Forbes reveal surprising list of 13 most valuable esports orgs - Dexerto

Forbes reveal surprising list of 13 most valuable esports orgs

Published: 5/Nov/2019 17:03 Updated: 5/Nov/2019 17:43

by Matt Porter


Esports is a rapidly-growing industry, and Forbes has revealed the 13 richest organizations in the professional gaming scene, including fan-favorite teams like TSM, Cloud9, and FaZe Clan.

With esports events like the 2019 League of Legends’ World Championships bringing in almost four million concurrent viewers across Twitch and YouTube, it’s no surprise that competitive gaming is now a multi-million dollar industry, and shows no signs of slowing down.

In 2020, 12 organizations who stumped up $25 million dollars will compete in the first season of the franchised Call of Duty League, while many have already paid millions in buy-ins to other franchised competitions like the Overwatch League and the LCS.

With sponsorship booming, prize money larger than ever, and more and more eyes watching esports, here are 13 teams who, according to a report from Forbes, are now worth over $100 million, and bring in millions in revenue every year.

12. (Joint) OverActive Media

Riot GamesOverActive Media own Splyce.

Overactive Media are the parent company of Splyce, who currently compete in Europe’s LEC LoL franchised league, and also own the Toronto Defiant OWL team and Toronto Ultra CDL team.

They also operate in games like Fortnite, Smite, and StarCraft 2, and according to Forbes, their estimated revenue sits at $5 million, with a total valuation of $120 million.

12. (Joint) Misfits Gaming

Activision BlizzardFlorida Mayhem compete in the Overwatch League

Misfits also compete in all three of the major franchised leagues, owning the Florida Mayhem in Overwatch, and acquiring the Florida franchise spot for their Mutineers team ahead of the 2020 Call of Duty League season.

While Misfits Gaming are also valued at $120 million, it’s estimated that they bring in $8 million in revenue.

11. NRG Esports

YouTube: H3CZH3CZ joined NRG in September as Co-CEO.

NRG Esports already owned the San Francisco Shock OWL team, but it’s their acquisition of former OpTic Gaming chief Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez that really turned heads among the gaming community.

Since the pick up, NRG have locked down the Chicago Call of Duty spot, and continue to operate in many of the world’s biggest esports, such as Fortnite, Smash, Apex Legends, and more, valued at $150 million with $20 million in estimated revenue.

10. 100 Thieves

Riot Games100 Thieves entered the LCS in 2018.

Valued at $160 million, 100 Thieves, founded by former CoD pro Matt ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, are more than just an esports organization, operating a hugely successful streetwear and apparel business, while also snapping up some of the most popular streamers in the world.

The team decided not to spend the reported $20 million required to own a Call of Duty League franchise, but compete in the LCS, CS:GO and Fortnite, with their revenue believed to sit around $10 million.

9. G2 Esports

Riot GamesG2 secured internation LoL success at 2019’s Mid-Season Invitational.

G2 Esports’ sole franchise team competes in League of Legends, and have become one of the biggest names in the game in 2019, winning the Mid-Season Invitational, and landing themselves in the 2019 Worlds Finals. 

According to Forbes, G2’s value has grown by $60 million in 2019, up to $165 million, with an estimated revenue of $22 million per year.

8. Team Envy

Activision BlizzardTeam Envy own the Dallas Fuel Overwatch League team.

Team Envy are one of the most legendary Call of Duty teams ever but have branched out to become a true powerhouse in esports, valued at $170 million.

The team operates the Dallas Fuel in the Overwatch League, and will compete in the Call of Duty League in 2020 as Dallas Empire.

7. Fnatic

Riot GamesFnatic compete in the LEC.

Fnatic operate in the European LEC franchised league for League of Legends, and made it all the way to the World Championship finals in 2018 in a losing effort against Invictus Gaming.

The team also compete in CS:GO, Dota 2, Fortnite, and more, and are worth $175 million according to Forbes, with $16 million in estimated revenue.

6. Gen.G

Riot GamesGen.G are a Korean-based esports organization.

Gen.G is a Korean-based organization but have spread their wings over the last few years and entered the American market with huge success throughout 2018 and 2019. The team own an LCK LoL franchise spot in their native South Korea but also compete in Overwatch and NBA 2K League.

The team makes an estimated $9 million per year and is valued at $185 million.

5. Immortals Gaming Club

Riot GamesImmortals own both OpTic Gaming and MiBR.

Worth an estimated $210 million, Immortals Gaming Club made headline news in June 2018 when it was announced that they had acquired OpTic Gaming, who will compete for IGC in the 2020 Call of Duty League.

