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. 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.
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. To crack the top 10 of these rankings, a team needs to have at least reached the final of a major international tournament.
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.
Oftentimes, orgs field outstanding teams in only a single game, but the truly great orgs have teams that are competitive in, and win titles, in multiple esports. Entering the fall, these have been the very best esports orgs in the world in 2023.
1. FaZe Clan
Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL
This organization nearly finished No. 1 in Nerd Street’s rankings last year, and FaZe are on top of these rankings heading to the fall with strong results across multiple games. FaZe’s CS:GO team is leading the way for the org this year and picked up where it left off last year by winning the ESL Pro League Season 17. 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.
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 have been champions of 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.
Read more: G2 win IEM Katowice 2023
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 have 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.
The LEC winter title was yet another League of Legends domestic title for the winningest organization in European League of Legends. G2 have continued to dominate the LEC this year as they won the summer championship and the LEC season finals and have qualified for the League of Legends World Championship as Europe’s top team.
Additionally, G2's women's VALORANT team has won both Game Changers events for the EMEA region this year and are looking to repeat as Game Changers world champions later this year.
3. Team Vitality
Photo credit: Blast
Team 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.
Vitality also have 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 broke through for their biggest win of the year 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 won the first Game Changers Series in Brazil this year. The team was the best in Brazil last year and is looking to once again qualify for the Game Changers Championship later in the year.
Team Liquid also have experienced success in other games, but the org’s teams have fallen short of winning championships in those games. In Dota, TL have experienced much heartbreak as they have 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 has been one of the best teams in the Americas, 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.
Photo credit: Liu YiCun / Riot Games
Fnatic won Masters Tokyo to win their second consecutive international VALORANT event after winning VCT LOCK//IN. They are the first team in VALORANT history to win consecutive global events. In fact, they’re the first 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.
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 haven’t racked up as many trophies in 2023 as they did in 2022, but they have quietly had another excellent year. OpTic’s excellence has been most evident in Halo where the team has won two of three Majors and heads to the Halo World Championship as one of the favorites. 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.
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.
8. Evil Geniuses
Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games
Evil Geniuses 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 home soil in Los Angeles.
9. Gaimin Gladiators
Photo credit: Viola Schuldner / ESL
Gaimin Gladiators have won all three Majors this year and both DreamLeague seasons to definitely establish themselves as the best Dota 2 team in the world this year. All that’s left is for them to win The International to cap off a perfect season. Their dominance in Dota this year is unparalleled.
Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games
LOUD have rapidly 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, made an appearance at the Mid-Season Invitational and are headed to Worlds.
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 are headed to Worlds. Cloud9 has also had success in CS:GO, while NRG have placed well in VALORANT and Apex Legends. Gen.G and T1 have also both done 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.
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, won the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and head to Worlds as the favorites with a chance to complete the “Golden Road.” 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, finished second in the summer split and are headed to Worlds.
13. Spacestation Gaming
15. Bilibili Gaming
16. Oxygen Esports
18. Overactive Media
19. Team BDS
20. JD Gaming
Lead photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL