clan back in 2000, then as a StarCraft community site that went live a year later.
While the organization and its website primarily focused on StarCraft, it eventually expanded to field a Dota 2 team and include the game as one of its main covered titles in 2012. However, Liquid’s then-mainly American Dota team mostly had mixed results, with their most notable achievement being a yop 8 finish at TI3. With that said, it was in SC2 and Super Smash Bros. that the organization started taking huge strides — thanks to signing some of the biggest names in their respective games like Song “HerO” Hyeon Deok and Yun “TaeJa” Young for SC2, as well as Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma and for Smash.
In LoL, Team Liquid was previously known mostly for the ‘fourth place curse’ it had in most tournaments it joined, but is now one of the top teams in the NA LCS — where the team won the Spring and Summer Splits. Moreover, Liquid also has one of the most skilled and famous LoL players in NA, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, under its banner.
However, it is in Dota 2 that Liquid has seen most of its recent success. Despite fielding teams in the game since 2013, it took Team Liquid another two years before it started seeing real success in it. The team acquired a roster headed by longtime Dota veteran Kuro “Kuroky” Takhesomi in late 2016, with which it finished second place in two Majors and in the top 8 of TI6.
The team was later bolstered by the additions of superstar midlaner Amer “Miracle-” Barkawi and support prodigy Maroun “GH” Merhej in the 2016 post-TI roster shuffle. They would go on to win TI7 the year after and taking home a whopping $10.8 million — becoming the first-ever team to sweep their opponents to sweep their opponents in a dominant TI grand final. Since then, Liquid has become one of the undisputed top teams in all of Dota, notably winning the 2018 China Supermajor and finishing in the top 4 of TI8. Kuroky has also become player with the highest overall earnings from tournament prizes, according to esportsearnings.com, in his time with Liquid.
Throughout Team Liquid’s long history, it has been one of the most professional and successful organizations in esports — arguably setting the bar for all others in the industry.
Esports was one of the few industries that came out of the first year of the Coronavirus crisis somewhat okay – where industries like hospitality and entertainment suffered severely, esports organizations saw a surge in popularity. It makes sense – people had more time to check out esports games than ever before, what with not being allowed to do much outside their own homes.
Naturally, the industry is dominated by several large teams – names that you will find in just about every esports pro scene, give or take. Still, you may be surprised to hear that top performance doesn’t always equal size, funding or fans – here are the biggest esports organizations of the last year.
TeamSoloMid’s estimated value is north of $400 million, with a yearly revenue of about $35 million. Value-wise, they have nearly doubled their revenue since 2018, increasing it by as much as $150 million. By far their ‘best’ game is League of Legends, where they command a huge fanbase, despite their team’s performance having been down for several years. They have still managed to win over $7 million in prize money since the founding of TSM.
2. Team Liquid
Team Liquid belongs on any list featuring the biggest or best esports organizations. Not only are they valued at more than $320 million with a revenue on par with Cloud9, but they also hold the title of most tournament winnings ever. At well over $36 million winnings from nearly 2000 tournaments, they are by far the most accomplished esports organization in the world, with only OG coming close to them in earnings. Team Liquid holds another illustrious record – in 2020, they had the most airtime of any esports org, a total of 1.4k hours. Bravo! They may not have as high a valuation as Cloud9 but they have made far more money in tournament winnings and have fielded far more successful teams.
3. Esports Entertainment Group
Esports Entertainment Group, or EEG, is a licensed online gambling company like Unikrn or Luckbox that focuses on the growing esports betting sector, their biggest claim to fame is that they are the only esports company listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol GMBL.
As an international sportsbook, they operate offices in New Jersey, the UK, and Malta. They offer a Player-to-Player (P2P) wagering system that allows esports bettors the ability to bet against one another.
They have been a historically European focused operation, but they have recently applied for a betting license in New Jersey and are planning a major branding push into Latin America with with their brand Vie.bet esports. This esports organization is poised to take over the esports betting market.