The deal also saw them snap up OpTic’s LCS spot, which will be rebranded to Immortals, and operate the Los Angeles Valiant OWL team and the MiBR CS:GO squad.

4. FaZe Clan

BLASTFaZe Clan are one of esports’ most historic teams.

Another team steeped in esports history, FaZe Clan started life as a Call of Duty sniper team, but now operate teams in the franchise CoD League and CS:GO, and are home to some of the biggest Fortnite streamers and professional players in the world.

According to Forbes, the team brings in $35 million in estimated revenue, and are currently worth an eye-watering $240 million.

3. Team Liquid

Riot GamesTeam Liquid are the dominant force in North American LoL.

Dutch-founded organization and North American based Team Liquid take third place in the rankings, with a $320 million valuation.

The organization have dominated League of Legends in the United States, winning three consecutive splits, and secured three top 4 finishes at the last three Dota 2 The International tournaments.

1. (Joint) Cloud9

ELEAGUECloud9 are worth $400 million according to Forbes.

Cloud 9 sit top of the tree with an estimated value of $400 million, and $29 million in revenue.

The American organization own LCS and Overwatch League spots, and also compete in CS:GO, Fortnite, Rocket League and more. Cloud9 recently announced a major apparel partnership with Puma, releasing their first collection in October 2019.

1. (Joint) Team SoloMid

Riot GamesTSM are one of the biggest names in League of Legends.

Regarded by many as a team synonymous with League of Legends, TSM also boast a mindblowing $400 million valuation, and it comes as no surprise that they operate one of the 12 LCS teams in North America.

Their reach spreads far and wide in esports, including teams in PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and even a League of Legends Academy squad.

Top 13 richest esports organizations

13. (Joint) Overactive Media (Valued $120 million)
13. (Joint) Misfits Gaming (Valued $120 million)
11. NRG Esports (Valued $150 million)
10. 100 Thieves (Valued $160 million)
9. G2 Esports (Valued $165 million)
8. Team Envy (Valued $170 million)
7. Fnatic (Valued $175 million)
6. Gen.G Esports (Valued $185 million)
5. Immortals Gaming Club (Valued $210 million)
4. FaZe Clan (Valued $240 million)
3. Team Liquid (Valued $320 million)
1. (Joint) Cloud9 (Valued $400 million)
1. (Joint) Team SoloMid (Valued $400 million)


10 players to watch during Valorant’s First Strike Global Finals

Published: 26/Nov/2020 16:58

by Lauren Bergin


With the Valorant First Strike qualifiers coming to a close all across the globe, some players have risen to the top of the pack — but who are they? 

It’s safe to say that Riot Games’ first global tournament, First Strike, has left its mark in FPS history. There’s been upsets, shocking results and, of course, some absolutely wild plays. Some of the top tier teams fell at the final hurdle, and others powered up by friendship have emerged triumphant.

One of the positives about having the tournament be played online is that it lets smaller teams shine, highlighting players who maybe never would have made it onto the big stage.

Every region is going to see some fierce competition for their regional title, and it’s going to be exciting to watch who prevails and who falters. Below is our list of players who can shift the First Strike tides, so let’s dive right in.

European players to watch

Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom (Team Liquid)

When Team Liquid picked up former CS:GO pro ScreaM, Valorant fans were beyond excited, and for good reason. Renowned for being the “headshot machine” of CS:GO, it was pretty obvious that ScreaM joining the Valorant scene heralded even more head-popping chaos.

From start to finish ScreaM has dominated the First Strike qualifiers on his signature Jett, scoring an ace against Prodigy Esports that will go down in Valorant history as one of the cleanest. Are you ready to scream for Liquid? Well, get ready to watch the man himself obliterate the competition in the First Strike Regional Finals.

Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks (G2 Esports)

One of the most formidable players on this list is Ardiis, G2 Esports’ sniper extraordinaire. With a KD of 1.24 and a whole host of Agents available in his pool, Ardiis has quite rightly been dubbed by many casters, analysts, and other professionals as one of the game’s best players.

He’s proven that his skill matches up to the hype. One of the key carries in G2’s series against Ninjas in Pyjamas, Ardiis’ Sova was a force to be reckoned with. Sneaking behind enemy lines, shooting out devastating shock darts left, right and center, G2 couldn’t have done it without him. It’ll be interesting to see how he steps up in the regional final, especially when the title of First Strike Europe champion is on the line.

Pontus ‘Zyppan’ Eek (FPX)

When FunPlus Phoenix entered the Valorant scene we knew the sparks would fly, but we never knew that Zyppan would be the reason. The ex-Fortnite player’s Raze has become a true force on Future Earth, demolishing every team he’s been put up against.

