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Esports teams have grown to the point where they're as common as bread. That said, however, there are a few special teams that are above and beyond any other team. These are the teams that have made headlines on more than one instances and are the teams you definitely need to know about if you're at all interested in becoming involved in esports.
1. Team Liquid
Team Liquid is arguably one of the most well-known teams in esports. Whether you're a CS:GO or League of Legends fan, their name has doubtlessly crossed your screen on more than one occasion. The organization got their humble start back in Starcraft II and have since won over 1000 tournaments. They now have teams in 11 games including CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and the most recently popular PUBG. Team Liquid has so far amassed over $18 million in prize money, making them the highest earning esports team in history according to esportsearnings.com. Their Dota 2 team also won The International 2017, which had the highest esports prize pool to date.
2. Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses have also made some significant marks on the esports world. Starting back in 2008, EG acquired their first, but short lived, Dota roster. Since then, the organization has also been a subsidiary of GoodGame Agency, which was owned by Amazon through Twitch. Throughout their time, they have won over 600 tournaments and earned over $16 million in team earnings, making them the second highest earning esports team. This is largely due to their Dota 2 team winning The International 2015, which had the highest esports prize pool at the time.
Arguably the most well-known North American organization, Cloud9 has made an impact despite only being created in 2012. They became the inaugural winner of the Heroes of the Storm World Championship in 2015 and have earned almost $6 million in prize pool cash in the five years they've been around. Cloud9 also has an impressive roster of sponsors, including Logitech, Twitch, HTC and even T-Mobile. Furthermore, they have one of the most expansive roster of teams, spanning ten games like Overwatch, CS:GO, League of Legends and even Vainglory.
4. SK Gaming - CS:GO Squad
The Brazilian CS:GO squad of SK Gaming has achieved world fame for consistently being one of the best performing teams in Counter-Strike. Since July of last year, SK has placed first in five Premier tournaments and one Major. They became the first team to win two ESL One: Cologne events back-to-back after defeating Team Liquid 2-0 in 2016 and Cloud9 3-0 in 2017.
5. Virtus.pro - CS:GO Squad
The Golden Five are perhaps one of the most admirable teams in Counter-Strike history. They've been together since 2014, making them the longest-standing roster in CS:GO. According to Liquipedia, "the team is prone to periods of ups and downs but remains one of the most successful teams in CS:GO of all-time." In 2016, the roster signed long-term contracts, tying them to the organization until 2020.
6. OpTic Gaming
The Green Wall joins FaZe as one of the most recognizable names in video games. Throughout their career, OpTic have won two X Games and were named the Best Esports Team of the Year in 2015 at that year's Game Awards. Their CS:GO team has had decent results and their Call of Duty team has done even better.
7. FaZe Clan
The world's most well-known clan started its existence as a trick shotting MW2 channel on YouTube. Since then, they've grown to be one of the most recognizable names in video games. They now field professional esports teams in Call of Duty, CS:GO and Overwatch with some pretty decent results. Even so, FaZe still remains more profitable as a recognizable brand than a professional esports team.
The Chinese team made headlines in 2014 when they won The International 2014. This, in turn, set a Guinness World Records title for greatest prize money in a video game competition at the time. Since then, they've continued their rise to fame and have so far made over $12 million in only 111 tournaments. The team is also sponsored by billionaire Wang "Niuwa" Yue.
9. Team EnVyUs
"The Boys in Blue" started out as a Call of Duty team but later moved on to CS:GO. This move made them famous largely due to their AWPer Kenny "kennyS" Schrub and the various sniping montages made with the crazy shots he hit. The org also has a long-running Call of Duty rivalry with OpTic Gaming dubbed "eClassico" which has since transpired into other titles as well. They're currently in 16th place for highest overall team earnings with over $5 million won in over 200 tournaments.
The British esports organization has players from around the world in many of the most popular esports titles like League, Dota 2 and CS:GO. Their League of Legends team won the first ever League of Legends World Championship in 2011 and holds the record for the most League of Legends Championship Series split titles in the EU LCS. They're currently in 7th place for highest overall team earnings with over $8 million won in over 600 tournaments.
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I was talking with a client of mine yesterday who hired a player with a current contract with a US Team. My client, from Europe, didn't know the player still has a contract and that this player signed an exclusivity agreement with the US team. #
An interesting fact is though, that the US team didn't countersign the agreement/addendum containing the exclusivity clause.
This raises legal questions regarding the validity of the contract in Europe but also shows how complicated legal issue are in cases like this with three different legislation being involved.
The US team nevertheless ask my client to suspend working with the player, which seems to be yet another difficult legal situation as there are no contractual ties between my client and the US team.
Overall though it shows how important clean and professional legal documents are to grow professionally, and it also shows that we are soon reaching a situation with transfer fees and legal fights between rival teams.
Check your contracts and get legal help before it is too late!
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