Who’s on top? What’s on bottom? Oh wait, this isn’t e-bbot and Costello. We’re talking about both the best and the most promising e-Sports teams of 2017 in this wrap-up of the year’s competitive gaming scene.
Who’s On Top?
Counter-Strike in its various forms has been a staple of the competitive gaming scene for nearly two decades. The two biggest teams this year, according to ESL Gaming, are SK Gaming from Brazil and Faze Clan with players from Nordic and Slavic backgrounds.
SK Gaming’s team consists of FalleN, fer, coldzera, TACO, and boltz. This Brazilian team sits at the top both in terms of club ranking as well as power ranking on ESL Gaming. They won Blast Pro Series in Copenhagen, Dreamhack Summer, ESL One Cologne, and cs_summit as well as placing as runners-up in this year’s Subaru Invitational and the North American e-Sports Championship Series Season 3. The video above features the grand finals between C9 and SK Gaming, where the latter team goes 3-0 in a shutout.
FaZe Clan is a much more international team than SK Gaming is. They consist of Norway’s rain, Denmark’s karrigan, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s NiKo, Slovakia’s GuardiaN, and Sweden’s olofmeister. They placed first in season 3 of the Europe e-sports Championship Series, and were runners-up in season 4. They were second in both player and club rankings on ESL Gaming. They also won 3-0 against Team Liquid at ESL One New York.
DotA 2, the most hardcore of the MOBAs and the genre’s origin source, is another staple of the competitive gaming scene. This year saw some great premiere events, with one prize pool being 24 million American dollarydoos.
Team Liquid is on top this year according to GosuGamers. They were the ones who took home the biggest piece of that giant prize pool at the International this year. The team consists of Germany’s KuroKy-, Bulgaria’s MinD_ContRoL, Finland’s Matumbaman, Jordan/Poland’s Miracle-, and Lebanon’s GH. Not only did they win big at this year’s International, they also placed second against Team Secret at DreamLeague Season 8. The video above features the finals match from the International between Newbee and Team Liquid.
Team Secret brought their secret sauce to the table this year and won against Team Liquid in the finals in DreamLeague Season 8. They consist of Denmark’s Ace, Malaysia’s MidOne, Germany’s Fata, Jordan’s YapzOr, and Estonia’s Puppey. In addition to taking first against Team Liquid, they also came in second against VP twice this year, at ESL One Hamburg and DotA Summit 7.
League of Legends
While League hasn’t been around quite as long as DotA, it was and perhaps still is the more popular of the two. It is one of the biggest games to help shape MOBAs as a genre. The two big teams this year that came out on top at the World Championships were Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom T1.
The official champions of Riot’s World Championships for League of Legends this year were the members of Samsung Galaxy (not to be confused with the LA Galaxy). They took home a whopping 1.7 million for winning. This Korean team consists of CuVee, Ambition, Haru, Crown, Ruler, and CoreJJ. They won back in 2014 but struggled for a few years until they took the win in 2017. The clip above is of their matches against fellow Korean team SK Telecom T1.
SK Telecom T1 took second this year at the World Championships, but they are still as amazing as they were when they won two years in a row and three years total. They got shut out this year, but still managed to take home $620K. They consist of Untara, Blank, Faker, Bang, Wolf, and Effort.
Who’s on the Rise?
My favorite eSports team of the year is the Silver Snipers. Their ages range from 62 to 81. These senior Swedes surprised a lot of people this year by proving that age doesn’t keep one from taking part in competitive gaming.
What’s truly amazing about this team isn’t just their age, but the implications of having older teams in the eSports scene. One of the biggest bummers of competitive gaming is that it has a rather steep age cutoff. Nothing prevents older players from competing, but many of them lack the reaction times, are too injured from their earlier competitive years, or do not have the time to dedicate to competitive gaming like they used to, and this leads to the main competitors in eSports being teens or people in their early 20s. However, if more senior citizens start stepping up to the plate, maybe we can see different age brackets at tournaments, which could lead to an eSports scene that’s inclusive of all ages.
The biggest team to come out in 2017 that’s worth looking out for next year is OpTic Gaming, previously known mostly for its Call of Duty team. This team is composed of members who were originally a part of another team that was formed a few months ago known as the Dire. The roster consists of Sweden’s Pajkatt and zai, America’s CC&C and ppd, and, at least for now, temporary stand-in Saksa from Macedonia. 80% of the team has been to the International, with some of them having won. This is a team made of incredibly talented players, and they’re definitely worth looking out for in 2018. The video above features ppd back when he played for EG and won finals at the International.
The other team to look out for is Fnatic’s newer roster. The players include Canada’s EternaLEnvY, Philippine’s Abed and DJ, Malaysia’s Ohaiyo, and Sweden’s pieliedie and Xcalibur. The only player that isn’t new to the team is Ohaiyo, who has been on Fnatic’s DotA team since 2015. According to esportsranks, EternaLEnvY is a big gambler in terms of game plays; he either wins gloriously or fails spectacularly, and he is incredibly fun to watch.
League of Legends
Although not completely new, Longzhu Gaming (formerly known as Incredible Miracle) surprised a lot of fans this year when they beat out SK Telecom T1 at LCK Summer Season. Longzhu had been in a bit of a rough patch but managed to get to the finals, where they surprised everyone by winning out against SKT. The team consists of Korea’s Khan, Rascal, Cuzz, Peanut, Bdd, PraY, and GorillA. Considering SK Telecom T1 were the second-place winners of this year’s World Championship, and Longzhu Gaming managed to beat them over the summer, we might see them do better next year instead of losing to Samsung 0-3 in the quarterfinals.
That does it for 2017’s roundup of top and rising eSports teams. Were there any big names I missed on the list? Any small names I might’ve missed for rising teams? Any teams from other games you think are worthy of getting recognition this year? Let us know in the comments!