With a KD of 1.32, his aggressive style is one we’d love to see more of in Valorant. His performance against The Opportunists is the perfect example of why he’s on such a highly respected roster, and it’ll be exciting to see how he shapes up against Ardiis and FunPlus’ arch nemesis, G2.

Domagoj ‘doma’ Fancev (SUMN FC)

SUMN FC aren’t a team that many people expected to be playing with the big guns, but doma is one of the reasons that the team are up there. The young Croatian has led SUMN to countless victories in past tournaments, with his Raze plays being explosive as the agent herself.

Doma has become one of the team’s most dominant forces, scoring headshot after headshot against eXiLe eSports in their qualifying match. Will he be able to outwit foes such as ScreaM and Zyppan? Maybe so, but what’s for sure is that he’s going to give them a fight to remember.

North American players to watch

Jake ‘kaboose’ McDonald (Team Envy)

Kaboose might not get as much recognition on Envy as his teammates like FNS, Crashies, and food, but he’s proven to be the player this roster needs to fly right to the top. The duelist specialist was the star of the Envy lineup that ended up winning the First Strike NA NSG Qualifier, topping the Average Combat Score (ACS) charts and styling on the likes of T1 and 100 Thieves.

While he was a CS:GO veteran of five years, he never really got his chance in the spotlight while playing in MDL. Now, in Valorant First Strike, he really has the chance to get the breakout he’s been grinding for years.

Quan ‘dicey’ Tran (100 Thieves)

If there was any doubts about Dicey’s skill before he joined 100 Thieves, they’ve surely been silenced by now. The young star is on the rise in Valorant, spearheading an incredibly talented and experienced roster. He might not have the name value of his teammates like Hiko and nitr0, but give him six months and he will.

His Jett put Wardell to shame in the NSG Qualifier for First Strike, but he’s also shown he can pick up other roles like Sova as well while on Prospects. He also has the brain to match the aim: one can’t forget his insane 1v4 ace against Sentinels on Bind back in Pop Flash. Now in his biggest competition yet, Dicey really has the chance to cement himself as a household name in Valorant.

Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won (Sentinels)

Sinatraa has a real chance to become an undisputed GOAT in two titles. The Overwatch League MVP has made a splash in Valorant with Sentinels, and is widely considered to be the best player in NA. His ability to flex between Agents is testament to his versatility. Across just two series against 100 Thieves and T1 in the NSG Qualifier, he played four Agents in Raze, Sova, Jett, and Phoenix.

His uncanny ability to top the score charts, all while playing a more supportive role on Sova (most of the time) is incredible. There was a reason why he’s considered one of the best Overwatch players of all time, and now he’s living up to that GOAT title in Valorant.

Noah ‘jcStani’ Smith (Immortals)

Immortals have been through a lot of changes, but jcStani has been a rock for the squad. He’s filled in every possible role no matter who leaves, and although he more often than not finds himself on support, he still manages to frag out like a duelist.

jcStani’s leadership of the Immortals roster that has been in flux, even during First Strike with ShoT_Up’s illness, has steered them to where they are today. Now with things starting to stabilize, it’s only a matter of time until the best of Immortals and jcStani really gets to shine.

Notable mentions

Goo ‘Rb’ Sang-min (Vision Strikers)

Rb is probably the best Valorant player you’ve never heard of. The Vision Strikers star is the King of Korean Valorant. There’s a reason why his team are on an undefeated 43-0 streak, and a lot of it has to do with Rb. His incredible fragging ability allows his squad to execute the most well-coordinated strats seen across the globe.

Rb boasts a career ACS of 245. To put that in perspective, Sinatraa has a career ACS of 241, Ardiis has 245, and the only player who really beats him is ScreaM on 258. The level of competition in Korea is fierce as well between T1 Korea, C9 Korea, and more, but Rb manages to consistently come out on top on Jett, making him one of the most exciting prospects once international play gets going.

Chris ‘pl1xx’ Li (EXO Clan)

To round out our list, it’s time to take a trip down under to chat about EXO Clan’s pl1xx. Is there anything pl1xx can’t play? Probably not. He is an incredibly flexible player for Oceania’s number one team, and while he calls himself a Sova main, he can basically play anything his team needs, including Reyna and Raze.

A once-budding Counter-Strike prodigy, the Australian has found himself a new home in Valorant. Widely touted as Oceania’s best player – with maybe a bit of debate between his teammates – pl1xx’s flexibility and keen aim makes him one of the most versatile players not just in his home region, but across the globe.

So that’s it for our list of players to watch going into the global First Strike finals. There are a hundred different ways this list could have went, but these players are certainly standouts and we can wait to see how they perform.