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    Top 15 professional esports teams vs top 15 semi-professional esports teams Part 1

    Esportsbusiness.net Team

    The objective of this list is to give you an insight on the best eSports teams from around the world. The industry of eSports is currently worth around $700 million and it is set to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. So, let’s have a look at the teams that have made the eSports industry a global phenomenon. The figures for each team are the (as much as known) overall earnings achieved by the team through participating in events and tournaments. If there are incorrect figures, sponsors and anything else, please do not hesitate to come back to me and correct me. I take no responsibilities for the correct information of all the data, but I am more than willing to correct information, especially once they change. Part 2 of the article can be found here.





    Top 15 Professional esports teams

    1. Team Liquid- $18,128,004.09

    picture1.jpgThe team was co-founded by Victor Goossen and Steve Arhancet. They are currently sponsored by Twitch, HTC, Razer, Alienware, and monster. They were initially founded as a gaming community website. Team Liquid started their journey into eSports by sponsoring StarCraft: Brood War team in 2010. Since then, they have made investments in Halo, Heroes of the Storm, CS :GO and League of Legends. However, much of the success of the team has come from competitive Dota 2. They have managed to earn 7% ($1,266,921.72) of their net worth from StarCraft 2 and %5 ($914,121.68) from CS:GO. However, from Dota 2, they have earned an astonishing 79% ($14,258,294.51). This year they won the biggest event in the history of eSports, The International 7 and are arguably the best pro team in the history of professional Dota 2. They also have two the richest players in the professional eSports industry, Kuro Takhasomi and Amer Barqawi with earning digits of $3,480,788.35 and $3,061,076.48 respectively.



    2. Evil Geniuses- $16,624,184.93

    picture2.jpgThe team was founed by Alexander Garfield in 1999. EG is currently based in California, USA. They started out as Counter-Strike team in eSports from there they only got 1% ($158,086.74) of their net worth. They also have some success in the StarCraft 2 where they got 5% ($797,098.37) of the total net worth. However, the 89% ($14,723,047.05) of their profits have come from their Dota 2 team. They have managed to win a large number of titles in competitive Dota 2, however, their biggest achievement is winning The International 5. They have proven to be one of the best teams in Dota 2 since their arrival in the scene in 2011 and are currently living up to their fame. Saahil Arora is the most persistent player in the line-up and has been there for the team no matter how good or bad the circumstances are. He is currently the 3rd most valuable player in the eSports with a net worth of $2,935,860.27. They are currently sponsored by Monster energy and Xfinity.


    3. Newbee- $12,121,225.80

    picture3.jpgTong Xin is the owner of Newbee ever since its formation in 2014. They also have sister team like Newbee Young, Newbee Boss etc. They have invested in Hearthstone, Overwatch, and League of Legends. However, a remarkable 98% (11,889,401.49) of their net worth has come from their Dota 2 team. Newbee is arguably one of the best teams not only in China but also in competitive eSports industry. They have managed to win The International 2014 and have recently finished the TI7 and 2nd place, losing to Team Liquid in the Final. They have managed to grab a large number of podium place finishes mainly because of their captain, Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida who has won $1,962,677.82 from 23 Tournaments. Newbee is set to accomplish wonder under the sponsorship of Weibo.



    4. LGD Gaming- $10,163,461.39

    picture4.jpgThe team was found in 2009 under the ownership of Jie Pan. Like Newbee, they also have sister teams like LGD FY and LGD.CDEC. They are recognized as one of the best team in China because of their domination in competitive Dota 2. They have invested in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Overwatch. However, they are only successful with their Dota 2 roster as 93% ($9,667,518.42) of their success has come from the Dota 2. They have recently finished The International 7 competition at 4th place and their biggest achievement is finishing The International 2 at 2nd place. The team is currently lead by Yao, Zhengzheng who has earned $1,184,826.68 by competing in big competitions. They are under the sponsorship of Guizhou Laogandie Food, Taobao, Razer and Kingston HyperX.



    5. Wings Gaming- $9,718,065.87    

    picture5.jpgThe team was found in 2014 by their former captain Zhang Yiping and were disbanded in the first half of 2017. In that team, Wings Gaming was a quite dominant squad because of their deep hero pool and unpredictable lineups. The managed to win The International 6, which summed up their Dota 2 earning to a remarkable 99.8% ($9,711,841.00). The squad was disbanded because of some problems with the player contracts. However regardless of the squad disband, they are still the 5th most prestigious team in eSports industry. They don’t have an active roster but are still sponsored by C5Game. During their active roster, the captain, and founder of the team, Zhang Yiping was the most prestigious player on the team with tournament winnings of $1,962,738.24.


