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Useful Notes: Professional Gaming
Professional gaming, progaming, and competitive gaming are all blanket terms used to describe the competitive, organized, and often financially sponsored playing of games at a high level. Because the competitive scene varies from game to game, each game's competitive scene should have their own section below.

    open/close all folders 

    Companies that covers multiple gaming scenes 

Professional gaming in the Video Game scene is well established, and many teams and organizations have established popular brands with numerous sponsors dating back to Counter-Strike, Quake, Brood War, and other classic games' roots.

Some of the more popular teams with multiple branches include:
  • Evil Geniuses (With almost more sponsors than they have room to put on their twitter side bar)
  • Fnatic
  • CompLexity Gaming
  • Quantic Gaming
  • mousesports
  • Team Dignitas
  • SK Gaming
  • Incredible Miracle
  • Meet Your Makers
  • Copenhagen Wolves
  • Natus Vincere

     Real Time Strategy 

StarCraft I

With player salaries ranging between $20000 and $200000 and games routinely broadcast over three television channels, StarCraft is far and away the most glamorous form of professional gaming. The most noteworthy StarCraft tournaments are organized under the Korean E-Sports Players' Association (KeSPA) in the form of the OSL and MSL individual competitions and the Proleague team competition.

Because StarCraft has been played professionally since 2000, there have been lots of notable players, including:
  • The Bonjwas (The indisputable best of their respective eras):
    • Lim Yo-Hwan ("Boxer"). Also known as the "Emperor of Terran" or simply "The Emperor", it is said that "Every fan of StarCraft is a fan of Lim Yo Hwan." Arguably the most prominent StarCraft progamer, and widely considered the best player ever (relative to his time), Boxer has invented and popularized many of the tricks that modern players use today. Boxer is considered to be the player that brought competitive StarCraft to prominence. Has since moved into StarCraft II play with his own team.
    • Lee Yun-Yeol ("NaDa"). While Boxer was the Emperor, NaDa was the Genius. Holding the highest amount of gold medals to this day, his success is greater than Boxer's though he remains quite a bit less popular. Na Da's success came not so much from brilliant new tactics, but seemingly unstoppable execution of known strategies. Has since moved into StarCraft II play, under compLexity; now retired.
    • Choi Yun-Sung ("Iloveoov"). Boxer's Protege, he came out onto the scene destroying everyone with a massive army of units. Nicknamed the "Cheater Terran" for being able to produce so many units (due to his impeccable macro, or production and economy management), he dominated the scene for quite some time.
    • Ma Jae-Yoon ("sAviOr"). The Maestro dominated the universe for an entire year, and was a favourite against everyone. Winning four titles, his dominance was undisputed up until 2007. Was one of the players implicated in a matchfixing scandal in 2010 that rocked the progaming scene and destroyed the reputations of many other pro-gamers, including Hwasin and (Fake) Yellow.
    • Lee Young-Ho ("Flash"). Considered to be the "Final Bonjwa" of StarCraft I, winning both the MSL and OSL in the same season, as well as leading his team, KT, over their perennial rivals SKT in the team league finals, Flash is considered to be the strongest player ever to emerge. He also holds, with Nada, the record for the most OSL and MSL victories (3 of each) and the overall highest ELO ever, 2443, as well as the longest winstreak for any player. In 2010, Flash was especially dominant, winning 2 OSLs, 2 MSLs, and the team league, while maintaining an 80%+ winrate, and defeating his rival Jaedong in the finals of 3 consecutive individual leagues. Has begun playing the second game with some success.

  • Other current stars:
    • Lee Jae-Dong ("Jaedong"). The top Zerg player of the era, he holds the 3rd most amount of titles for any modern player, behind Nada and Flash. Considered by many to be an "unofficial bonjwa" (There Can Be Only One in an era). Is transitioning into SCII.
    • Kim Taek-Yong ("Bisu"). The revolutionist who reversed the Zerg>Protoss imbalance for a short while, ending Savior's bonjwa run in the process. Bisu/Jaedong/Flash are seen as a sort of triumvirate, ruling the SC 1 scene.