4. FaZe Clan
Far from just a clan, the CS:GO focused team isn’t just strong in the esports scene itself, but also has a number of top streamers signed to their name – and that’s in addition to the $240 million valuation that Forbes gave for the organization. Their yearly revenue is larger than that of some bigger organizations, being just above $35 million. Their tournament winnings have not cracked the $10 million yet, but they are headed in that direction, sitting at $9.5 million at the moment.
5. T1 Esports
T1 Esports is a South Korean esports team operated by T1 Entertainment & Sports, a joint venture between SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor. They own and operate the ultra-successful T1 League of Legends (LoL) Champions Korea (LCK) team, along with teams in competitive gaming segments that include Fortnite, Dota 2, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone, and Apex Legends.
They may not have the highest valuation in terms of dollars, but they have been expanding their reach beyond competitive gaming to entertainment streamers and Twitch personalities. Recently they signed popular Twitch streamer Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp as a content creator.
Founded in 2004, Fnatic is one of the oldest organizations the esports industry has – and it’s no wonder they’re on this list as well. Competing in Fortnite, CS:GO, LoL, Dota 2, R6, and more, they’re an all-rounder organization with fans just about everywhere – and thus also their valuation, placed at about $175 million, their yearly revenue estimated to be $16 million. They are also one of the top winning teams in the world – more than $16 million in tournament money have made their way into Fnatics coffers over the years. This is despite having a somewhat weak 2020 – their CS:GO team was nerfed quite a bit, and their Dota 2 team suffered from the loss of its captain to Evil Geniuses.
Another team that owns an OWL team (specifically Seoul Dynasty), this organization also has its fingers in all the pies. NBA2k, League of Legends, and more – this Korean organization is valued at more than $185 million, with a somewhat slimmer revenue of about $9 million per year. Their tournament winnings are soon to hit $6 million overall, placing them just a bit ahead of groups like NiP, mousesports, or NRG. 2020 was one of their most successful years ever, placing extremely high in League of Legends tournaments, while also placing well (for the first time) in the Overwatch League.
8. ESL Gaming
In 2000 the founders of ESL started the Electronic Sports League (ESPL) in Cologne, Germany as an offshoot of Turtle Entertainment. Over the years, their popularity began to snowball, in 2014 their Intel Extreme Masters tournament drew in around 650,000 concurrent viewers. In 2015 they had their first $1,000,000 prize. In 2016 their tournament, ESL One, drew in 14,000 spectators every day. In 2017 the company branched into PUBG. In 2018 their ESL One tournament sold out the largest indoor sports arena in Germany.
It is safe to say that ESL has been a driving force in the esports community. With the ESL Pro Tour, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, ESL Pro League, and other esports tournaments under their belt it is clear to see that they will remain a fixture of the esports scene for years to come.
9. G2 Esports
Back-to-back League of Legends LEC champions, G2 has achieved a lot – a win in the MSI and a spot in the Worlds final included. Additionally, they also compete in R6 and CS:GO, as well as some other games. They are valued at ‘only’ $165 million, but with a yearly revenue of an impressive $22 million. Their revenue is no accident – their rosters can back it up, having gained them over $8 million in prize money over the years. G2 saw a slight dwindle when it came to fans watching them… but even with nearly 10 million hours watched less than in 2019, they ended up as the most-watched team in the world. Mostly due to LoL, they amassed more than 90 million hours watched in 2020!
10. NRG Esports
NRG Esports is an American professional esports organization based in Los Angeles, California. They have fielded teams in Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Clash Royale, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Fortnite, Gears of War, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Valorant, plus a number of streamers on Twitch.
The team was founded by Sacramento Kings co-owners Mark Mastrov and Andy Miller in November 2015. While they are a relatively new operation, they deserve a space on this list because of the rapidly increasing support from major players in the sports and entertainment world. In March 2016 NRG announced that Alex Rodriguez, Shaquille O’Neal, and Jimmy Rollins were joining as investors. A year later, Tiesto was also announced as an investor. They may not be the top-performing team out there, but they have the support to grow.
What about the betting industry?
