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 orgs in the world so far in 2022, entering September.
1. FaZe Clan
Photo credit: PGL
Two-thirds of the way through the year, FaZe Clan remain 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.
Atlanta FaZe didn’t win any titles in Call of Duty League this year but still had a very strong season, collecting second-place finishes in three of the four Majors and finishing as the runner-up at the CDL Championship, aka Champs. FaZe’s Rocket League team also had a solid season despite a lack of titles. They were a semifinalist at the RLCS World Championship and finished top four at the Winter Major.
2. OpTic Gaming
Photo credit: Riot Games
OpTic Gaming’s best team this year has been their VALORANT squad. 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 more than enough circuit points to qualify for VALORANT Champions this month.
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.
3. G2 Esports
Photo credit: Psyonix
Neck and neck with FaZe and OpTic Gaming earlier in 2022, G2 have fallen behind them a bit, though their League of Legends team could push them higher. G2 just qualified for the League of Legends World Championship in October. The org’s LoL team also qualified for the Mid-Season Invitational in May, where they reached the semifinals. They were the champions of Europe in the spring and have a summer title within their sights this month.
Besides League of Legends, G2’s next best game this year has been Rocket League. They won the RLCS Winter Major and finished second at the RLCS World Championship last month.
Photo credit: Psyonix
This Brazilian org has put up strong results in Rainbow Six: Siege, CS:GO, and Apex Legends in 2022. FURIA made the playoffs at the Rainbow Six Invitational and PGL Major Antwerp as the top CS:GO team from the Americas. In Apex Legends, they put up the most points in the finals of the ALGS Championship, ultimately coming in second. Plus, FURIA have qualified for VALORANT Champions, which gives them a chance to make some noise internationally in VALORANT this month.
Rocket League, though, is where they have shined all year. FURIA finished top six at both the RLCS Winter and Spring Majors and won the $2 million Gamers8 Rocket League tournament that took place in July. They were a semifinalist at the RLCS World Championship. It was their best-ever finish at an RLCS event and it included a stunning victory in the quarterfinals over Spring Major champ Moist Esports.
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 have been consistently good in pretty much every game they compete in, and the org fields teams 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 they were top eight at the RLCS Spring Major. This month they will be competing at VALORANT Champions.
Photo credit: Carlton Beener / ESL Gaming via ESPAT
C9 have solidified their place in these rankings by qualifying for the League of Legends World Championship. The North American standard bearer in League of Legends is going to Worlds for the ninth time in 10 years. In CS:GO, the org emphatically announced its return to the scene by winning 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.
7. 100 Thieves
Photo credit: 100 Thieves
It was an incredible August for 100 Thieves. The org’s Call of Duty team, the Los Angeles Thieves, won the Call of Duty Championship, and both 100 Thieves’ League of Legends and VALORANT teams qualified for their respective world championships. It was widely expected that 100 Thieves would qualify for League of Legends Worlds, but their VALORANT team qualifying for VALORANT Champions is a huge accomplishment considering the team’s rebuild this year. 100 Thieves are the biggest riser in our rankings this month.
Read more: LA Thieves win Call of Duty Champs
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 have qualified for both Masters events this year and VALORANT Champions this month. 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.
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 in 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.
10. Natus Vincere
Photo credit: Adela Sznajder / ESL Gaming via ESPAT
NAVI have been the second-best CS:GO team in the world this year. They won the Blast Spring Finals in June but have finished second to FaZe at two of the biggest tournaments of the year: the Antwerp Major and IEM Cologne. The org’s Rainbow Six squad also did well at the Rainbow Six Invitational earlier this year and NAVI’s Halo team has qualified for the upcoming Orlando Major.
The next 10
FunPlus Phoenix’s win at the VALORANT Masters: Copenhagen tournament in July and their subsequent qualification for VALORANT Champions has solidified their place in the next 10. The Los Angeles Gladiators have won two Overwatch League tournaments to keep The Guard on this list. Team BDS were crowned RLCS world champions last month, and Rogue won the Berlin Major in Rainbow Six and qualified for the League of Legends World Championship to put their parent company ReKTGlobal in the next 10.
13. Team BDS
14. Evil Geniuses
15. ReKTGlobal (Rogue and London Royal Ravens)
18. FunPlus Phoenix
19. Team Spirit
20. The Guard (includes LA Guerrillas and LA Gladiators)
Lead photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL Gaming via ESPAT