The top 10 esports orgs in the world in 2022, so far

by Brian Bencomo

Which esports organization is the best in the world? If you’re searching for an answer based purely on competitive results, Nerd Street’s got it covered.

Using a points metric, Nerd Street’s monthly rankings seek to objectively quantify the best orgs across all esports for 2022 by measuring success in 10 games: League of Legends, VALORANT, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Apex Legends, Dota 2, Rainbow Six: Siege, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Halo.

In our system, orgs are awarded points based on their finishes in various international and domestic competitions. Since every esport has a distinct league and tournament structure, it might take 1,000 words just to explain the full breakdown for each -- and let’s be honest, you’re mostly here for the ranking anyway.

Loosely speaking, though, winning a world championship earns the highest number of points; reaching a final or making the playoffs in a major international tournament is worth a decent amount; qualifying for an international event also scores some points; and performing well at a regional competition will result in a few points, but doesn’t hold nearly as much weight. The system behind the points metric as well as the rankings themselves were inspired by an article published in The Athletic that sought to determine the best NFL franchise of all-time.

One more detail worth mentioning: orgs sometimes pick up dropped or unsigned rosters just ahead of major events. For example, in April, Cloud9 picked up the old Gambit Esports roster that qualified for the PGL Antwerp Major in CS:GO, and OpTic Gaming picked up the old Esports Arena roster ahead of the ALGS Split 2 playoffs in Apex Legends. Out of fairness, those orgs didn’t receive points for qualifying for the event -- but they did earn points for how their new teams performed at the event.

Any org can field outstanding teams in only a single game -- think Sentinels in VALORANT last year, or T1 in League of Legends seemingly always. But the truly great orgs have teams that are competitive in, and win titles, in multiple esports. These are the very best esports in the world so far in 2022, entering August.

1. FaZe Clan

Photo credit: PGL

More than halfway through the year, FaZe Clan remains atop Nerd Street’s ranking of the best esports orgs in the world in 2022 -- primarily on the strength of their CS:GO team. FaZe won the first Major of the year in Antwerp, then won the next two biggest tournaments in IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne. They also won ESL Pro League Season 15 and are within striking distance of the prestigious IEM Grand Slam.

Read more: FaZe Clan win CS:GO PGL Major Antwerp with international roster

The Atlanta FaZe are having a strong season in Call of Duty League as well, collecting second-place finishes in three of the four Majors this year and earning the top seed at this season’s CDL Championship, aka Champs, in August. FaZe’s Rocket League team is a legit contender at the RLCS World Championship taking place this month, too. Wins or even high finishes in either event would go a long way toward cementing FaZe’s place in these standings.

2. OpTic Gaming

Photo credit: Riot Games

OpTic Gaming have shot up the rankings in recent months on the strength of the org’s VALORANT team. Though they didn’t win either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the VALORANT Champions Tour NA playoffs, that didn’t prevent OpTic from winning Masters: Reykjavík and lay claim to being the top team in the world at the time. Nor did it prevent them from finishing third at Masters: Copenhagen and earning enough circuit points to qualify for VCT Champions.

Read more: OpTic finally break through, win VALORANT Masters: Reykjavík

OpTic also won the first Call of Duty League Major of the year and have posted strong finishes at the Halo Championship Series Kansas City Major and the Apex Legends Global Series Split 2 playoffs. Since their merger with Envy late last year, the rankings also take into account the performance of the Overwatch League’s Dallas Fuel. The Fuel finished second at the OWL’s first tournament of the year, the Kickoff Clash.

It’s worth mentioning that in June, OpTic’s Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez and Envy’s Mike “hastr0” Rufail announced that the Envy brand would be retired and OpTic’s brand would be used for all the organization’s teams except the Fuel. That means it’s now OpTic Gaming, not Envy, that will be competing in Rocket League’s RLCS World Championship this month.

3. G2 Esports

Photo credit: Psyonix

Neck and neck with FaZe and OpTic Gaming earlier in 2022, G2 haven’t had any notable performances in top-tier tournaments over the past few months. Still, it’s been an excellent year for owner Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez & Co. thus far. G2 followed up a League of Legends European Championship title in April with a trip to the Mid-Season Invitational in May, where they reached the semifinals. And in Rocket League, they won the RLCS Winter Major, but didn’t fare as well at the Spring Major. They will be shooting for another title at the RLCS World Championship this month.