As far as esports betting goes, there was a clear winner among the titles – CS:GO was by far the most popular game to bet on. No game had more esports odds placed or requested than the popular shooter, with over 53% of the overall money bet on popular site Lootbet.com esports being in CS:GO. Dota 2 was lagging behind with some 35%, and League of Legends another 7%. Other games like FIFA, StarCraft 2, Valorant, and Overwatch lagged even further.Featured Image Credits: Sport Techie
Top 10 Esports Teams
What are the top ranked Esports teams?
- Faze Clan
- Team Liquid
- 100 Thieves
- G2 Esports
- Team Vitality
- Optic Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- NRG Esports
1. FaZe Clan
FaZe clan is generally regarded as the top Esports organization in the world because of its vast media influence and far reaching player skill levels. The Esports organization was founded in 2010 and currently houses 35 professional players, most of which compete in high dollar tournaments year round. The top games that members of Faze clan compete in are Counter Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Fortnite, and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. For FaZe, top placements in 2019 included 1st place finishes in the GLL Grand Slam for Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and the BLAST Pro Series for Counterstrike. FaZe also performed in the Fornite World Cup and PUBG Global Championship, despite not taking home trophies. FaZe clan teams have earned over $8.5 million in tournament winnings in addition to high dollar sponsorship deals with brands G-fuel, SteelSeries, and Scuf Gaming. FaZe has successfully engrained itself into gaming culture, both competitively and casually, all of which contributes greatly to its organizational value of $350 million. Top competitive gamers in FaZe Clan include:
- Harvard "Rain" Nygaard (Counterstrike:Global Offensive)
- Nikola "NiKo" Kovac (Counterstrike:Global Offensive)
- Dennis "Cloakzy" Lepore (Fortnite/Call of Duty)
- Turner "Tfue" Tenney (Fortnite)
- Nick "Nickmercs" Kolcheff (Fortnite/Call of Duty)
2. Team Liquid
In terms of tournament performance, there is certainly an argument to be made that Team Liquid houses the most talented gamers on the planet. After all, Team Liquid has gained over $35 million in winnings while competing in over 1,700 tournaments worldwide to go along with 60+ high profile players. In 2019, Team Liquid earned first place in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events: ESL One Cologne, DreamHack Masters, and the ESL One Event. These wins helped Team Liquid overtake Astralis as the top CS:GO team in the world. As of late, they have also improved drastically on the mobile gaming front, taking home first place in the Clash Royale League (CRL) Finals. To top it off, Team Liquid had top finishes in both the 2019 Fortnite World Cup and the PUBG European League. Some of the top Team Liquid players that compete in these events include:
- Ivan "MinD_Control" Ivanov (DOTA 2)
- Kuroky "KuroKy" Takhasomi (DOTA 2)
- Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Thomas "72hrs" Mulligan (Fortnite)
- Jake "POACH" Brumleve (Fortnite)
Next up on the list in none other than Cloud9, also known as Astralis Group. It is impossible to mention Cloud9's success without first mentioning their complete and utter domination of the Counter-Strike Competitive scene in the past decade. In 2019 alone, they took home the 1st place trophy at the Starladder Berlin Major and both the Valve Majors In addition to top CS:GO players, Cloud9 also has a much improved League of Legends roster, resulting in competitive finishes at the LEC Spring Finals and LCS Playoffs. They were also semi finalists at the Rocket League Championship, an extremely impressive feat for a team known for its first person shooter performance. In just 732 tournaments, Cloud9 has earned nearly $10 million from tournament play and only seems to be growing. Top players in Cloud9 include:
- Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham (Counterstrike:Global Offensive & Valorant)
- Jakey "Stewie2k" Yip (Counterstrike:Global Offensive & Valorant)
- Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi (League of Legends)
- Timothy "Automatic" Ta (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek (Playerunkown's Battlegrounds, Apex Legends & Counterstrike Global Offensive)
4. 100 Thieves
100 Thieves is an Esports team known just as much for its content creation as it is for its competitive scene. Not only do they house dozens of players from all over the gaming world, but they also support countless other streamers that play strictly for entertainment purposes. From a competitive standpoint, 100 Thieves is best known for its League of Legends performances, and although they did not perform up to expectations in 2019, their 2018 NACLS championship appearance and countless other high place finishes cannot be underestimated. Overall, 100 Thieves is without a doubt a constant presence in the Esports community very way you look at it. A few top players that compete for 100 Thieves include:
