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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 rankings seek to objectively quantify the best orgs across all esports throughout the year by measuring success in 10 prominent games: League of Legends, VALORANT, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Apex Legends, Dota 2, 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. To crack the top 10 of these rankings, a team needs to have at least reached the final of a major international tournament.
Read more: Biggest esports tournaments and winners of 2023
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. A quarter of the way through the year, these have been the very best esports orgs in the world in 2023.
1. G2 Esports
Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL
G2 has separated itself 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
The Katowice title was a continuation of the org’s dominance in CS:GO since late last year when G2 won the Blast World Final. In fact, G2 nearly had a perfect run in Katowice, racking up a 21-map win streak and only dropping one map at the tournament. 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 the 10th League of Legends domestic title for the winningest organization in European League of Legends. It also granted the team qualification for the Mid-Season Invitational, one of two international events on the League of Legends calendar this year.
Read more: League of Legends MSI and Worlds 2023: What’s new?
2. FaZe Clan
Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL
This organization nearly finished No. 1 in Nerd Street’s rankings last year, and FaZe is once again in the mix for top esports org this year with strong results across multiple games.
Read more: What’s new for Counter-Strike 2?
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 after winning the 2021 Call of Duty League Championship. FaZe’s CS:GO team 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. However, they are in danger of missing out on the upcoming Paris Major, which would be shocking for one of the best CS:GO teams in the world over the past year. It’s also worth noting FaZe finished second at the Rocket League Winter Major, marking their best-ever finish at an RLCS international event. FaZe’s Rocket League team has won multiple regional events and finished in the top four at RLCS Majors and the RLCS World Championship, but this was the first time the team reached an international final.
Read more: FaZe Clan announce their first women’s VALORANT team
3. Team Liquid
Photo credit: Team Liquid
Like last year, Team Liquid have put up strong results early in 2023 but are still missing a big international win. Team Liquid came closest in Dota, where they finished second to Gaimin Gladiators at the Lima Major. TL’s CS:GO team has been one of the best teams in the Americas, reaching the playoffs at IEM Katowice and ESL Pro League Season 17 and qualifying for the Paris Major. In Rocket League, Team Liquid achieved their best-ever finish as they reached the semifinals of the RLCS Winter Major. Team Liquid’s women’s VALORANT team did win 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.
Read more: Biggest women’s esports tournaments of 2023
Photo credit: Riot Games
Fnatic won VCT LOCK//IN to finally capture their first international tournament victory in VALORANT since finishing second at the first-ever global VALORANT tournament in 2021. In Apex Legends, Fnatic finished eighth at the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs after winning the first split of the season in the APAC North region. In CS:GO, Fnatic have had a good start to the year and have qualified for the Paris Major.
Photo credit: EA
Despite turmoil behind the scenes at this organization, TSM’s Apex Legends team has established itself as the best in the world halfway through the ALGS 2022-23 season. TSM were champions of North America for Split 1 of the region’s Pro League and then world champions after winning the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs. TSM also have put up strong results in Dota 2, as the team has qualified for both Majors so far this year and won the first two tours of the North American Dota Pro Circuit.
Read more: The best events and tournaments at Localhost in March
6. Talon Esports
Photo credit: Riot Games
Talon’s League of Legends team won the spring season of the PCS and are heading to the Mid-Season Invitational as the region’s sole representative. In Dota 2, Talon won the second tour of the Dota Pro Circuit’s Southeast Asia region and have qualified for both Majors this year. Fun fact: the organization’s League of Legends team has a partnership with French football club PSG which is why the team is branded as PSG Talon, but in Dota 2, it is just Talon Esports because PSG has a partnership with LGD Gaming.
Photo credit: Michal Konkol / ESL
This organization recently raised enough money to save it from going under, which is a very good thing for the org’s CS:GO team. Heroic finished second to G2 at IEM Katowice and have been one of the best CS:GO teams in the world since late last year. Heroic also were a playoff team at the Six invitational.
Photo credit: Riot Games
Cloud9 won the LCS Spring Playoffs to win back-to-back championships in North America’s top League of Legends circuit. They’re heading to the Mid-Season Invitational as NA’s top seed. In CS:GO, C9 finished second to FaZe in the latest season of the ESL Pro League.
9. Gaimin Gladiators
Photo credit: Adela Sznajder / ESL
Gaimin Gladiators won the Lima Major and are going to Berlin for the second major of the Dota Pro Circuit too. The organization’s Rocket League team was the sole representative of the APAC region at the RLCS Winter Major.
10. Karmine Corp
Photo credit: Psyonix
Karmine Corp won the RLCS Winter Major and in doing so became the first Rocket League team to qualify for the RLCS World Championship. It was the organization’s first international title in Rocket League after multiple regional titles this year in Europe.
The next 10
These organizations have all had excellent starts in 2023 but have been a cut below the teams in the top 10. W7m were runners-up at the Six invitational. Gen.G were spring champions of the LCK, arguably the best League of Legends regional league, and have been one of the top Rocket League teams in the world. Natus Vincere, paiN Gaming, Complexity, FURIA and OG have all qualified for the Paris Major and will have a chance to move up the rankings depending on how well they do at the one and only CS:GO Major this year.
11. Natus Vincere
13. paiN Gaming
14. Evil Geniuses
18. w7m Esports
19. Luminosity Gaming
20. Team Vitality
Lead photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL Gaming via ESPAT