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Top 15 eSports Teams

By Editorial Staff

The eSports community has grown exponentially in the last decade. With technology progressing at a rapid pace and more people using electronics, the eSports community has grown into a profitable sporting community. In 2009, the top prize pool earnings for an entire eSports team was just over 1.3 million; however, in 2019, the Fortnite world championship match had a single-player prize pool of over 6 million! Today, eSports is a staple on college campuses and can also be a viable career option. For this article, we will cover the top 15 professional eSports teams and what they specialize in. 

Top 15 eSports Teams

1. FaZe Clan

  • 63 team members
  • 143.6k Twitch followers
  • 7.1m YouTube subscribers

FaZe Clan is an American eSports team that specializes in Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, and FIFA to name a few. The team was started by YouTube gamer FaZe Housecat, ClipZ, and Resistance who made their fame through Call of Duty and similar first-person shooter content. In 2012, the gaming clan became professional and raised its first world championship in Call of Duty in 2015. Since that time, they have branched out into more games and have maintained their dominance as one of the best eSports teams in first-person shooter video games.

2. Team Liquid

  • 95 team members
  • 9.1k Twitch followers
  • 304k YouTube subscribers

Team Liquid was founded in 2000 in the Netherlands. The now multiregional gaming team started their success with the release of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. With the release of the game and its massive popularity, Team Liquid began its first professional plays. They would go on to win multiple championships under Starcraft 2 and eventually start a North American Dota 2 team, which was their first attempt at being a multiplatform game. Since that time, Team Liquid has merged with Team Curse and has broken into League of Legends, a popular MMO game that is dominating the current video game scene. 

3. Cloud9

  • 86 team members
  • 49.1k Twitch followers
  • 390k YouTube subscribers

Cloud9 is an American eSports team that focuses on Counter-Strike, League of Legends, and Rocket League. The team was started in 2012 and, shortly after winning tournaments, bought out Quantic Gaming and its League of Legends roster. From that acquisition came a League of Legends Championship 5 man team that put Cloud9 on the map as a gaming clan with extreme talent. While they still pursue League of Legends, their focus has shifted to Counter-Strike, in which they just recently beat out FaZe Clan in a 2-1 victory to secure the championship title. 

4. TSM

  • 83 team members
  • 753 Twitch followers
  • 2.2m YouTube subscribers

Team SoloMid is an eSports team based out of the United States that was founded in September of 2009 by Andy Dinh. Best known for their play in the League of Legends community, TSM has become a dominant force in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Fortnite, and many other games. In the last 10 years, TSM’s League of Legends team has won six of the last ten total splits in the League of Legends Championship Series, an impressive record that will stand for a while.

5. 100 Thieves

  • 34 team members
  • 21.2k Twitch followers
  • 505k YouTube subscribers

Founded by Matthew Haag on April 18, 2016, Hundred Thieves is an organization that has been professionally competitive in League of Legends, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike. One of the most impressive aspects of this team is that it has recently obtained a sponsorship from the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team. That support led them to fielding a team for the League of Legends 2018 LCS, which they placed in the top five teams. While 100 Thieves is a new team, they show great promise for the future with their skill and professional business connections. 

6. Fnatic

  • 57 team members
  • 34k Twitch followers
  • 507k YouTube subscribers

Fnatic is a London eSports team that was founded in 2004. Fnatic is an international team that gained traction in StarCraft 2 as well as League of Legends. Fnatic made a name for themselves when they won the first-ever League of Legends World Championship in 2011 and now holds the most series split titles in the EU LCS. In 2015, they had an undefeated season in League of Legends, which garnered international attention as more professional players wants to join the ranks of the top eSports team.

7. OpTic Gaming

  • 24 team members
  • 218k Twitch followers
  • 1.4m YouTube subscribers

OpTic Gaming LLC is an American eSports team that currently specializes in Halo, Call of Duty, CS:GO, Gears of War and Dota 2. The company is owned by Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman, which shows promise for the future of the gaming team as they can pair up with a professional sports team. Most recently, they claimed the title for Call of Duty League Las Vegas Open in early 2019, showing that they are a force to be reckoned with in FPS gaming. 

8. G2 eSports

  • 46 team members
  • 9.6k Twitch followers
  • 246k YouTube subscribers

G2 eSports is a Spanish eSports organization that has active teams in League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Rocket League, and Critical Ops. The G2 LoL Team recently won the 2016 and 2017 Summer and Spring EU LCS titles, which is an impressive statement of control and skill for their players. In 2019, they won the Spring EU LCS title and the 2019 mid-season invitational, both are tournaments for the highest level of teams. Due to their recent accomplishments, they are now largely considered the best European LoL team that has an active roster. 

