The World’s 13 Most Valuable Esports Teams Have A Combined Value Of $4.3 Billion
For many of us, the closest we came to competitive gaming was the Grand Prix circuit of Mario Kart on the Nintendo ’64. Playing with friends always proved to be a heated spectacle, and if you didn’t manage to secure Yoshi or Toad, you could practically declare yourself the loser from the get-go. Unless of course, you raced strategically in an effort to secure lightning to use on the bridge (the cheapest of tactics, but guaranteed to work every time).
Games have come a long way since the glory days of Bowser's Castle and Yoshi Valley, boasting greater graphics, the ability to communicate with other players online, and with visual and special effects that blur the line between reality and computer-generated images. It’s surreal, but something generations of gamers have taken up with great zeal. Now, not only is Esports growing in popularity with players making some serious money, but they can also boast sponsorship deals with Nike and other major sporting brands.
Competitive video gaming is flourishing. Even the non-competitive market is seeing a resurgence of sorts, with gaming companies striving to release video games that prove captivating in a somewhat saturated market. It’s no surprise then, that now their best bet in accruing a loyal fan base is to reach out to well-established actors, with Keanu Reeves set to star as a major character in the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. But while that might see fans gravitate towards their consoles at the desperation of their parents and social circle, in the world of Esports the stakes are higher.
Encapsulating organised video gaming, competitors in Esports form different leagues or teams, facing off in the same games that the amateur home-gamer enjoys, like Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and Overwatch.
Where the very mention of gaming used to conjure images of reclusive teens hiding out in darkened bedrooms, Esports has challenged this image entirely. Just this year, Qudos Bank Arena held an Esports battle that saw the venue – the largest indoor arena in Australia – completely sold out. Add to that a report from Newzoo suggesting 454 million people worldwide watch Esports, a figure that’s expected to jump a further 190 million in the next three years, and you begin to understand the scale of the enterprise.
In a recent report by Forbes, the publication writes that global revenue for Esports “will reach $1.1 billion this year, up from 27 percent from 2018, with North America accounting for 40 percent of that pie.” The publication also counted 13 companies within the Esports arena with a value of more than $100 million, the average valuation being that of $217 million.
For avid fans of Esports, many of the teams listed by Forbes will be familiar, and the world’s 13 most valuable had a combined total wealth of just under $4.4 billion. So, just who is raking in all the coin?
Here are the 13 most valuable Esports teams of the year, according to Forbes.
Cloud9 & Team SoloMid (Tied) - $583.8 million
Cloud9 Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LCS - Cloud9, Overwatch - London Spitfire
Cloud9 Non-franchise Teams: CS: GO, Fortnite, Hearthstone, PUBG, Rainbow Six, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Teamfight Tactics, WoW
Team SoloMid Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LCS - Team Solomid
Team SoloMid Non-franchise Teams: League of Legends Academy, PUBG, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Smash, Overwatch, Rocket League, Apex Legends, Magic: The Gathering, Rainbow Six Siege, Teamfight Tactics.
Team Liquid - $467 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LCS - Team Liquid
Non-franchise Teams: CS:GO, Dota 2, StarCraft2, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, Clash Royale, PUBG, Apex, Hearthstone, Smash Melee, Smash Ultimate, Street Fighter V, Tekken, Quake, Team Fight Tactics.
FaZe Clan - $350.2 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): None
Non-franchise Teams: CS:GO, PUBG, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA
Immortals Gaming Club – $306.5 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LCS - Immortals, OWL - Los Angeles Valiant, CDL - OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
Non-franchise Teams: Clash Royale (Immortals), CS:GO (MIBR), Rainbow Six (MIBR)
Gen.G – $270 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): League of Legends Champions Korea-Gen.G, OWL - Seoul Dynasty, NBA 2KL - Shanghai
Non-franchise Teams: Overwatch Contenders, Fortnite (Team Bumble), PUBG, Apex Legends, Clash Royale.
Fnatic – $255.4 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LEC - Fnatic
Non-franchise Teams: CS:GO, Dota 2, Fortnite, Rainbow Six, Apex, Clash Royale, Rules of Survival, Street Fighter V
Envy Gaming – $248 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): OWL - Dallas Fuel, CDL - Dallas Empire
Non-franchise Teams: Overwatch Contenders, CS:GO, Fortnite, PUBG, Paladins, Super Smash Bros.
G2 Esports – $240.8 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LEC-G2.
Non-franchise Teams: CS:GO, Rainbow Six, Rocket League, PUBG, Apex, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Sim Racing.
100 Thieves – $233.5 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) - 100 Thieves
Non-franchise Teams: Counter Strike, Fortnite
NRG Esports – $218.9 million
Franchise League(s) - Team(s): OWL - San Francisco Shock, CDL - Chicago Huntsmen
Non-franchise Teams: Fortnite, Rocket League, Clash Royale, Smash, Apex, Gears of War, Dragon Ball Fighterz
Misfits Gaming & OverActive Media (Tied) – $175 million
Misfits Gaming Franchise League(s) - Team(s): LEC - Misfits Gaming, OWL - Florida Mayhem, CDL - Florida Mutineers
Non-franchise Teams: Fortnite, Marvel vs. Capcom, Clash Royale
OverActive Media Franchise League(s) - Team(s): League of Legends European Championship (LEC) - Splyce, Overwatch (OWL) - Toronto Defiant, Call of Duty (CDL) - Toronto Ultra
OverActive Media Non-franchise Teams: Fortnite, Smite, StarCraft II.