The past few years have seen a huge influx and investment into esports organisations as some of the biggest franchises in the world have made their own move – familiar names in football and basketball for example and now household names for esports too, but which are the most valuable esports organisations in the scene?
(Images from blogs.brighton.ac.uk)
Team SoloMid – If you haven’t heard of esports before, you may still have heard of TSM as one of the largest and most established franchises within esports – originally founded back in the early days of League of Legends, they would go on to be arguably one of the most successful teams in North America to date. They’ve now expanded across many titles in esports and are one of the more prominent names, and even though their team in their roots of League of Legends has been struggling in recent years, the fanbase remains just as committed and the team remains just as big.
Cloud9 – Another of the huge North America franchises, Cloud9 appeared shortly after TSM and was able to grow much in the same way thanks to so charismatic players and some extremely successful runs within the North American LCS. The early young roster become amongst the first League of Legends players to build a huge fanbase through streaming during the early years of the sport and had been able to string together some big wins too. With their newest roster performing well in the current season of the LCS and the C9 teams looking strong in other games too, the franchise is definitely back on the up. Their new, young, and revitalised CS:GO team are looking to compete in the upcoming CS:GO major too where fans will bet on IEM Katowice with Cloud9 certainly being a fan underdog with a talent packed roster – and could be an opportunity to reclaim former glory found by the old C9 roster a few years ago.
Fnatic – Whilst not toward the top of the list for total value, Fnatic is one of the “original” esports franchises founded way back in 2004 and had become a dominant name in Counter-Strike with its Swedish line-up, both back then and in the modern era of esports. As one of the most winning European League of Legends teams, and a history of infamy across Counter-Strike too, Fnatic will no doubt go down in esports history as one of the more polarizing teams in the scene, even if they weren’t able to grow to the size of some of the others.
100 Thieves – Another not topping the list in total value, but certainly looks to be quickly making its way there. Owned by a former Call of Duty pro-player in Nadeshot, and backed by Drake and the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, 100 Thieves has took a different approach to esports with a huge focus on content and merch first, with many believing their own esports presence coming in a little behind. The approach has worked, however, as they’re certainly changing the way other esports franchises behave.