- William "Meteos" Hartman (League of Legends)
- Liyu "Cody" Sun (League of Legends)
- Diego "Arkhram" Palma (Fortnite)
- Aaron "AZR" Ward (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Jack "CouRageJD" Dunlop (Fortnite)
Next on the list of top Esports teams is Fnatic, the Swedish built organization that specializes in Counter-Strike, League of Legends, and Dota 2. Fnatic may not be the flashiest team in all of Esports, but it is impossible to deny their consistent performance across all of the Esports competitive community. In 2019, they placed number one in the DreamHack Masters for Counter-Strike as well as a close second place finish in multiple LEC events. Overall, they are valued at over $250 million, fueled by over $15 million in tournament winnings and sponsorships with BMW and Monster. Because Fnatic plays most of their events overseas, they are a bit overlooked in the United States, but according to the stats, they certainly shouldn't be. A few of the top players in Fnatic include:
- Jesper "JW" Wecksell (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Paul "sOAZ" Boyer (League of Legends)
- Robin "flusha" Ronnquist (League of Legends)
- Chong "Ohaiyo" Xin Khoo (DOTA 2)
6. G2 Esports
G2 Esports, a largely European organization comes in at number 6 on this list of the top Esports teams in the world. Similar to Fnatic, G2 is not as popular in the United States because of their high profile play in strategy games like League of Legends and CS:GO as opposed to fan-friendly games like Call of Duty and Fortnite. Nevertheless, G2 turned in a number of top performances in 2019, most notably a 1st place finish in the Mid-Season Invitational (League of Legends) as well as a 2nd place finish in the ESL Pro League. In over 407 tournaments, G2 teams have earned over $7 million in winnings, contributing to its $240 million team evaluation. Top players in G2 include:
- Luka "Perkz" Perkovic (League of Legends)
- Rasmus "Caps" Winther (League of Legends)
- Kenny "kennyS" Schrub (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Lennart "Jaeger" Warkus (League of Legends)
- Richard "Shox" Papillon (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
7. Team Vitality
Next up is the up and coming "Team Vitality" who have excelled in both the extremely competitive League of Legends and CS:GO scene, as well as the more unique Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League scene. Specifically, team Vitality placed in the RLCS Season 7 Rocket League Finals in addition to multiple top CS:GO finishes in various ECS Championship events. Team Vitality is a great example of a well rounded Esports team, as they field great players in so many different types of games. In an Esports community that requires a high skill level, it is refreshing to see a team stretch their limits in such different ways. Apparently, wide ranging strategy has been successful, as the newly formed team has already amassed over $3 million in tournament winnings. Some of the top players in Team Vitality include…
- Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Dan "apEX" Madesclaire (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Cedric "RpK" Guipouy (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Victor "Fairy Peak" Locquet (Rocket League)
- Amadeau "Attila" Carvalho (League of Legends)
8. OpTic Gaming
Returning to a more popular Esports team, OpTic Gaming, a Los Angeles based team comes in at number 8 on this list of top Esports teams. OpTic Gaming was once an all world esports organization that competed in all of the major games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Call of Duty dating back to 2006. As of now, they have scaled back their CS_GO global play, while specializing more in Call of Duty, a game that is much more popular in the United States compared to overseas. Nevertheless, OpTic stays extremely competitive, as they have taken home multiple Call of Duty titles across all versions of the game. OpTic's run of great success began in 2010 with a top 5 finish at the MLG National Championship (Call of Duty:Modern Warfare) and has continued through the 2019 season with qualifying finished in the 2019 CWL Pro League. OpTic is not as relevant today from a holistic perspective, but they are certainly one of the all time best teams, not only within American Esports, but worldwide as well. A few of the most successful players for OpTic include…
- Blake "Vengeance" Campbell (Call of Duty)
- Brandon "Dashy" Otell (Call of Duty)
- Damon "karma" Barlow (Call of Duty)
- Ian "Crismix" Porter (Call of Duty)
- Seth "Scump" Abner (Call of Duty)
9. Evil Geniuses
