Gaming has grown a lot in the past few years. No longer is it viewed as some “anti-social” thing that people play in their basements, but it’s now a (relatively) accepted part of human culture. With it, esports has also grown as well. People used to look down at esports, and competitions used to either be held at small event halls, with maybe a thousand attendees at most. In 2022 though? That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The latest League of Legends World Championship took place in Iceland, lasting from October to November. During that time, over 4 million people watched the final best-of-5 match, breaking the previous record of 3.9 million as (No spoilers here) two teams competed for a prize pool of 2.25 million USD.
But where’s that prize pool money going? Well, it’s going to esports companies! Most esports players are represented by a team, and as the popularity and money flowing into esports has soared, these companies have soared right alongside them. Of course, you might be wondering, just how big are these esports companies? Well, let’s dive right in and check out the biggest esports companies (in no particular order) of 2021.
Team SoloMid – TSM
When talking about esports companies, it is hard to ignore one of the most famous ones out there, Team SoloMid FTX or TSM. Founded by former League of Legends professional Andy “Reginald” Dinh, the company has rapidly grown from a small community to one of the biggest esports organizations out there. One of the most notable things they’ve done recently is a 10-year 210 million USD deal with the crypto exchange FTX. TSM, however, is most famous for their League of Legends team, a dominant force that has won multiple American championships, but a world’s title remains elusive.
Net worth: 410 million USD
Games: Fortnite, Apex, PUBG, Rainbow 6, Valorant, League of Legends, and many more.
Another extremely famous esports company, FaZe became known during the heights of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for its montages, complete with 360 no scopes and crazy music to accompany it. Over time though, the group of three that started the clan slowly grew the company from making YouTube videos to an actual competitive team, and they now have competitive teams in a variety of games. If you thought esports hadn’t hit the mainstream yet, FaZe clan has both become the first esports team that has ever been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and could be the first esports company to become publicly listed next year.
Net worth: 305 million USD
Games: Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, and more.
An esports company founded in 2000, Team Liquid got its start on StarCraft 2, merging with Team Curse in 2015 to create a massive group of teams. Team Liquid has had good success as well, as its Dota 2 team won The International in 2017, its League of Legends team has won the North American title four times, and their CS: GO team was awarded the extremely rare Intel Grand Slam. Here’s a fun fact: Team Liquid is partially owned by a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, as well as an old NBA Legend, Magic Johnson.
Net Worth: 310 million USD
Games: Apex Legends, Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Street Fighter, Street Fighter and plenty more.
The second-most valuable esports organization, behind only Team SoloMid, Cloud 9 has had victories in many games, ranging from victories in Rocket League to victories in the Overwatch League and in Counter-Strike. Cloud9 has also had its share of controversy. Their League of Legends team was once fined nearly the quarter of a million dollars for issuing stock units to players, breaking a law that prevented part owners from playing on the team. Regardless, it’s still a massive esports company.
Net worth: 350 million USD
Games: League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Super Smash Bros, Valorant, World of Warcraft
Last but not least, you’ve got the esports company 100 Thieves. One of its pretty big claims to fame is that one of its investors is the singer Drake, and they’ve got a massive compound in California, complete with a YouTube video showcasing it to boot. While they haven’t had that much success in terms of professional victories, it’s still one of the most valuable esports companies out there. They used to field a CS: GO team but disbanded it after a combination of Covid and travel issues. 100 Thieves is one of the newer esports teams out there (founded in 2017), but the attention and funding it has gotten has made it a big player in only a matter of years. We’ll have to see what other games it gets into in the future.
Net worth: 190 million USD
Games: League of Legends, Call of Duty, Warzone, Fortnite, Valorant
A new age is coming
These are just a few of the large esports companies out there, and there are plenty of others like G2 esports, T1, Black Dragons, and EchoFox that haven’t been covered, but also compete in League of Legends and many other games. However, all of them have been growing in recent years, and we will only see more esports companies sprout up as time goes on. The future is bright for esports, and all we can do is sit back and enjoy the show.