The top 10 esports orgs in the world in 2023

by Brian Bencomo

Which esports organization is the best in the world? That’s always a hard question to answer, but even harder in 2023. This year has been a tumultuous year for esports orgs with many coming under fire for mismanagement and questionable business decisions, but this list is not based on any of that. This list is meant to highlight the orgs that have fielded the most competitive teams across multiple esports based purely on wins and losses.

Last year, OpTic Gaming finished atop Nerd Street’s rankings. Who will it be this year?

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

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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 final stages of 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 teams that have cracked the top 10 of these rankings have found a lot of success across multiple esports, won world championships and/or dominated in a particular game this year.

Read more: The best events and tournaments at Localhost in November

One more detail worth mentioning: orgs sometimes pick up dropped or unsigned rosters just ahead of major events. Out of fairness, those orgs don’t receive points for qualifying for the event -- but they do earn points for how their new teams perform at the event. Closing out the year, these have been the very best esports orgs in the world in 2023.

1. FaZe Clan

Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

FaZe nearly finished No. 1 in Nerd Street’s rankings last year, and finish atop the list this year with strong results across multiple games. FaZe’s CS:GO team led the way for the org this year and picked up where it left off last year by winning the ESL Pro League Season 17 early in the year. The tournament win was particularly significant because it also meant FaZe won the Intel Grand Slam. FaZe won $1 million for their fourth S-Tier tournament win across 10 S-tier events organized by ESL dating back to last year. FaZe finished out the year strong dominating in the newly released Counter-Strike 2 with wins at IEM Sydney, the Thunderpick World Championship and the CS Asia Championships.

Read more: FaZe Clan win first big CS2 tournament at IEM Sydney

In other games, Atlanta FaZe won the second Major of the season in the Call of Duty League. It ended a tournament drought for FaZe that included multiple second-place finishes last year after winning the 2021 Call of Duty League Championship. FaZe placed second at the fifth Major and finished atop the CDL standings heading to the Call of Duty League Championship where they finished third.

In Halo, FaZe won the Halo World Championship and won the Arlington Major and the HCS Global Event at Dreamhack Dallas. FaZe's Rocket League team also deserves recognition for finishing second at the RLCS Winter Major, marking their best-ever finish at an RLCS international event.

2. G2 Esports

Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

G2 separated themselves early this year with wins at IEM Katowice, the Six Invitational and the LEC Winter Playoffs. In fact, the organization won these three titles in CS:GO, Rainbow Six and League of Legends over the span of two weeks. It was the first time G2 won IEM Katowice, the org’s second Six invitational title and yet another LEC title for the European juggernauts.

G2 nearly had a perfect run in Katowice, racking up a 21-map win streak and only dropping one map at the tournament. G2 followed up their Katowice title by winning IEM Cologne this summer. They won the two most prestigious CS:GO tournaments of the year besides the Paris Major. The Rainbow Six title was the most unlikely of the trifecta. G2 were not one of the top ranked teams heading into Rainbow Six’s world championship event, but they went on an epic lower bracket run, winning six consecutive matches while facing elimination to reach the final and ultimately capture the title.

Read more: G2 win IEM Katowice 2023

The LEC winter title was yet another League of Legends domestic title for the winningest organization in European League of Legends. G2 dominated the LEC this year as they won the summer championship and the LEC season finals and qualified for the League of Legends World Championship as Europe’s top team.

Additionally, G2's women's VALORANT team won two Game Changers events for the EMEA region this year and qualified for the Game Changers World Championship where they finished third.

3. Team Vitality

Photo credit: Blast

Team Vitality were named the esports organization of the year at The Esports Awards this year, and are certainly worthy of that honor. The org dominated in two games in particular this year, but their absence from other games is why FaZe and G2 are above them on this list.

Vitality’s victory at the CS:GO Paris Major will be remembered for many reasons. First, it was the fact that the French organization won the Major in front of their home fans in the French capital. Second, this was the final CS:GO Major, which gives their victory a sense of finality. Finally, it was a record fifth Major victory for Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and the first for Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, who has long been considered one of the best players in the game. The Major win was the second of back-to-back titles for Vitality after the team won IEM Rio the previous month.

Read more: Lionel Messi getting into esports as co-owner of KRÜ Esports

Vitality also made their mark in Rocket League this year. The team won the RLCS World Championship with an undefeated run through the group stage and playoff bracket, including a 4-0 sweep in the grand final. Vitality’s world championship came on the heels of winning the RLCS Spring Major after picking up victories at all three European regional events leading up to the international tournament. Vitality’s perfect run began when 16-year-old prodigy Alexis "zen" Bernier joined the starting roster. Their stretch of excellence is unprecedented in Rocket League history.

4. Team Liquid

Photo credit: Riot Games

Team Liquid’s biggest win of the year came this summer when they won the inaugural split of the VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA league. Despite disappointing performances at international VCT events, TL’s victory over a previously unbeaten Fnatic to win the EMEA league is a huge accomplishment. Team Liquid’s women’s VALORANT team finished second at the VCT Game Changers World Championship and won both Game Changers Series in Brazil this year.

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Team Liquid also experienced success in other games, but the org’s teams fell short of winning championships in those games. In Dota, TL experienced much heartbreak this year as they finished second to Gaimin Gladiators at all three Majors and second at two other big events. TL also finished second at the Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major. TL’s CS:GO team was one of the best teams in the Americas early in the year, reaching the playoffs at IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League Season 17 and the Paris Major. In Rocket League, Team Liquid reached the semifinals of both the RLCS World Championship and the Winter Major.

