The esports industry is massive. Current global revenue stands at an incredible $947.1 million, despite the industry falling victim to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While previously skyrocketing esports teams’ valuations have flatlined, the five biggest eSports teams in the world have combined valuations of $1.565 billion and estimated revenue of $159 million annually.
Team Solo, Cloud9, Team Liquid, FaZe Clan, and 100 Thieves are globally the current five biggest esports teams. Let us find out a little more about each of these Goliaths.
Team SoloMid (TSM)
Team SoloMid, abbreviated to TSM, is professional esports based in the United States. It has a $410 million valuation with estimated revenue of $45 million. Some of the best League of Legends and Apex Legends players in the world represent TSM. TSM players tend to be favorites with the online sportsbook giant Bovada whenever they compete.
Andy “Reginald” Dinh founded TSM in September 2009, and even he never envisaged how massive his team would become. Dinh retired from professional gaming at the end of 2013 to concentrate on running the now colossal business.
Under Dinh’s guidance, TSM has acquired more than half a dozen rosters from other establish esports teams, in addition to signing Hikaru Nakamura, a chess grandmaster. On June 4, 2021, TSM revealed it had signed a 10-year $210 million naming rights deal with FTX, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange. This resulted in the team officially changing its name to Team SoloMid FTX.
Cloud9, valued at $350 million, was founded in early 2013 and has its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, United States. The team shot to prominence in 2018 when it won a trio of international championships: the ELEAGUE Major, the Overwatch League Grand Finals, and the Rocket League Championship Series Season 6 World Championship.
The team created its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league called Flashpoint. It became the first professional esports league both owned and operated by an esports team.
Forbes ranks Team Liquid as the third most value esports team, with a current valuation of $310 million. It generates $28 million in revenue annually, with a remarkable 89% of that sum stemming from its esports gamers.
Team Liquid is one of the oldest esports teams founded in the Netherlands back in 2000. The team signed its first professional players shortly after the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Gaming PC company, Alienware, is one of Team Liquid’s most prominent sponsors. The company gave its name to the Alienware Training Facility in Los Angeles, which opened in 2017. The facility is a training ground for all Team Liquid players is the team’s official headquarters and is where you find the team’s in-house production studio.
FaZe Clan turned 10-years-old on May 30, 2010, and it is now the fourth most valuable esports team, one worth $305 million. The group began publishing videos on YouTube, mostly Call of Duty games, and quickly gained a considerable following thanks to the team’s penchant for trick shotting plus the fact they used a personal approach to their content.
Their popularity continued in a skyward trajectory, leading to Ben Simmons, Meyers Leonard, and Josh Hart investing in FaZe Clan. Other well-known investors include musicians Ray J, Pitbull, and DJ Paul.
FaZe Clan’s management team is highly business-minded and is continually growing the company. This showed on June 10, 2021, when FaZe Clan became the first esports team to feature on the cover of the famous Sports Illustrated.
Fifth place in the most valuable esports teams, with a net worth of $190 million, is 100 Thieves. It is a remarkable rags to riches story because 100 Thieves was only founded in November 2017 and began competing professionally in 2018.
100 Thieves has star-studded rosters competing in Call of Duty, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite Battle Royale, and Valorant.