StarCraft II

StarCraft II is far more internationalized compared to the insular, KeSPA-controlled Brood War scene, with Koreans and "foreigners" (Western players) competing alongside and against each other in the same teams as well as in tournaments both inside and outside Korea, although Korean players continue to firmly dominate its highest tiers.

The premier tournaments of the StarCraft II scene are the Korean GOMTV Global StarCraft II League (GSL) and the GOMTV Global StarCraft II Team League (GSTL), with KeSPA's Proleague gradually making the transition over from Brood War to StarCraft II and the OnGameNet StarLeague (OSL) soon to follow as of June 2012. Major international events to watch out for include Major League Gaming (MLG), the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), DreamHack, Iron Squid, the IGN ProLeague (IPL), and the North American Star League (NASL).

In 2013, Blizzard instituted a new "World Championship Series" consisting of three seasons, a Global Finals and a number of non-WCS-but-still-sanctioned ancillary events (such as the ones above). The objective is to gain "WCS Points," which are earned by placing well in said tournaments; the 16 players with the most WCS points were invited to the Global Finals at Blizzcon in November. The spread was fairly wide, with the #1-ranked player, Soulkey, having almost twice as much as #16, NaNiwa (6250 vs 3200). With a few modifications, the system will be repeated in 2014.

  • Prominent teams:
    • SlayerS: Remember Boxer from the previous section? This was his team. Emerging with a roar to win two GSTL titles in a row, SlayerS remained a powerful threat for other GSL teams, and were the first team to exceed oGs in GSL players. Unfortunately, due to embezzlement by the team's manager, it was disbanded on November 2012. A good deal of the players went on to Axiom eSports, a team founded and sponsored by TotalBiscuit.

      Notable members:
      • Boxer (Of course! Still a competitor, though a fairly mid-tier player, and was the primary coach and talent finder. Currently on hiatus from SKT 1 due to injuries)
      • MMA (Heir to the throne of Boxer, handpicked by the emperor after noticing his talent in Brood War. Now on Team Acer.)
      • Eve (First female SC2 pro-gamer; now retired.)
      • Alicia (Actually a male protoss player, now at Axiom)
      • Ryung (now at Axiom)
      • Puzzle (switched to League of Legends before returning to KT Rolster)

    • Old Generations (oGs): An Exactly What It Says on the Tin team, several old StarCraft Brood War players who have switched to StarCraft II have created this team. Formerly one of the highest rankest teams in the world, with many top-ranked players who regularly land in Code-S or get into the top 16 of the GSL, and formerly the strongest Korean team in the beginning. Was one of the first major, established teams to disband.

      Notable faces (Out of over 15 total members, 10 of which have gotten into the top 16 of the GSL at least once):
      • NaDa (Moved to compLexity; now retired)
      • Inca (GSL second place 2011; now retired)
      • Fin (AKA ForGG from the Brood War days; moved to Millennium)
      • MC (GSL winner, 2010 & 2011; now with Team SK Gaming)
      • Zenio (Moved to Liquid)
      • TheWinD (Coach; now teamless)

    • Prime: Once an inconsistently performing team notable primarily for losing sponsors, slumping ace players, a shrinking roster, and struggling just to keep itself afloat, Prime has transformed itself into a ruthless murder machine and one of the greatest threats in both the GSTL and the Korean StarCraft II scene as a whole in 2012. Runs an online fashion store, with Prime's own players acting as its models.

      Notable members:
      • Gerrard (Coach, the other model besides MKP)
      • AnNyeong (Team captain)
      • MarineKing (Three-time GSL runner-up, two-time MLG champion, and main model; now switched to LoL)
      • BBoong
      • Byun
      • Creator
      • Maru (The youngest player in the GSL as of June 2012 at only 14 years old)

    • Team SCV Life (TSL): A team splintered off of Old Generations, founded by Lee Woon-Jae, a former coach for the now-disbanded Brood War team MBCGame HERO, along with FruitDealer, TricksteR, Clide, and Happiness. A subject of a good deal of controversy surrounding the team's structuring and its coach, TSL is just as well-known for losing top-class talent as it is for cultivating it. As of 2013, it has officially disbanded.