Besides having quite possibly the cleverest Esports team name of all time, the members of Evil Geniuses are also some of the most talented players in all of Esports. Much like team Fnatic, Evil geniuses specialize in Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, as they are among the top few teams at virtually every event they play. In 2019, they won the ESL One New York for this game, while becoming equally as prevalent on the Dota 2 scene. In fact, Evil Geniuses took home the Dota 2 International just a few years ago, despite being a heavy underdog. In whatever game they compete in, Evil geniuses are some of the most successful, earning a whopping $24 million over their 800 plus tournament appearances. A few top players in Evil Geniuses include:
- Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan (Dota 2)
- Saahil UNiVeRsE" Arora (Dota 2)
- Clinton "Fear" Loomis (Dota 2)
- Tarik "tarik" Celik (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive)
- Patrick "Aches" Price (Call of Duty)
10. NRG Esports
Last but not least, the NRG esports organization comes in at number 10. NRG is another one of those up and coming teams with extremely competitive players across the globe and across all different games. They play in Rocket league, Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, Overwatch, and even Fortnite. It is safe to say that NRG currently houses the most unique gamers of their time. In any case, their most recent triumph came in 2019, as they became the Overwatch League Champions, a feat that is not easily completed by non blue blood teams. In addition, they also came in 3rd in the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. NRG is not the most popular team, but they will be a large presence for years to come. Top players in NRG include...
- Shane "EpikWhale" Cotton (Fortnite)
- Garrett "GarrettG" Gordon (Rocket League)
- Benjy "BenjyFishy" Fish (Fortnite)
Which esports team is most popular?
FaZe clan is undoubtedly the most popular organization in the Esports community, especially in the United States. There is no other brand like FaZe, and quite simply, they are just different. Every little kid who grows up playing video games wants to be in FaZe because they are the epicenter of cool gaming culture. (Not to mention, they are worth over $300 million dollars)
Which esports team is the richest?
Depending on how you calculate it, a number of different teams could be the richest. Although Faze is widely regarded as the most popular esports team, they do not have the most profitable tournament earnings - That honor goes to Team Liquid with a combined tournaments earnings upwards of $36,000,000. However, neither Faze or Liquid has as much of a total net worth as the Cloud9/SoloMid enterprise, as they have an estimated worth of over $500 million dollars.
Who is the highest paid esports gamer?
The highest paid gamer in the world is Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Interestingly, Ninja is not actually a super competitive player comparatively speaking despite making about $17 million in 2019. Most of this revenue came from sponsorship deals with Red Bull and Mixer, all of which have been facilitated through his social media accounts and twitch streams. He continues to play Fortnite and Valorat at a fairly high level, but has never really contended at major events.
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Plenty of prize money was up for grabs in the esports in 2018, with more than $130M USD awarded between just the top 10 highest-prizing games. Unsurprisingly, many of the world’s premier esports organizations were up for the challenge of fighting for a chunk of that cash.
According to data pulled from Esports Earnings, the top 10 winningest teams (by total prize earnings) each secured more than $3M from tournaments and leagues in 2018. And the majority of those teams were finalists at the incredibly well-funded de facto Dota 2world championship, The International. Here’s a look at how the top 10 teams earned their respective spots on this list.
10. Vici Gaming: $3.04M
What’s better than having one team at The International? Try three! That’s what Vici Gaming did, between its core Vici Gaming team, VGJ.Storm, and VGJ.Thunder. Even with a top placement of just 7th/8th among them, they collectively earned $1.15M from the event, with the vast majority of the organization’s remaining 2018 prize pool earnings coming from other Dota 2 tournaments during the year.
9. Cloud9: $3.28M
Cloud9 had a number of notable tournament wins in 2018, with its London Spitfire’s Overwatch League championship win netting $1M and other key victories including the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) ELEAGUE Boston Major ($500K) and the Rocket League Championship Series World Championship ($200K). The team also earned $452K from finishing 3rd-4th at the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship. Cloud9’s total includes the $1.2M that the London Spitfire earned throughout the OWL season.
