Whatever your thoughts are on people who make bank on video games, there’s no denying Esports has fast become one of the largest money-making industries in the world.
Teenage kids who would normally spend hours upon hours playing their favourite games with friends are now regularly taking home millions of dollars in sponsorship and prize money a year thanks to the burgeoning Esports scene and its domination amongst young gamers worldwide.
Esports currently has a global audience of 454 million people, with that set to jump by a further 190 million in the next year three years according to Newzoo. Sponsorship, advertising and media rights have almost doubled since 2017 with global revenue for Esports set to reach an unprecedented US$1.1 billion this year, up a huge 27% from last year.
So who’s making all the coin?
Forbes has done the research and found the majority of gamers making the big bucks are those involved with Esports teams. The American business magazine delved into the sport and found the world’s 13 most valuable Esports teams combine for a total wealth of just under US$3 billion.
While the majority of names mean nothing to me, keen players will be aware of American organisations Cloud9 and Team SoloMid who have taken out the joint top spot, both worth around US$400 million each. Cloud 9 is doing so well they recently announced an apparel deal with Puma, offering their team another stream of revenue and helping to consolidate the sport’s wealth.
Dutch funded Team Liquid took out the third spot with a US$320 million valuation, Korean based organisation Gen.G came in at six with a whopping US$185 million and 100 Thieves, both a successful apparel and Esports team, rounded out the top 10 with a reported US$160 million.
You can read the full list below and discover more details about each team by visiting forbes.com.
1. Cloud9 & Team SoloMid (Tied) – US$400 million
3. Team Liquid – US$320 million
4. FaZe Clan – US$240 million
5. Immortals Gaming Club – US$210 million
6. Gen.G – US$185 million
7. Fnatic – US$175 million
8. Envy Gaming – US$170 million
9. G2 Esports – US$165 million
10. 100 Thieves – US$160 million
11. NRG Esports – US$150 million
12. Misfits Gaming & OverActive Media (Tied) – US$120 million