      Notable members:
      • Polt (Team captain, winner of the GSL Super Tournament; currently an honorary American attending a Texas college and playing under a personal sponsorship)
      • Symbol (now AZUBU)
      • aLive (now Fnatic)
      • Clide (former, first SlayerS, now coaching for KT Rolster)
      • FruitDealer (Former, now a League of Legends coach for StarTale)
      • JYP (Former, now EG)
      • Killer, now Swagger (Also known as SangHo from Brood War. Former, first compLexity and now MVP)
      • PuMa (Former, now EG)

    • MVP: Not to be confused with the player Mvp, MVP is one of the more laid-back, easygoing StarCraft II teams out there. Formerly one of the weakest major teams in Korea, being held up in 2011's team leagues almost solely (if very well) by their ace player and possible deity DongRaeGu, MVP has improved over time to become one that can hold its own against the cream of the crop with a more-than-respectable roster. Currently partnered with Meet Your Makers.

      Notable players:
      • DongRaeGu, a.k.a. DRG (Captain)
      • Keen
      • Monster
      • Genius (Former, teamless as of June 2012)

    • New Star HoSeo (NSHoSeo/NS호서): The dark horse team of StarCraft II in Korea. NSHoSeo lacks any true stars with the exception of Jjakji, but their well-balanced lineup has allowed them to achieve a good amount of success in team leagues, if not so much in individual ones. Sponsored by the Seoul HoSeo Technical College, the team's players are appropriately characterized by their highly intelligent, reactive play styles.

      Notable players:
      • Sage (Captain)
      • Freaky
      • Jjakji

    • StarTale (ST): Headed by old Brood War legend and 3-time OSL champ Park Sung-Joon (JulyZerg), StarTale's culture of strong work ethic and discipline has allowed them to develop a formidable roster, spearheaded by nerdy Protoss monsters Squirtle and PartinG and backed by the Zerg Curious and Terran Bomber. This work ethic has paid off, as on November 18 2012, PartinG won the Blizzard-sponsored Battle.net World Championship. (He chose not to return to defend the title in 2013.) In the meanwhile, the team is currently partnered with Quantic Gaming and has had problems with sock theft.

      Notable players:
      • July (Captain)
      • AcE
      • Bomber
      • Curious
      • PartinG (2012 world champion)
      • Squirtle

    • ZeNEX: Created by a merger of the clans Zenith and NEX, ZeNEX is a team that started out strong but fell far due to money issues: a desperate lack of sponsorship until early 2012 was responsible for a gradual exodus of the team's most skilled players. A partnership with and sponsor transfer from Team Legion helped improve the situation, and ZeNEX began to show signs of life with... Life... as their own 'ace' player.

      Notable players:
      • SuHoSin (Aka Line, Captain)
      • Life
      • EXTREME
      • CoCa (Former, now SlayerS)
      • Genius (Former, moved to MVP and then became teamless as of June 2012)
      • Puzzle (Former, now SlayerS)
      • TaeJa (Former, moved to SlayerS and now on Liquid)

    • Incredible Miracle (LG-IM): A team formed in 2010 by a band of five ex-Brood War pros. Chiefly notorious for its powerhouse duo of NesTea and Mvp, who have won seven out of fourteen GSL titles between themselves as of June 2012, succeeding in an extremely competitive environment where many players struggle to even continue to qualify, let alone win a single championship. Currently partnered with SK Gaming.

      Notable members:
      • LosirA
      • Mvp (Winner of 4 GSLs. Widely considered the Greatest Wings of Liberty player ever, dubbed by fans "The King of Wings"
      • Nes Tea (Winner of the other 3 GSLs and the "Nestea" award for 10 consecutive seasons in Code S!)
      • Fenix (A Peruvian, one of only two non-Koreans on a major Korean team)
      • GanZi (Moved to SlayerS, now in compLexity)

    • Team Liquid (TLAF-Liquid`): Probably the most well-known foreign team, they regularly compete in the Korean GSL tournament, with a player in every season. Partner by association of TeamLiquid.Net, the most popular StarCraft II community website. They're partnered with team oGs in their team house in Korea until oGs's disbandment. Like oGs, many of their players come from Brood War roots: Nazgul, the leader, team captain, and founder of both the team and the website, was one of the most successful foreigner players in the dawn of Brood War, once playing a televised match against Boxer in his prime. Ret and NoNy were also two of the strongest foreigners of the "3rd generation" Brood War era.