    6. Fnatic- $8,553,811.47

    picture6.jpgIn 2004, Fnatic was found by Anne and Sam Mathews. Since then, Fnatic is one of the most flourishing organizations in eSports. The above mentioned have accumulated their net worth mainly through competitive Dota 2, However, Fnatic has most diverse teams of Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO.  This diversity can be explained by the following stats. 26% ($2,192,963.05) of the winnings are through CS:GO while 14% ($1,154,094.19) through League of Legends and 30% ($2,546,074.91) through Dota 2. Their CS:GO team has won ESL One: Katowice 2015, Intel Extreme Masters X - World Championship and have finished at 2nd place at ELEAGUE Season 1. Their League of Legends roster has recently finished 5 - 8th in 2017 World Championship which is not at all a bad deal. While in competitive Dota 2, their team has finished The International 2016 at 4th place. So, judging from this small but strong stats you can see that Fnatic is crucial to eSports industry. They are sponsored by Seagate, Chillblast, Deezer, Newzoo, MSI, Monster, Strafe and AMD.    


    7. SK Telecom T1- $8,488,191.94

    picture7.jpgThe unstoppable team in the League of Legends is SK Telecom T1. The team is under the ownership of a renowned telecommunications company SK Telecom, and this company also works as the sponsor for the side. SK Telecom T1 also has sister teams, SK Telecom K and S. They have earned 14% ($1,169,013.42) of their winnings from StarCraft 2 and 76% ($6,479,077.57) from League of Legends. They have been crowned the World Champion of League of Legends 3 times and have recently finished this year’s World Championship at 2nd place. They also have the best player in their team Lee, Sang Hyeok, who has an amazing set of skills and an amazing adaptability to the needs of the hour. He has won $1,161,829.69. Other sponsors of SK Telecom T1 include Pocari Sweat, New Balance, Corsair, Razer and KLevv Memory.


    8. Virtus.pro- $7,872,829.04

    picture8.jpgVirtus.pro is a Russian organization which was found by Roman Dvoryankin in 2003. Since their formation, they won over 90+ gold medals, nearly 200 silver medals and over 210+ bronze medals in a variety of eSports competitions. They are under the sponsorship of G2A.COM, Vertagear, Mr.Cat, FragStore, Twitch, Adrenaline Rush and Media Markt. They have excellent lineups that are competing in Dota 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone, CS:GO, and many more. They also have a professional eSports women’s team. They have got 58% (4,530,180.09) of their winnings from pro-Dota while 33% ($2,595,358.87) from CS:GO. The unpredictable Russian strategies of their CS:GO and Dota 2 lineups have helped the Russian organization accomplish wonders. They are known to sign sensational players one of the most famous ones is Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev who only at the age of 18 has won The Summit 6, Dota Summit 7 and ESL Hamburg 2017.


    9. Invictus Gaming - $7,194,428.41

    picture9.jpgThe team was found in 2011 and is currently managed by Liu "Efeng" Yuan and Zhang "CuoJue" Guoqing. They have pro teams competing in Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Crossfire, and Overwatch. They have earned 78% ($5,435,826.56) of their winnings from Dota 2 while 11% $768,290.88 from League of Legends. They are sponsored by renowned names which include SteelSeries, Lenovo, Logitech, and W.Y.W.K. They have sister teams which go by the name of Invictus Gaming Fire, Ice, and Vitality. They also have a female squad of League of Legends. The biggest achievement of the organization came through their Dota 2 team that won The International 2 in 2012. IG organization also won the Demacia Cup Season 1, IEM Season VIII – Singapore and recently finished the 2017 Season China Regional Finals at 2nd place.



    10. Natus Vincere- $6,874,697.90

    picture10.jpgBased in Kiev Ukraine, Natus Vincere was found in 2009. They have teams competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, Paladins, World of Tanks and League of Legends. They are mostly known because of their exceptional performances in competitive Dota 2 and CS:GO. Their CS:GO team won the World Cyber Games 2010, Electronic Sports World Cup and Intel Extreme Masters in a single calendar year. While their Dota 2 squad won the first edition of The International. The have a long list of renowned sponsors which include G2A, HyperX, Jetradar, DXRacer, Twitch.tv, 3ОНА 51, Kiev CyberSport Arena, GG.Bet, Fragstore, Newzoo, and NVIDIA. The most famous player of the organization happens to be Danil "Dendi" Ishutin who was one time the richest player in the eSports industry, however, he currently sits at a respectable $774,449.40 in winnings. While the other most popular player in the organization is Daniil ”Zeus” Teslenko who has helped the team accomplish wonders.


    11. Samsung- $5,133,156.34

    picture11.jpgSamsung was found in 2013 after signing player from MVP Blue and MVP Ozone. The organization is only sponsored by Samsung and HOT6, with headquarters in South Korea. They have sister teams which go by the names of Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Blue, Samsung Ozone and Samsung Khan. They are currently competing in only two divisions of eSports which are League of Legends, StarCraft 2 and StarCraft: Brood Wars. The most successful team is Samsung Galaxy which has solely generated 53% ($2,697,968.66) of the profits while coming in 2nd is Samsung White which has generated 22%( $1,139,112.96) of the profits. This year Samsung Galaxy has been quite successful as they have won 2017 Season Korea Regional Finals and 2017 Season World Championship beating the likes of KT Rolster and SK Telecom T1. They have mainly competed in the Korean region which has generated 99% ( $5,064,723.13) of their winnings. The star players of the organization are Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin and Lee "Crown" Min-ho who have been in the roster for a long time and have managed to earn $440,237.72 and $443,172.12 respectively.