8. Fnatic: $3.63M
Fnatic’s $3.63M winnings haul in 2018 largely came from three major esports: League of Legends ($1.22M), including a second-place finish at the World Championship, as well as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ($1.37M) and Dota 2 ($525K). Fortnite and FIFA made up a good chunk of the remainder, but Fnatic had prize money coming in from a number of other games too.
7. Astralis: $3.65M
Danish organization Astralis only competes in CS:GO, and the team’s incredible success in 2018 was enough to vault them into the top 10. Astralis won several major events, including the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier and FACEIT Major: London, along with Seasons 7 and 8 of the ESL Pro League. In fact, Astralis was so dominant that it also won the Intel Grand Slam for taking so many tournament victories, netting the organization an additional $1M bonus.
6. Virtus.pro: $3.96M
Virtus.pro put up an excellent year in Dota 2, with wins at The Kuala Lumpur Major 2018, The Bucharest Major 2018, ESL One Birmingham 2018, and ESL One Katowice 2018. And while the team didn’t win The International, its 5th-6th place finish towered over the other events in terms of prize earnings, netting $1.15M of its $3.42M total Dota 2 haul. Its recently-disbanded CS:GO team had a down year, however, earning $272K—a fraction of the $892K won in 2017.
Related Article: The 10 Biggest Esports Games of 2018 by Total Prize Pool
5. FaZe Clan: $4.09M
Fortnite is set to deliver an enormous amount of money in prize pools in 2019, and FaZe Clan might be best positioned to take advantage of that. FaZe is the game’s top-earning team to date with $2.36M earned in 2018, led by Turner “Tfue” Tenney with $455K. The organization took the majority of its winnings from other shooters, including CS:GO ($1.01M), Call of Duty: WWII ($357K), and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ($291K).
4. Evil Geniuses: $4.17M
Evil Geniuses has earned the vast majority of its prize winnings to date from Dota 2, and that continued in 2018 with $3.24M coming from the top MOBA. The team’s third-place finish at The International secured most of that cash, at $2.68M. Evil Geniuses also won the Call of Duty World League Championship in August, netting another $600K, and pulled $164K total from Rainbow Six Siege, including runner-up finishes at the Six Invitational 2018 and Six Major Paris.
3. Paris Saint-Germain Esports: $5.36M
It’s unsurprising that the top four prize-winning teams of 2018 are also the top four The International finalists, albeit with the ordering shifted a bit. Paris Saint-Germain Esports’ PSG.LGD roster finished second and earned $4.07M for the feat, with the EPICENTER XL ($500K) tournament and MDL Changsha Major ($400K) wins covering much of the rest of the gap. PSG’s Rocket League team also had a couple of bright spots in 2018, taking $81K in the process.
2. Team Liquid: $7.2M
Team Liquid didn’t top this year’s list, but its result is almost more impressive because of how well varied the winnings are. Yes, Liquid’s fourth-place finish at The International earned the organization a heap of cash ($1.79M), with its Dota 2 division pulling in a total of $3.23M for the year. However, Team Liquid also saw success in Fortnite ($1.31M), CS:GO ($1.03M), PlayerUnknown’s Batlegrounds ($519K), and LoL ($419K), with winnings from other games, as well. Liquid even dominated Quake Champions in 2018, pulling in $197K total.
1. OG: $11.47M
If you win The International, then you will probably top this list. That’s definitely true with OG , which earned a stunning $11.23M from the crowdfunded prize pool. None of the team’s other Dota 2 earnings were particularly significant, at least compared to that International haul, and the team’s only other game was Super Smash Bros. Melee … from which it earned $3.3K. Whether The International’s ballooning prize pool is a good thing for Dota 2 or esports as a whole remains a topic of debate, but it was certainly a wonderful thing for OG in 2018.
Editor’s note: The dollar amounts for Paris Saint-Germain Esports and Vici Gaming have been updated since the original publication to include late-year event earnings that weren’t included in the original figures. Additionally, Fnatic’s earnings total and placement has been adjusted to account for a miscalculation. The Esports Observer regrets the error.
The totals in this article were tabulated by adding together the individual 2018 per-game earnings for each organization, based on the results data published by Esports Earnings.
