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6 High-Ranking Esports Teams Based on Overall Earnings

Date Posted: April 3, 2018

As the esports industry grows, competitive gaming teams earn millions from massive cash prizes provided by major gaming events like The International and DreamHack.

The following are five of the top esports team earners that made more than $10 million in revenue. Additionally, there is one team on the list that is close to the same total revenue earnings despite participating in fewer games than the top five teams.

Top Esports Teams 2018

1| Team Liquid – US$18,951,837

One of the most recognizable esports brands started out as a StarCraft: Brood War team in 2000 before becoming one of the most recognizable brands. In 2010, when StarCraft II was released, Team Liquid started playing professional.  Members of the team have participated in various games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Team Liquid’s players have won many tournaments in these games like the MediaXP Americas Minor – Boston 2018 for CS:GO.

While Team Liquid has entered 1,172 esports events to this date, a majority of its revenue comes from CS:GO, StarCraft, and Dota 2 matches. The International 2017 helped Team Liquid become the no.1 ranking esports team based on total revenue because of the cash prize of more than US$10 million winnings. Participating and winning in many major Dota 2 events further increased the team’s ranking. In 2016, Team Liquid earned more than US$1.81 million and more than US$12 million in 2017 across various Dota 2 tournaments in both years.

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2| Evil Geniuses – US$17,075,746

Evil Geniuses is another long-running team that began as a Counter-Strike clan in 1999. This team has participated in many fighting genre tournaments like EVO and Capcom Cup. Recently, the team recruited the likes of Christopher ‘NYChrisG’ Gonzalez. NYChrisG is one of the best players of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom and has earned $6,812 across 12 tournaments for the team.

The Dota 2 players of Evil Geniuses contribute more to the team’s total earnings. The team’s players managed to score a win in The International 2015 which has a cash prize of more than US$6 million to the first-place winner.  Year 2016 was also a good time for Evil Geniuses because its Dota 2 players brought home more than US$3 million across 16 tournaments. This includes placing third at the International 2016 event which gave the team more than US$2 million in cash prizes.

3| Newbee – US$12,469,368

The China-based team, Newbee, is a fairly young team that debuted in 2014 only. But the original members of the team are made up of seasoned players, including Chen ‘Hao’ Zhihao, Zhang ‘xiao8’ Ning, and Zhang ‘Mu’ Pan. These three players helped Newbee win The International 2014 despite being formed in the same year. Newbee won more than US$5 million in The International 2014.

The original members of Newbee have since moved on, but talented new members are stepping in for the team. Newbee placed second at the International 2017, which won them more than US$3.95 million.

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4| Fnatic – US$10,318,170

Fnatic is a UK-based esports team that has members who hail from different countries. The team’s diversity can also be seen with the different esports games that Fnatic players have participated in.

The team entered a variety of games like SMITE, Heroes of the Storm, and Rocket League. Majority of team Fnatic’s earning comes from members who enter CS:GO and Dota 2 tournaments. To date, Fnatic made more than US$3 million in CS:GO tournaments and more than US$2.78 million in Dota 2 matches. Fnatic Counter-Strike player’s notable achievement is winning the WESG 2017 for CS:GO which won the team $800,000 in 2018. Fnatic also placed fourth in The International 2016 which gave the team more than US$1.45 million.

5| LGD Gaming – US$10,317,982

LGD Gaming is another esports team based in China. This esports team is dominant in the Dota 2 scene in Asia. Its Dota 2 roster has a good mix of seasoned and new players. LGD Gaming once had xiao8 as a member in 2015 who contributed more than $640,000 in revenue throughout 18 tournaments.

This esports team has three active Dota 2 rosters: LGD.Forever Young, LGD.CDEC, and LGD International. Its main China roster, along with LGD Forever Young members, won fourth and third place of The International 2017, respectively. This gave LGD Gaming a combined cash prize of more than US$4.31 million from the Dota 2 event.

6| Wings Gaming – US$9,718,637

Wings Gaming, like Newbee, is another esports team based in China and formed in 2014. Since then, the team has joined 22 Dota 2 events and three CS:GO tournaments.

Despite participating in fewer events than the other teams, members of Wings Gaming are known for aggressive strategies and their use of many heroes.

A major contributor to Wings Gaming’s revenue includes winning The International 2016, in which Wings Gaming took home more than US$9.13 million. Though Wings Gaming disbanded in 2017, the members soon formed Team Random in the same year.

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