In light of the Valorant LOCK//IN and Capcom Cup IX tournaments drawing to a close, we thought we'd take a gander back at some of Esports' most valued teams, milestones, and prize pools to date. Specifically, the teams that have made the greatest impression in the last eleven or so months.
As it's still early days yet, we can't say for certain which Esports organizations will be the most likely to claim the top spots on the bracket. Nevertheless, we do have a vague idea of which teams will be worth watching when certain key events come to pass. So, who's worth watching in 2023, and which events should you keep a note of besides The International? Well, here's how we'd draw the line from the statistics we've recently accrued.
5. Natus Vincere (NAVI)
Coming in at fifth, Natus Vincere (abbreviated as NAVI) is a well-traveled European Esports team with a lofty 650 tournaments under its belt, from which it has accrued over $20 million in winnings in a little over a decade. Recently, NAVI fought to claim a final spot at Valorant LOCK/IN in Brazil, which led to an admirable semifinalist ranking and a $40K prize. Although not on par with its two finalists, collectively the worldwide team has rallied forth and conquered numerous other events since its 2009 inception.
Hailing from Ukraine, the twenty-something team has placed its marker on a myriad of top-shelf games, most notably Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and PUBG. As it stands, the organization is stacking up as one of the best in the Esports domain, and not to mention a faction that, quite frankly, any spectator or veteran should keep a firm eye on as 2023 draws out.
4. Team Spirit
Team Spirit is an organization that pours the majority of its effort into the likes of Dota 2, from which it has accumulated over $20 million in winnings alone. But outside of the highly acclaimed RTS phenomenon, the Russia-based firm has also spent a significant amount of time ejecting sweat, tears, and wins in Counter-Strike. The fact that they've only competed in 190 tournaments and have nearly always ranked in the top three, of course, makes them a force to be reckoned with.
With the DPC EEU 2023 Tour finished—an event that saw Team Spirit waltz away with the second spot on the board—the organization will now devote its talents and resources to The International 2023, a concluding tournament in the Dota Pro Circuit. Is it worth following? A hundred per cent, yes—especially if you're interested in seeing some of the greatest Dota 2 players in their absolute element.
3. Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses is another organization that has fingers in so many pies that, in all honesty, it's sort of tough to keep track of its roadmaps. That said, with Dota 2 being its go-to RTS, you can nearly always find them hovering near the apex of the leaderboards, if not in first, then in the top five of any given Pro Circuit. Matter of fact, Evil Geniuses recently cleared the BTS Pro Series Season 13, bagging themselves a $16K prize and an extra leg on the Dota 2 monopoly.
It's early days yet, but with Dota 2 and a whole bunch of other Esports favorites laying out the foundations for yet another prosperous year of competitive entertainment, Evil Geniuses will have a lot to bite into these next nine months. Needless to say that, of all the up-and-coming teams with a foothold in the scene, Evil Geniuses will be one to keep an eye out for.
Given OG's relatively low attendance record on the Esports circuit, it's astonishing to see that such a team has actually accumulated over $37 million in winnings to date. This alone makes the organization one of the best-performing Esports teams of all time. Plus, with a win-to-lose ratio so incredibly one-sided, it really is no wonder they've been labelled as one of Dota 2's most feared factions.
This year, OG will be setting its sights on The International, an annual event that boasts one of the highest prize pools in Esports. Fact is, as the team has already won the 2018 and 2019 events, spectators will be keeping a solid eye on the organization over the forthcoming season. Will OG shape up for a hat trick, or will it run it right down to the wire? Either way, 2023 will be a huge year for the firm, and one that will no doubt bring it a thread of consecutive wins.
1. Team Liquid
With a smidgen under 2,500 tournaments under its belt, Team Liquid has managed to hold a stake on the Esports plateau for the best part of two decades now. In this time, the globally recognized organization has tallied up a mouth-watering $43 million in winnings, which has stemmed from a myriad of games including Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and StarCraft. As it stands in 2023, the team has more than 20 rosters covering a multitude of platforms, effectively making it one of the largest and most popular collectives in the history of Esports.
In 2023, Team Liquid, as an organization, spans over 30 countries, with its primary players hailing from the United States, Germany, Finland, and Bulgaria. Is this likely to expand over the course of the year? Absolutely. In fact, with toes already dipped in a wide selection of new waters, it's hard to imagine Team Liquid losing track of its foothold in the rankings any time in the next decade, let alone in 2023.
So, what's your take? Are you surprised to see any of the above five in this list? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here or down in the comments below.