      Notable Members:
      • TLO
      • Jinro (Two-time Code-S semifinalist, still holds the title as "historically best-performing foreigner" with those two semifinals, when no other foreigner has yet to reach it even once)
      • HerO
      • Ret
      • Sheth (People still can't decide if he or WhiteRa is nicer)
      • NoNy (aka Tyler, who reverted his name to his Brood War gamertag)

    • Evil Geniuses: A team with a lot of players and a varied reputation, EG seem to be everywhere—players in every tournament and every event. They are a true Multi National Team, with players from seven nations and three continents on their rosters. They also have a lot of important former members: two foreign Zerg luminaries, Stephano and IdrA; Grubby—yes, the Grubby, the WarCraft 3 legend; and Nicolas "Tasteless" Plott, one of the two "official" English-language casters for Korean StarCraft. Today, they're a little overshadowed by being the home of Jaedong—yes, the Jaedong—but that's a good foundation to start on if nothing else. They are currently based in San Francisco, where they run a team house.

      Notable Members:
      • Stephano, the highest-earning foreigner in SC 2 history; now retired.
      • IdrA, famed for a long career of "We Have Reserves" tactics and Rage Quits; now retired.
      • Grubby, currently free-lancing
      • iNcontroL, also known for shout-casting
      • Jaedong
      • Suppy
      • ThorZaIN
      • Xenocider

  • Prominent players:
    • WhiteRa. He is a bit of an anomaly in the StarCraft II scene: he's not signed with any prominent team, he's married, he was born in 1980. Known for "Special Tactics" (unconventional and sometimes downright-hilarious strategies), particularly his Warp Prism harrassment, for being an incredibly Nice Guy, and for being a Fountain of Memes, due to being Ukranian and having an imperfect command of English.
    • MC. A Protoss player and the only member of the SK gaming SC2 team, MC is one of the most successful SC2 players ever. He has won 2 GSL titles, the 3rd most of anyone, and is one of 2 Protoss to ever win one. He is one of 2 players (Mvp being the other) to win more than $300,000 in prize money.
    • Scarlett. A Canadian Zerg player on Acer's roster, she is rising to prominence in the wake of Stephano and IdrA's retirement. The "Queen of Zerg" is known for cautious play (typically the opposite of the Zerg style) and massive creep spread, a style that has made her not just the best foreign Zerg, but possibly the best foreign player period. There was also some kerfuffle from the scene when she admitted to being a MtF transsexual, which (for good or ill) can overshadow her career's actual merits.
    • INnoVation. A Korean playing first for STX SouL and now for Acer. Though he has only been playing professionally since 2011, his recent rise has been meteoric, achieving Code S status in the GSL by the end of 2012note . He then won WCS Season 1, and throughout 2013 had the most WCS Points by a huge margin. Since the WCS Points system was all about rewarding consistent play, he was for the most part acknowledged the best player in the world through most of '13.
    • sOs. Another newcomer, playing for Woongjin Stars, his rise to fame was almost as swift as INnoVation's. Basically unknown before 2013, he began tearing it up that year, taking second place in Season 1 and gaining the 12th seed in the WCS Global Finals. There he made it to the top, defeating Jaedong 4:1 to clinch the 2013 championship.

