Today, you don’t have to be a traditional athlete to be part of a sports team. Thanks to the rise of esports, teams now look different than they ever have before. Most of these teams are originally formed by a group of friends with a passion and superior skills for one of the many games in the industry. Their road to success may be different than traditional athletes, but it can be just as tough.
Forming An Esports Team
On average, an esports team is made up of five players. However, depending on the game a team chooses to focus on, they may need more players to participate. Most teams recruit non-starters and backup players to act as a safety net if the regular players can’t perform.
Each player on an esports team fills a different position, just like in traditional sports. The positions vary based on the game a team chooses to play. Those teams that form to compete in Call of Duty have to designate the Objective role to a specific player. This is the team member who will be responsible for getting the other teams’ flags, watching their zone, and the strategic placement of bombs. For games that don’t involve these tasks, players will be assigned their position based on how many of their opponents they can kill.
It takes more than a group of friends getting together to make an official team in esports. No matter how good they are, they won’t be taken seriously until they have a sponsor. Funding a team is not cheap, and most individual players don’t have the money to do it on their own, even when pooling it with the other team members. It is almost impossible to be considered an official esports team without the backing of a major sponsor.
Most new teams end up landing a sponsor by participating in local gaming tournaments. These events are attended by scouts, the same way traditional athletes are sought out at college level games.
Finding A Coach
No esports team is going to make it in such a competitive industry without the help of a coach. While most teams designate a captain to get them started, a professional coach will give them the edge they need to even earn the right to enter international tournaments.
Hiring a coach with professional experience in the game of a team’s choice is the best way to help them achieve long term success. This is especially true in the case of teams with a limited budget. Before they break into the industry, many teams will have their captain serving as the manager and even founder.
When one person tries to take on so many roles, the entire team will suffer for it. In the case of a coach, they will only be focused on helping the team achieve consistent wins. The coach of any esports team is able to guide them and lead them through their struggles to become a better team.
The Top Esports Teams
While there are plenty of esports teams you’ve never heard of, no doubt that at least a few of the key teams you are familiar with. These are the cream of the crop and the ones you are most likely to see in action.
If you have poked around our website at all, we know you’re familiar with FaZe Clan. This high profile team has placed in tournaments for a handful of esports games, including Counter-Strike:GO, and Call of Duty. This progression was natural for the team, thanks to the work of team members who created COD trick shot videos.
Not to be outdone, Team Liquid has made a name for itself too. The team was formed in 2000 by a group of players in the Netherlands. They started to find international success by excelling at StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Their success in this game gave them the chance to begin signing professional players to the team.
They expanded into the North America esports market in 2012 by recruiting a team for Dota 2. They were now achieving major success in two of the industry’s top games. Three years later they continued their expansion by striking a merger deal with Team Curse. It would bring new players onto the team that had achieved impressive wins in Street Fighter, and League of Legends. Since then, they have four championship titles to their name in LoL alone. Having also acquired CS:GO players, they were able to win 2019’s Intel Grand Slam Prize. 2020 has, so far, been just as successful for them. As of this writing, the collective amount they have won in tournaments for the year is $34.96 million.
Since 2013, Team Vitality has been a driving force in esports. If you haven’t heard of this team until now, you’ll want to note all of their impressive achievements. With some of the top players in the industry, they are best known for their presence in the European Championship for League of Legends. As the country’s top league, the European Championship helped Team Vitality gain even more fans. They currently have more than 20 million social media followers all over the world. There is no other esports team that has more sponsors than this team does, easily demonstrating how popular they are.
In December of 2017, Topsports Gaming was formed, though the team has since changed their name to Top Esports. Their game of choice is League of Legends, and they are top contenders in the LoL Pro League. By the year after their formation, the team had competed against seven other teams in the National Electronic Sports Tournament, where they came in second place.
These are just a few of the teams you will want to pay attention to. With esports growing so rapidly, these teams have a lot to look forward to.