9. NRG eSports

  • 49 team members
  • 6.6k Twitch followers
  • 228k YouTube subscribers

NRG eSports is an eSports organization that is run out of California with active rosters in Fortnite, CS:GO, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Rocket League, and Smite. The team was started by Nathaniel Reborn, who sold it to Gerard Killy and Andy Miller. The team has also received significant support from its partner, the NBA Sacramento Kings, who have recently transitioned into the eSports world. Their most recent accomplishment was a first-place in the Smite World Championship in 2017 and 2018, followed by their summer split win in 2019. NRG has proven themselves as a group of competitive athletes who are looking to earn their spot among more established teams. 

10. Rogue

  • 34 team members
  • 19.4k Twitch followers
  • 38k YouTube subscribers

Rogue is a United States-based eSports team with players competing across several different title series. Rogue has two active teams in League of Legends Europe, both of which have placed in recent year LCS finals. Started in 2016 with co-Founder DJ Steve Aoki, Rogue gaming has created itself through a series of tournaments in LoL, Rainbow Six, and Rocket League with some of the youngest and brightest talents the gaming scene has to offer. Now based in Las Vegas, Rogue gaming is ready to take a shot at the LCS championship and prove their worth as a young team with exciting and well-known leadership.

11. Team Secret

  • 33 team members
  • 2.1k Twitch followers
  • 181k YouTube subscribers

Team Secret is a popular global eSports team based in Turkey. The team was started in 2014 and is most well known for their Dota 2 professional team. In 2019, they won the ESL One Birmingham 2019 championship, which has put them on the map as a professional presence in Major League Gaming. Team Secret now specializes in fighter games such as street fighter and super smash brothers as well as MMO games such as Dota 2. 

 12. Luminosity Gaming

  • 44 team members
  • 148k Twitch followers
  • 412k YouTube subscribers

Luminosity has players in Call of Duty, Hearthstone, Heroes of Warcraft, CS:GO, and Overwatch. The team was founded in Canada in 2015 but has since transitioned to Los Angeles. Their multinational rosters make Luminosity an exciting team to watch as they pick up new talents and expand rosters for more professionally played games. Most recently they have seen success with their Call of Duty team, which qualified for the World Championship in 2015-2019 and continues to impress. While they have not taken home a major title in Call of Duty yet, their team is one of the most feared on the field. 

13. Team Envy

  • 45 team members
  • 17.9k Twitch followers
  • 274k YouTube subscribers

Team Envy is an eSports organization based in the United States and France. It was founded in 2007 as a competitive Call of Duty team. The current manager is Mike Rufail, who has helped field teams in Counter-Strike Overwatch, Paladins, PUBG, Rocket League and Streetfighter. In 2016, they were awarded the eSports Team of The Year by eSports Industry Awards. Most recently, they are focused on the Call of Duty scene, where they have established many rivalries and prove to be a top team. 

14. Evil Geniuses

  • 22 team members
  • 15.1k Twitch followers
  • 113k YouTube subscribers

Evil Geniuses is an eSports organization from San Francisco that was founded in 1999, which makes it one of the oldest eSports teams that is still active today. They have fielded teams in Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft, Halo, Call of Duty, and Rainbow Six. In 2019, the team was acquired by Peak6 Investments LLC, which is a Chicago based investment company. In 2019, EG came in second in the League of Legends season 9 finals in Milan, Italy with a prize pool of $80,000. EG is a household name in professional gaming and has a well-established history of successes and failures. It has withstood the test of time, which is the most difficult task for eSports teams currently. 

15. Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • 25 team members
  • 18.5k Twitch followers
  • 277k YouTube subscribers

Ninjas in Pyjamas was formed in 2000 in Sweden and is best known for their accomplishments in Counter-Strike. Besides the awesome name, NIP has had success in multiple disciplines fielding teams in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Rainbow Six. Their most notable tournament achievements have been in the years between 2007-2015 and they have recently struggled to place well in global tournaments. However, in 2019 they placed third in the PGL CS:GO championship series which re-established their name in the world of competitive gaming as a formidable talent. 

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Top 5 College eSports Teams

College is generally known as a time to explore your passions… and eSports is no different. College eSports teams have recently begun offering scholarship money to players to incentivize them to come play at the collegiate level. With the community growing quickly into a profitable profession, it is clear to see why this is happening. For this list, we will be exploring the top five most prestigious collegiate eSports teams. 

1. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Maryville University was originally founded as an all-women’s college before it began admitting males in 1960. Their varsity eSports team was started in 2015 and became the biggest name in college gaming after it won the 2016 League of Legends championship followed by an undefeated season in 2017. Their focus is still League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm. The team has four mandatory weekly practices, which frequently include scrimmaging against opposing colleges. Because of their success in the industry, they now offer annual scholarships for promising talent, similar to traditional sports. 

2. Robert Morris University

Robert Morris operates its central campus in the heart of Chicago and started its varsity eSports team in 2014 with League of Legends. The team currently competes in Overwatch, League of Legends, CS: GO, Hearthstone, and Dota 2. The program has also started leveraging scholarships with big names like ASUS, DXRacer, and IBuyPower to provide athletes with a quality gaming system and experience while playing on the team. The team also includes a recruitment process and completion of athletic forms in order to participate, which gives it more legitimacy in the beginning years of eSports college programs. 