  • Prominent Community Members:
    • Tastosis is the 'official' name for the "casting Archon" duo of Nicolas "Tasteless" Plott and Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski. Rarely seen casting without the other (hence the Archon partnote ), the two are veterans from the Brood War era as both players and commentators. They serve as the golden example of a caster combo; currently, they are commentating in English for the GSL and living in Korea. Tasteless is a more private individual than Artosis, and is the play-by-play component of the team. Meanwhile, Artosis the analyst hosts "The Artosis Hour", is a pillar of the most popular StarCraft podcast State of the Game, and is the father of a baby girl.
    • Husky Starcraft is a shoutcaster who does commentary at live tournaments and of user-submitted matches on his YouTube channel, which has more subscribers than any other StarCraft II-oriented channel. While he quite clearly loves StarCraft, he claims that his play is not the best (by which we mean, he's "only" in Master League, the top 2% of the region). One funny series of videos on his channel is a best-of-3 match between him and professional player Spanishiwa of Team Under Rated; Husky lost, despite piling handicaps on his opponent.
    • Day Nine is a commentator and educator. In addition to casting at competitions, he runs a web-TV show, the "Day[9] Daily, where we learn to be a better gamer," in which he evaluates current play and highlights new trends in the StarCraft II metagame. He is the younger brother of Tasteless, and played competitively during the Brood War days, including a Pan-American title in 2007; at present he has three "smurf" accounts which are all in the Grandmaster league.

     Multiplayer Online Battle Arena 

League of Legends

The first game to overtake Starcraft 2, in terms of viewership, in Korea. League of Legends was crowned the most-played PC game in the world, beating out World of Warcraft, and the first game to get its pro players visas. There is no doubt that League of Legends is leading supremely well in the E-sports industries. The largest and most anticipated tournament every year is the end of season World Championship, where the winning team goes home with a Summoner's Cup and a million dollars.

Notable teams and its current players in their Region

  • North America

    • Team Solo Mid (TSM): Originally a fan-made team representing http://www.solomid.net created by Andy 'Reginald' Dinh and Dan Dinh, it has since evolved into one of the most popular Lo L teams in the world and one of the most dominant teams in North America, to the point of securing a spot of all 3 previous World Championship series, a feat easier said than done as other accomplished older teams (CLG, CJ Entus Frost, World Elite) could not achieve it.
      • Top: Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill While originally a support for Reginald's previous team, All or Nothing, he later joined Dan Dinh's former team Epik Gamer as a top laner where he received recognition for both the moderate success of Epik Gamer and being one of the few pro Lo L player at the time to stream his games, at one point he managed to rake in around 30,000 viewers at one time, essentially popularized the idea of streaming among the Lo L community. Loved for his iconic laidback attitude with tons of funny moments in his streams. He was selected to be North America's All-Star top laner in 2013.
      • Jungle: Brian TheOddOne' Wyllie He was one of the most dominant jungler in League of Legends in season 1 for his accurate buff steals and effective counterjungling, especially with Nunu. He is also a very competant streamer by being informative, skillful and funny during his streams.
      • Mid: Soren 'Bjergsen' Bjerg: A European player who was handpicked by Reginald to take his place in TSM's mid lane position. Bjergsen is one of the most, if not the most, famous Syndra players in the world, and was one of the premier mid-laners in the EU scene. He has transitioned well into a shotcalling role, something he did not have to do with his previous team Ninjas in Pyjamas, on top of everything he is currently doing.
      • Marksman: Jason "WildTurtle" Tran: Known for his ever-present smile, Wildturtle joined TSM in the spring of 2013 and instantly made his mark by scoring a Pentakill with Caitlyn. Ever since, he has formed a formidable bot lane force alongside Xpecial.
      • Support: Alex "Xpecial" Chu: The most iconic support player in the North American region, Xpecial's wide champion pool, good game sense, and mechanical skill have made him a staple in the TSM roster since day one. He was selected to be North America's All-Star support in 2013, making TSM the only team to have two players on the North American All-Star squad.
      • Coach: Andy "Reginald" Dinh: The co-founder, owner, coach, and former mid-laner of the team, known for his iconic playing of Karthus. Reginald was the competitive heart of TSM for three years along with Hot Shot GG. After the conclusion of the Season 3 World Championships, Reginald retired from competitive play to settle into a coaching role and focus on his responsibilities as owner of the team.