Read more: G2 bring home huge title on home soil at RLCS Winter Major

4. FURIA

Photo credit: Psyonix

This Brazilian org has put up strong results in Rocket League, CS:GO, Apex Legends and Rainbow Six in 2022. FURIA made the playoffs at the Rainbow Six Invitational and PGL Major Antwerp as the No. 1 seed from the Americas. In Apex Legends, they put up the most points in the finals of the ALGS Championship, ultimately comingin second. And in Rocket League, FURIA have finished top six at both the RLCS Winter and Spring Majors, not to mention won the $2 million Gamers8 Rocket League tournament that took place in July, which bodes well for their performance at the RLCS World Championship.

5. Team Liquid

Photo credit: D.J. Muldowney / ESPAT

TL haven’t won any major titles this year, but did finish second at the Apex Legends Global Series Split 2 playoffs in April -- the first Apex Legends LAN event since 2019. Despite the lack of major titles, Team Liquid has been consistently good in pretty much every game it competes in, and the org is involved in every major esport except Call of Duty, Halo and Overwatch. They’ve made the playoffs at VALORANT Masters: Reykjavík, the ESL Pro League, the Rainbow Six Invitational, the Rainbow Six Charlotte Major and the League Championship Series, plus were top eight at the RLCS Spring Major.

Read more: Team Liquid Pro Lab seeks to push boundaries of esports player scouting and evaluation

6. Fnatic

Photo credit: Riot Games

This European organization has solidified its spot in Nerd Street’s top 10 based on the strength of the org’s VALORANT team. Fnatic has qualified for both Masters events this year and VCT Champions in September. They were regional champs during Stage 2 of the VCT season and finished top four at Masters: Copenhagen. Fnatic also qualified for the Dota Major earlier this year and finished top four at the ALGS Championship.

7. TSM

Photo credit: Ubisoft / Kirill Vision

TSM’s claim to fame this year is winning the Rainbow Six Invitational, the most important event of the year for R6. Their Dota team has acquitted itself well, too, finishing second at ESL One Stockholm, the first Dota Major of the year. And in Apex, TSM reached the finals at both the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs and the ALGS Championship.

Read more: TSM lift the hammer as 2022 Rainbow Six Invitational champions

8. Cloud9

Photo credit: Carlton Beener / ESL Gaming via ESPAT

C9 announced its return to CS:GO emphatically when the team won IEM Dallas in June. It’s the org’s biggest title this year and first S-tier CS:GO title since winning the Boston Major in 2018. Cloud9 were the runners-up at the Halo Championship Series Kansas City Major in April, and they also showed well at both Apex Legends international tournaments this year.

9. Spacestation Gaming

Photo credit: Psyonix

Spacestation have bounced between Nerd Street’s top 10 and next 10 all year long -- but a finals appearance at the ALGS Championship along with a top eight finish at the RLCS Spring Major in July has pushed them back into the top 10 for now. And with the ALGS season over, Spacestation can potentially climb higher on this list with a quality performance at the RLCS World Championship. Or, they could lay an egg there and create an opportunity for another org to take their place again.

10. NRG

Photo credit: Psyonix

This North American organization has been a contender in both Rocket League and Apex Legends this year. Despite falling off a bit in Rocket League -- NRG surprisingly failed to qualify for the Spring Major -- the team is one of eight that qualified for the group stage of the 24-team RLCS World Championship. In Apex, NRG were in the finals of the ALGS Championship and Split 2 Playoffs.

The next 10

The VALORANT Masters tournament that took place in Copenhagen in July lifted some new teams into the next 20 by virtue of their performances there. FunPlus Phoenix won the tournament, while Paper Rex were runners-up. Although XSET didn’t do well in Copenhagen they have qualified for Champions. The Gladiators were victorious at the second Overwatch League tournament of the year, giving a boost to The Guard’s position on this list. DarkZero Esports won the R6 Charlotte Major earlier in the year, though it’s actually their Apex team that has vaulted them into the top 20. And DarkZero won the Apex Legends Global Series Championship in July, while 100 Thieves finished high enough at that tournament to also crack this list.

11. Natus Vincere

12. The Guard (includes LA Guerrillas and LA Gladiators)

13. Ninjas in Pyjamas

14. XSET

15. DarkZero Esports

16. FunPlus Phoenix

17. Team BDS

18. 100 Thieves

19. Paper Rex

20. Elevate

Lead photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL Gaming via ESPAT

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