Tags:2018Call of DutyChinaCloud 9Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveDota 2ELeagueESL Pro LeagueEvil GenuisesFaZe ClanFnaticFortniteGlobal North AmericaIntelKuala Lumpur MajorLeague of LegendsOGParis Saint-Germain EsportsPUBGRed BullSuper Smash Bros. meleeTeam Liquidthe internationalVici GamingVirtus Pro
The gaming industry took a drastic turn with the introduction of online gaming for all enthusiasts. The idea of being able to connect and play with anyone around the world had an overwhelming response and was well-received by players. However, such opportune circumstances had to give rise to participants doing some exploring on their own, and as a result of it, emerged gaming clans that now run like cults.
In an attempt to take this idea to another level, online gaming further advanced into holding yearly gaming events and eSports activities. Players would register on these platforms as an individual or team, and go on against formidable foes of the digital world to prove their mettle. The popularity of this spiked as several hardcore gamers joined hands to stand out at these competitions and claim the ranks and rewards for themselves.
The fans soon started taking a liking to this, and before anyone could have much say over it, it became as big a competition outside the tournaments as it was in the virtual world. Each participant or participating team secured a global ranking based on their number of matches and performance, and the competition started to develop off the stage. These teams often get judged on their wins and losses, individual contribution, game run-times, score differences, and multiple other aspects of interest. However, the bottom line remained who stands at the pinnacle of these competitions.
There are new names that come and go every season, but a set of few have gained prominence with their efforts in recent years who are likely to continue. If you are looking forward to keeping tabs on them, then here is a list of best gaming clans to have an impact in 2020.
1. TEAM LIQUID
Team Liquid started earning its name around the year 2015 and have been making moves in the world of gaming since then. It’s one of the powerhouse teams with a solid, reliable group of players, where each member offers something unique to make every combination as lethal as the next.
Their shenanigans have kept them near the top of the charts in both League of Legends and Fortnite year after year, which has made it significantly easier for fans to keep track of them. Their current line-up, years of experience, and the ability to dominate the field are all great reasons to qualify among the best and think of them making an impact in 2020.
The Sentinels is not a team that had the opportunity to make a lot of appearances in events to amass attention, but their performances sufficed to attract their fans. This exciting four-man clan, which competed in 10 tournaments in 2019, showed great potential to achieve greater heights.
Being new to the clash and competition, they might take some more time settling in, but the odds weigh in their favor if provided with better opportunities to put their skills on display. Given that, the possibility is considerably high for them to place well on leaderboards in 2020.
3. NRG ESPORTS
NRG eSports is one of those clans that currently stands loaded with talent in the form of its members. They are consistent, formidable, experienced, and prove to be a daunting challenge to defeat in the competition. Perhaps that is why it comes off as no surprise at least one of their members in the top rankings now and then.
Their years of participation have led them to dominate competitions around Europe and bag top positions and rewards for their performances. This level of commitment and the sheer talent of the team is hard to rival, which is reason to be among the top contenders and why you should be looking out for this clan in 2020.
3. 100 THIEVES
Judging by varying standards, 100 thieves is a clan that has earned all its respects and name in the gaming community in an exchange of years of experience and consistent effort. That goes on to prove that it isn’t always about how you play the game, but where your dedication lies while playing it.
With their notable efforts, this clan of four has secured multiple placements in tournaments in 2019 and will continue to do so in the following year. People on the lookout for some impressive should keep track of their individual and group participation to avoid missing any action.
4. FAZE CLAN
Talk about a clan with a variety of interesting characters that have expertise in content creation and streaming besides hardcore gaming. FaZe Clan is the title held by this group of individuals that all this and more to offer.
With an impressively deep roster of expert gamers, they were able to remain in the limelight during the last World Cup. They were able to outclass players in both single and team competitions on that platform and continue to display their skills during Cash Cups and Friday Fortnite. In the year 2020, we can expect to see more of its impact on the events and leaderboards, making them fit well with the gaming clans to check out.
These were the top picks for some of the best gaming clans to have an impact in 2020. Any member of the gaming community or someone looking to tune into this action should keep an eye out for these names to have their socks knocked off. These should help you get a taste of the precedents that the gaming industry has set for its current participants and how it has transformed into something beyond imagination.
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