eSports is not a new industry. However, it only recently found its feet and is now running quite fast. The entire industry is mainly centered around eSports games and eSports teams. There are popular esports teams just as there are in other sports.
The growth of eSports in recent years is unprecedented. According to Newzoo, the global esports market is expected to hit $1.1 billion this year. If that happens, it will mean that esports has been growing at a rate of 26.7% year-over-year. Those numbers are the stuff of a hungry industry.
Different factors can determine popular esports teams. Competition winnings, growth rate, enterprise value, number of employees, etc. are some of such elements. This post, however, is determined by the esports team’s social media presence.
Before we go on, it is important to note that our selection is based mainly on the total counts of following on different platforms. You also need to know that social media following is quite different from engagement.
We are also considering only the following of the team’s social media and not their individual players. So, if you don’t see your favorite teams on this list, don’t get mad at us, just let us know in the comments.
Viewing hours (engagements) is also an important factor that is considered in this selection. So, eSports organizations that have teams in multiple esports will definitely dominate this list.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s get started.
This is an esports organization that is multiregional. It is based in Utrecht, Netherlands but its League of Legend (LoL) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) teams are located in the United States.
Team Liquid started in 200 with a team in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. In 2012, it became a multi-genre team when it signed a Dota 2 team in North America. Later it merged with Team Curse under and retained its teams in other esports. Now, Team Liquid has 15 esports teams carrying its banners.
Team Liquid has over 2 million followers on all its main social media handles. According to escharts.com, Liquid has been watched by fans in a cumulative of 92.8 million hours on Twitch TV.
When it comes to social media following, this esports organizations is the undisputed king. It has in excess of 17.5 million followers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.
One of the reasons Faze Clan became so popular is that the organization presents itself more like a gaming lifestyle culture than an eSports team.
Faze Clan was started by a gaming content creator, FaZe Housecat, on YouTube who used to show his subscribers trick shots in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. He banded with others to form a competitive gaming team when Call of Duty: Black Ops II was released.
Today, FaZe Clan is one of the most popular esports teams. It has won a lot of competitions and has raked in millions of dollars in prize money. It has grossed 45.5 million viewed hours by its fans worldwide.
This is a London-based esports organization founded in 2004. It features teams on multiple sports such as CS: GO, LoL, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm, etc. Its LoL team is the first to ever win the League of Legends World Championship in 2011.
The esports organization has over 5 million followers on its social media handles. Escharts says Fnatic has over 90 million hours watched by fans. This rating is second only to Team Liquid.
This is an American esports organization founded in 2006 by Ryan “OpTic J” Musselman. It has teams that carry its banner in Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Dota 2, LoL, etc.
OpTic Gaming (OG) is the third most popular esports teams by social media followers only behind Team Liquid and Team Solo Mid. It has over 5 million followers across platforms.
The Green Wall has recorded over 43.2 million hours of viewing on Twitch TV. When it comes to Call of Duty on esports, this is one of the most recognized esports teams and organizations.
According to a 2018 estimate, Forbes valued Cloud 9 (C9) as an enterprise to be worth $310 million. It made a total of $22 million in revenue in 2018 alone. C9 has the highest number of esports professional players on its payroll. They are spread over 11 esports games including LoL, Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, PUBG, etc.
Jack Etienne formed Cloud 9 after he bought the LoL roster of Quantic Gaming. C9 became the inaugural winner of Heroes of the Storm World Championship in 2015. In 2018 it became the first American esports team to win a major in CS: GO after it defeated the in-form FaZe Clan in ELEAGUE Boston: Major 2018 Final.
It currently seats in number 7 of the hierarchy of social media following with over 2 million fans across platforms. When it comes to engagement, it is on number 3 on Escharts rating with 57.6 million viewing hours on Twitch TV.
Team Solo Mid (TSM)
It was founded by Andy “Reginald” Dinh in September 2009. Forbes rates the esports organization’s enterprise value at $250 million. It also recorded annual revenues of $25 million in 2018.
TSM has 35 players in 7 teams that carry its banner in esports competitions. It did not make the top 10 list on Escharts’ Twitch TV viewing hours. This could be because of its less than 1k followers on Twitch. However, it has over 2 million followers on YouTube.
It currently sits in 2nd place on the table of the most popular esports teams by social media following.
There you have it, popular esports teams according to their social media presence. The number of hours fans watched their content also played a part in our choice as it is within the social media spectrum.
Like we said earlier if your team does not feature on this list, kindly note that this list is not all-encompassing. If you think your team should be there, let us know in the comments and do tell us why.
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