    12. Team OG- $6,112,963.00

    picture12.jpgSponsored by Redbull, Team OG was formed in 2015 by Fly and Notail who happen to be two active players on the roster. This is the team that introduced the 9K MMR sensation Miracle-, to the 1st division of Pro Dota 2. They seemed to struggle at the start but after forming formidable chemistry they dominated the pro circuit. They won The Frankfurt Major 2015, DreamLeague Season 4, The Manila Major 2016, ESL One Frankfurt 2016, The Boston Major 2016, The Kiev Major 2017 and recently The MDL Macau. They have got 100% ($6,112,963.00) of their net worth from Dota 2. They got most of their earnings from Denmark 30% ($1,829,592.80). They have also competed in Israel, Sweden, Canada, Jordan, Finland, Australia, and Ukraine. Tal "Fly" Aizik is the most renowned player of the squad with an amazing net worth of $1,367,004.60. OG is currently delivering average performances however with stats like these we might soon see them again rise to the top of the chain.


    13. Cloud9- $5,950,364.22

    picture13.jpgLocated in Los Angeles, California, United States Cloud 9 was found in 2012 and ever since then they have flourished in different divisions of eSports. Cloud 9 has teams competing in Rocket League, LoL, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, CS:GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone: HoW, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Overwatch, PUBG, and Vainglory. Currently, they are sponsored by the top companies like Twitch, Logitech, HTC, Red Bull, iBUYPOWER, HyperX, Crunchyroll, MSI, NEEDforSEAT USA, LoLwiz, and T-Mobile. They happen to be quite dominant in divisions of Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO. They have earned 20% ($1,213,209.53) of their earnings from CS:GO while 31% ($2,110,208.98) from Dota 2 and 16% ($930,496.33) from League of Legends. They happen to have a significant number of sister teams in League of Legends which include C9 Eclipse, C9 Challenger, C9 Tempest, C9 Vortex and C9 Maelstrom. They have earned 46% ($2,781,264.58) of their winnings in the USA. They have also competed in Canada, Denmark, Romania, Sweden, Korea, Germany, Ukraine, Nether lands and many more. Their recent achievement in LoL is finishing 2017 North America Regional Finals at 1st place. While in CS:GO, they have won the iBUYPOWER Masters 2017, DreamHack Denver 2017 and finished the ESL One Cologne at 2nd place. In Dota 2, they were at 2nd place at the World Electronic Sports Games 2016. The most famous player in the organization is Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham who happen to be among the best players in CS:GO.

    14. Team Secret- $5,308,388.87

    picture14.jpgTeam Secret was found in August 2014 after the post-TI 4 shuffle under the influence of their team captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov. They are currently under the sponsorship of MetaThreads, NVIDIA, and GG.Bet. Their organization is competing in the different division of eSports which include Vainglory, Smash Bros, Rocket League, Fighter games and CS:GO. However, the Dota 2 roster has been tremendously successful as it has earned 98% ($5,211,963.61) of the winnings. They have competed in Sweden, Estonia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Malaysia, Jordan Korea, USA, UK, and Switzerland. They have always been in the currently amongst the best team in the world. However, at the moment they are arguably the best team in Pro Dota 2 scene as they are at the top of the Pro Circuit rank with 3690 points. They were victorious in The Shanghai Major 2016, MLG World Finals and DreamLeague Season 8. They also finished at 2nd place at the ESL One Hamburg 2017. The most influential player of the team has been their captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov who was the captain of the Natus Vincere side that won The International 1, ever since then the player has managed to earn a respectable sum of $1,045,980.02 in winnings.


    15. SK Gaming- $5,059,875.34

    picture15.jpgSk Gaming has been one of the oldest eSports organizations in the world. They were found in 1997 and have strived ever since their formation. The Headquarters are located in Germany as well as Brazil.  They are sponsored by some of the biggest brands which include VISA, Razer, Medion Erazer, Intel, HyperX, Huawei Honor and Mountain Dew. Being one of the oldest organizations, they compete in large divisions of eSports which include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Vainglory, Smite, Dota 2, Bloodline Champions and WarCraft 3.  However, most of their revenue 50% ($2,490,987.58) has been generated through their CS:GO roster which is arguably the best team in the World. The roster has managed to win a large number of titles this year, Intel Extreme Masters XII – Sydney, Esports Championship Series Season 3 – Finals, ESL One: Cologne 2017, EPICENTER 2017, BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2017 and ESL Pro League Season 6 – Finals. The star players of the team are Marcelo "coldzera" David and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo who have each won $475,354.88.



    Edited by Marian Härtel

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