3. Miami University

Miami University is based in Oxford, Ohio, as the name would not suggest, and is one of the top academic performance schools in the nation that has a varsity eSports team. The team began in 2015 and soon after was offering athletic scholarships in 2016 to participate on the team. In 2017,  their team won the Collegiate eSports Overwatch season and finished in second at the 2017 NACE League of Legends Tournament. Now, the school has paired with the varsity team to make a minor in digital gaming as well as create an on-campus arena for the team’s eSports matches. 

4. University of California Irvine

In Orange County California, UC Irvine became the first public university to offer a varsity eSports program. The program focuses on Overwatch and League of Legends, in which it offers up to $6,000 in scholarships to individual athletes annually. UC Irvine has a very active gaming community, with 72% of its students saying they participate in video games. The Facilities for UC Irvine’s gaming team is one of the most prestigious in the nation, which offers 70 gaming computers with some of the most up-to-date systems that money can buy. UC Irvine’s Gaming team is one of the oldest in the nation and continues to produce professional athletes that participate in globally renowned teams post-graduation. 

5. University of Utah

Starting in the fall of 2017, the University of Utah’s varsity eSports team is a relatively new team to offer scholarships to athletes valued at $1,000 per athlete. At the same time that the school started to offered scholarships, they offered an undergraduate degree in Gaming, an endeavor that was started a decade earlier in 2007. Now self-titled “Gamer U,” the University of Utah has a great amount of support for its 33-member squad, which has not gained its first major title yet but has asserted itself as a new talent with the potential to be a menace at the national collegiate level. 

Top 5 Overwatch eSports Teams

Overwatch was one of the most FPS games on the market upon its release. With a team style and a bunch of unique characters, the game took off in the eSports community. Now, years later, it is still one of the most popular FPS games on the market and continues to attract a large audience. For this list, we will be looking at the top five Overwatch eSports teams.

1. Lunatic-Hai

  • 8 team members
  • League standing: N/A
  • Match record: N/A

Lunatic-Hai is a Korean eSports team that recently has found success in 2017 with Overwatch. Winning back to back titles and the 2017 Seoul Cup, Lunatic-Hai has asserted itself as a dominant international force in Overwatch. With their hype aggressive dive composition in the game, Lunatic-Hai has reinvented the typical strategy for professional teams in the Overwatch arena. More importantly, these players have made a name for themselves as solo players before their career with Lunatic. This makes their roster deep and ultimately gives more freedom to have one player carry the rest. 

2. New York Excelsior

  • 9 team members
  • League standing: no.3
  • Match record: 22W – 6L

New York Excelsior, or NYXL, is an American professional Overwatch team that is based out of New York City. The team was founded in 2017 and is one of the 12 founding members of the professional Overwatch League. The team is funded and owned by Sterling VC, a venture capital fund, and supported by the New York Mets, which gives it a financial edge over the competition. In 2018, they became champions of the Overwatch World series and then followed it with a third-place finish in 2019. Because of their long-standing history with Overwatch, NYXL is a revered team in the League and continues to grow in depth and talent. 

3. Boston Uprising

  • 10 team members
  • League standing: no.19
  • Match record: 8W – 20L

Boston Uprising is an American eSports team that was founded in 2017 and is based out of Boston, MA. The team competes in the OWL in the Atlantic division and, like NYXL, is a founding member of OWL. In their first season, Boston uprising was undefeated going 10-0 in professional games played in the OWL Atlantic Division. This feat has still not been beaten by an active roster in OWL. After their undefeated season, Kraft Group bought out the franchise and is now the primary owner, which gives them more financial leeway as they have more capital for highly skilled players. In 2019, they finished third in the OWL championship series, which is still an impressive achievement. 

4. RunAway

  • 7 team members
  • League standing: N/A
  • Match record: N/A

RunAway is an Overwatch team founded in South Korea that is owned, managed, and personally financed by Runner and Flowervin, two popular streamers on Twitch. In 2019, RunAway was first in Overwatch Contenders Season 3, NetEase eSports x Winter, and NetEase eSports x Spring. Their dominance in regional championships has garnered the attention of young talent, who are now joining the ranks of this up and coming team. With over $300,000 in prize money collected in their first year and a half, RunAway is one of the brightest talents in the Korean eSports realm and continues its pursuit of Overwatch dominance. 

5. KongDoo Panthera 

  • 6 team members
  • League standing: N/A
  • Match record: N/A

KongDoo Panthera is a Korean eSports team that was founded in 2016. They had a rough start in their first season after being knocked out of APEX in the group stages however in their fourth season they have rallied back to collect a bronze medal in APEX Season 4. Their success at APEX landed them a partnership with Cloud9 and brought them to an impressive undefeated run in the Spring split until the semifinals, where they had a devastating seven-game loss to GC Busan. However, with the partnership under their belt and a fresh roster, KongDoo is set to make waves with the Overwatch community in APEX Season 5. They have recently rebranded as Team Griffin. 

This article was written by Harrison Loew

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