5. Fnatic

Photo credit: Liu YiCun / Riot Games

Fnatic won Masters Tokyo to win their second consecutive international VALORANT event after winning VCT LOCK//IN. They became the first team in VALORANT history to win consecutive global events. In fact, they’re thus far the only team to win multiple global events. Fnatic established themselves early in the year as the team to beat in 2023, although they did fall short of winning the VCT EMEA league and the biggest event of the year, Champions. Still, with only three losses all year, Fnatic were arguably the best VALORANT team in the world in 2023.

Read more: VALORANT Masters Tokyo: Fnatic win again, EG exceed expectations and more

In Apex Legends, Fnatic had a disappointing finish at the ALGS World Championship, but the Japanese squad did win both splits of their regional league (APAC North) and finished in the top 10 at both the Split 1 and Split 2 Playoffs.

6. OpTic Gaming

Photo credit: 343 Industries / Halo Championship Series

OpTic didn’t rack up as many trophies in 2023 as they did in 2022, but they quietly had another excellent year. OpTic’s excellence was most evident in Halo where the team won two of three Majors and finished second at the Halo World Championship. OpTic were runners-up at two Call of Duty League Majors this year and came close to winning the ALGS World Championship. They finished second after accruing the most points in the world championship finals but couldn’t close out the finals with a victory.

7. Evil Geniuses

Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

This organization might be gone from esports in 2024, according to reports, and deserves shame for how it mishandled League of Legends player Danny’s mental well-being. The players who competed on EG’s teams this year, however, are not at fault for the org’s shortcomings and certainly had a banner year.

Read more: Evil Geniuses become world champs at VALORANT Champions 2023

Evil Geniuses’s VALORANT team closed out the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 season with a victory at Champions. The team had an incredible 2023 and went from barely qualifying for the VCT Americas playoffs to exceeding expectations and nearly claiming an international championship at Masters Tokyo. They stepped up even more at Champions where they became the first North American team to win VALORANT Champions, and they did so on North American soil in Los Angeles. EG’s Game Changers team also made a run late in the year to qualify for the VCT Game Changers Championship. Additionally, EG’s Dota team had a strong year.

8. T1

Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

T1 closed out the year by winning the League of Legends World Championship. It was the fourth Worlds title for both the org and their legendary player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. The team also finished second in both regional splits in Korea, and were top three at the Mid-Season Invitational. In VALORANT, T1 qualified for both Champions and Masters.

Read more: T1 and Faker win Worlds 2023 to earn fourth League of Legends World Championship

9. TSM

Photo credit: Joe Brady / EA

TSM’s Apex Legends team was the best in the world this year. They won the ALGS World Championship after winning three straight matches in the finals to earn enough points to win the championship and then close out their victory in decisive fashion. That victory was TSM’s second international trophy this year as they also won the Split 1 Playoffs, and they finished second at the Split 2 Playoffs. TSM also had a strong year in Dota 2.

Read more: TSM’s history in North America’s LCS

10. Gaimin Gladiators

Photo credit: Viola Schuldner / ESL

Gaimin Gladiators won all three Dota 2 Majors this year and both DreamLeague seasons to definitely establish themselves as arguably the best Dota 2 team in the world this year. However, they couldn’t close out the year with a victory at The International, where they finished second. Gamin Gladiators also qualified for a Rocket League Major and the RLCS World Championship.

The next 10

These 10 teams have all put up notable results this year but haven’t quite done enough to crack the top 10. Cloud9 and NRG each won a League of Legends regional championship in North America this year and qualified for Worlds where NRG reached the playoffs. Cloud9 also had success in CS:GO, while NRG have placed well in VALORANT and Apex Legends.

LOUD established themselves as the premier Brazilian esports organization this year with success in both VALORANT and League of Legends. In VALORANT, LOUD finished second at VCT LOCK//IN, won the inaugural season of the VCT Americas league and finished third at Champions. In League, LOUD won both splits of Brazil’s CBLoL, and qualified for both the Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds.

Team BDS finished second at a Rocket League Major and RLCS Worlds. The org won the Gamers8 tournament in Rainbow Six, and qualified for League of Legends Worlds. Team Spirit’s claim to fame this year was winning Dota 2’s The International as well as a couple other big Dota 2 tournaments.

Bilibili Gaming and JD Gaming are two Chinese organizations that have done well in League of Legends this year. JDG won both splits of China’s LPL, and won the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). Bilibili finished second to JDG in the LPL spring finals and at MSI. Additionally, Bilibili exceeded expectations at VALORANT Champions where they made the playoffs.

Overactive Media’s collection of esports teams includes two championship squads this year in the Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra and MAD Lions from the League of Legends European Championship. The Toronto Ultra won a Major this season and finished second at the Call of Duty League Championship. MAD Lions were champions of the LEC spring split, and qualified for League of Legends Worlds.

Gen.G did well regionally in League of Legends, and the success of Gen.G’s Rocket League team has elevated this org’s profile this year too. Spacestation Gaming was strong in Halo this year as they won one of the two Global Invitationals and finished second at two Majors.

11. Cloud9

12. NRG

13. Team BDS

14. LOUD

15. Team Spirit

16. JD Gaming

17. Overactive Media

18. Gen.G

19. Bilibili Gaming

20. Spacestation Gaming

Lead photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

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