Professional esports and its rapid growth has been nothing short of amazing, especially when you factor in some of the huge revenue deals and viewership figures we see being recorded in recent times as the word on esports continues to spread around the world.
Of course, traditional forms of gaming will always carry their own appeal, with gaming away from tournaments also pulling in crowds. You can’t beat a game of FIFA 19 against an arrogant friend, or a game of Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs on casino.com, one of the leading entertainment sites in Canada, or a good old game of online pool on your mobile phone against someone in Germany. Competitive gaming, particularly with the opportunity to win money and the desire to be the very best, is on the rise.
Brand involvement, growth in viewership figures, and the abundance of esports talent coming through all around the world suggests that the scene is going to continue to grow year over year as it stamps its authority in the gaming world that much further.
These are some of the organizations at the forefront of that growth.
An American esports organisation that takes part in games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty, the team was originally founded on YouTube by FaZe Housecat, FaZe ClipZ, and FaZe Resistance. All three YouTubers were known, in particular, for their Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 skills and gained a large following as a result. What followed in 2012 was the start of something big.
The release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II saw FaZe branch out into competitive play. The rest is history and FaZe Clan is currently regarded as one of the biggest and best esports teams out there.
Founded in 1999 and one of the original teams to emerge in the fledgling esports scene, Evil Geniuses is a North American organisation that has gone on to become one of the biggest names in the world of competitive gaming. Perhaps not seen as one of the best these days, there was a time when Evil Geniuses was considered to be the top dog.
In 2015, their Dota 2 team won The International tournament and its then-record first-place prize, and followed it up by finishing in the top-three again in 2016. StarCraft 2, Street Fighter V and Halo are other games Evil Geniuses also compete in.
Even esports fans with limited knowledge of the scene will have heard of OpTic Gaming, mainly because of their presence in the Call of Duty scene, but also because of their prowess when it comes to competing in games such as Halo, CSGO, and Gears of War. OpTic Gaming celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2016 and were said to be worth an estimated $24,583,758 at the time. Playing out of North America, Optic Gaming is a consistent organization whose teams regularly challenge at the very top.
A newer team relative to the others listed, Cloud9 has well and truly burst onto the esports scene and is widely regarded as a powerhouse. In 2015, Cloud9 was worth an estimated $30,149,755. The organization has competed in a wide range of games including Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash Bros., Vainglory, and Hearthstone.
Founded in 2000 and originally based in the Netherlands, Team Liquid is a multi-regional professional esports team. When StarCraft 2 was released, the team signed their first professional players and have since gone on to become one of the best esports teams around, also doing well in League of Legends, CSGO, Dota 2, and numerous fighting games.