2019 turned into a breakthrough year for esports, so we at Esportsnow decided to put together a list of who we felt were the top ten, stand-out performers in the esports world this year. 2019 was one of the best years for esports, seeing many successful and record setting tournaments taking place, record amounts of prize money being won, and record viewership numbers being smashed and recorded. Things are looking bright for esports.
Last year was a stand-out year in for esports, but who stood out as the top performers in 2019? Here is a list of who we felt were the top ten esports teams over the last year, the first 5 were released yesterday, and here are the following 5, including our pick for THE no.1 esports team in the world.
Esports teams are the foundation of competitive gaming and since 2019 there have been many squads out there that have surpassed all expectations of them. But which team had the best year and deserves to be in the top ten?
The teams we have chosen to be on this list were selected based on the impactful victories they had in 2019 with the scale of the event also taken into account. Prize earnings were definitely something we wanted to include as an additional factor, via esports earnings. And just for you, we decided that each team name will be followed by the esport in which they were most successful. So here are the top five:
5) Team Liquid – CS:GO
Prize earnings in 2019: $2,312,600
Tournament wins: Intel Grand Slam season two, ESL Pro League season nine: Finals, iBUYPOWER Masters IV, IEM Season XIV – Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019, ESL One: Cologne 2019, BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019, IEM Season XIV – Chicago, ECS S8 – NA Series four
The second-best team in CS:GO won the Intel Grand Slam season two back in July, which was a series of tournaments hosted by Intel, ESL, and DreamHack. Although this wasn’t a Major, Liquid played some world-class Counter-Strike towards the end of 2019, winning five tournaments in a row.
But since their disappointing top-eight finish at the StarLadder Berlin Major in September, Team Liquid have failed to win a single tournament. Team Liquid fans needn’t worry though, TL have bounced back before, and they’ll likely do so again in 2020.
4) FunPlus Phoenix – League
Prize earnings in 2019: $1,132,275
Tournament wins: League Worlds 2019, LPL Summer 2019
Any team that wins the League World Championship has to be in the history books, especially when that team sweeps G2, the best squad in Europe. The jungle-support duo of Gao “Tian” Tian-liang and Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song paired with mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang made FPX the best team at the LoL Worlds. The Chinese team dominated the latter half of the LPL, winning the LPL Summer Split in September after defeating Royal Never Give Up 3 – 1 in the final.
3) Astralis – CS:GO
Prize earnings in 2019: $2,154,900
Tournament wins: IEM XIII – Katowice 2019, StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, ECS S7 – Europe Series one, BLAST Pro Series: São Paulo 2019, ECS S8 – Europe Series four, IEM Season XIV – Beijing, ECS S8 – Finals
Back-to-back Major champions Astralis are the pinnacle of tactical and team-based Counter-Strike. The Danish side knows how to win Major trophies. Astralis struggled during the middle of the year due to Team Liquid’s dominance, but the Danes quickly recovered toward the latter half of 2019 with victories at IEM Season XIV – Beijing in November, ECS S8 Finals, and BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 last month.
2) OG – Dota 2
Prize earnings in 2019: $15,817,681
Tournament wins: The International 2019
The first repeat champions of The International in August had to be high on this list. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and crew went 14 – 2 in the group stage and beat Team Liquid 3 – 1 in the final. OG were awarded $15.6 million out of the $34 million prize pool from TI9. But the back-to-back TI champions had a rough start to the year, failing to reach higher than a top-six placing at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major in May and top-eight at the EPICENTER Major in June. OG turned up when it mattered to successfully defend their trophy, however. And now, they’re the only team so far to win the prestigious Dota 2 tournament twice in a row.
1) G2 Esports – League
Prize earnings in 2019: $900,103
Tournament wins: Mid-Season Invitational 2019, 2019 LEC Spring Split, 2019 LEC Summer Split, Rift Rivals 2019 – NA vs. EU
Arguably the best European League team of all time, G2 dominated the competition in 2019. The team signed support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther, while Luka “Perkz” Perković switched to AD carry. These moves were instrumental in G2’s success since they went on to win nearly every single tournament they participated in.
G2 won both the LEC Spring and Summer Splits in April and September, respectively, while winning Rift Rivals in June. But their biggest tournament victory came back in May when G2 swept Team Liquid to take home the MSI 2019 title with Caps as the MVP. In August, G2’s entire roster was named as the 2019 LEC Summer Split All-Pro first team, proving that they were the most dominant team in Europe, another impressive achievement for the squad in 2019.
But G2 were not able to maintain this incredible form and reach its full potential. After dismantling SKT in the semifinals of the Worlds 2019 in November, G2 fell flat to FPX, losing 3 – 0 in the grand finals. This marked G2’s only tournament loss in 2019.
That’s it for our top ten esports teams of 2019 list. G2 Esports coming out as the team who WE think was THE best esports squad out there in 2019 and why. We hope you enjoyed and if you disagree with out pick and want to tell us exactly why, leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter and spark the conversation. Many thanks from all of us here at esportsnow. Stay tuned and never miss out on the latest happenings in the wonderful world of esports. Thanks for reading.