From a group of friends coming together to play in a tournament, into the huge multi-million-dollar businesses we see today – esports organisations have come a very long way in a very short amount of time with many often forgetting that they had been formed by gamers, and not experience business men. Despite this, many have found a huge amount of success and will continue to grow – with the widespread hobby of online esports betting quickly becoming a favourite for fans too, a measure of team popularity can also be found through this metric – but which are the biggest organisations in esports?
Team SoloMid – Founded by former professional player in League of Legends Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh, TSM had quickly become one of the biggest and most popular teams within any esports title with a cult like following – the team had popularised the ‘team uniform’ approach in the LCS at a time where the scene was still growing and a little disorganised, and by building a strong roster were able to capture multiple regional titles and make an appearance and multiple world events. Whilst they have struggled to capture any big wins on the world stage, they remain to be perhaps the most popular team in the League of Legends scene, and have successfully expanded into other games with most recent successes coming in Valorant.
Cloud9 – Working on the back of the formula that made TSM so popular, Cloud9 were able to follow a similar trajectory. Being the first team to really disrupt the huge winning streak that TSM had been on throughout much of the middle part of the decade, with a team that catered to a more fun side of the audience and some solid branding, Cloud9 were able to not only build a huge fandom in League of Legends but also in other popular titles such as Counter-Strike as they would go on to win a major there too.
100 Thieves – Started by former Call of Duty professional player Matthew ‘Neosho’ Haag, the start of 100 Thieves back in 2016 had went a different direction than many other orgs. Although first making a debut and push in League of Legends, the organisation did a big drive to focus on merchandising and content creation to build popularity and fandom and was hugely successful at doing so – initial successes in League of Legends had fizzled out and the dominant Valorant team has since slowed, but with a very gamer focussed aesthetic brought into the modern day, the org continues to be one of the biggest and has even had investments from public figures such as rapper Drake.
G2 Esports – Formed in 2015 by former professional League of Legends player Carlos “ocelote” Santiago, this team has been one of the most successful to date – although not capturing any world title they have consistently placed toward the top of the placements and have absolutely dominated the European LEC scene, the most recent successes have been found in Valorant too as their team has currently went undefeated since the game launched in June, and up until recently have seemed to face no challenge with Funplus Phoenix being the first team to look to be in contention.