    • Cloud 9: Formerly under the Quantic Gaming banner, this squad took the NA LCS by storm in the summer of 2013 with their Korean style of objective-focused play and relentless aggression. They broke the record for the most wins in a single split, going 25-3 in their first appearance in the LCS and easily securing their spot at the top of the NA mountain.
      • Top: An "Balls" Le: While at times overshadowed by Meteos' jungling and Hai's assassin play, Balls is steady as a rock for a top laner and is a master at playing Rumble, which was not only his most played champion of Season 3, but also his most successful.
      • Jungle: William "Meteos" Hartman: NA's KDA king, Meteos is well-respected for his farming ability in the jungle and the ability to transition into a carry jungler. A Zac specialist, Meteos made magic happen with the Secret Weapon, but has shown to have a wide champion pool outside of that. He is far and away the face of Cloud 9.
      • Mid: "Hai" Lam: Hai is well known for his likelihood to play assassin-style champions above all, and was frequently seen handling Kha'Zix and Zed during Season 3. He is more than capable of playing other champions, as seen in the opening match of the 2014 NA Spring Split, where he proved Teemo to be quite the Lethal Joke Character.
      • Marksman: Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi: Known for his spot-on Ashe ultimates in Season 3, Sneaky was considered by many to be the weak link in Cloud 9's lineup during that time due to his liking for playmaking AD carries like Ashe and Varus instead of hard carries like Vayne and Caitlyn. He has shown a very diverse champion pool as of the start of Season 4 and is looking to prove he can carry the team as much as anyone else on the team.
      • Support: Daerek "Lemonnation" Hart: Known for always having a filled notebook handy, Lemonnation is a major shotcaller and strategist for Cloud 9. He is oftentimes the first to start making plays among the team.
      • Coach: Dan Dinh: Co-founder of TSM, Dan parted ways with his brother Reginald after the Season 3 World Championships to officially become the coach of Cloud 9.

    • Counter Logic Gaming (CLG): One of the oldest teams in North America's scene and the original NA powerhouse, CLG has a long history in e-sports. Several of the members who were at first part of CLG would go on to become part of Team Curse.
      • Top: Zach "Nien" Malhas: Originally known as the AD carry for Team Marn, CLG acquired him after Team Marn split up to replace the retiring HotshotGG in the top lane. Nien has already shown himself to have a diverse champion pool and ability to carry, making him a serious threat.
      • Jungle: Marcel "Dexter" Feldkamp: Another EU player migrating to the NA scene. After long-time CLG member bigfatlp stepped down to substitute, CLG picked up the German jungler from Lemondogs to fill the spot. He is known for having a very aggressive playstyle, and is credited with turning CLG from a more passive, farming team to a more fast-pushing, hard-hitting team.
      • Mid: Austin "Link" Shin: Originally a substitute, Link was promoted to starting Mid-Laner after bigfatlp left briefly in 2012. He was known for being a very consistent player, but not so much a play-maker. However, he has improved steadily and since become a shot-caller and driving force for the new CLG line-up.
      • Marksman: Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng: Easily one of the most outspoken players in the NA scene, if not the entire world, Doublelift is known for being brash and at times blunt with several of his statements, and takes clear pride in his skill. It's not all for naught: Doublelift is widely considered to be the best AD carry in North America, and has had that status for a significant amount of time. He's mainly known for playing Ezreal and especially Vayne, even helping to create the concept of "Vayne mechanics." He was selected to be North America's All-Star Marksman in Season 3.
      • Support: Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black: Originally an AD carry who played for many teams before switching to CLG. He and Doublelift are known for their close friendship and bot-lane synergy, earning them nicknames such as "Rush Hour" or "Aphrolift". He is a fairly popular streamer as well, and is known to be a big fan of anime.
      • Coach and Sub: George "HotshotGG" Georgallidis: One of the celebrated veterans of the sport, HotshotGG retired from being top lane player to being CLG manager and coach. As of the Spring 2014 LCS season, he is serving as temporary mid laner for CLG with Link in the jungle position due to Dexter's visa problems. Best known for his Nidalee and Le Blanc play, to the point that Season 3 World Champion mid player Faker of SKT 1 has claimed that Hotshot's Leblanc is better than his.

    • Team Dignitas
      • Top: Cruzerthebruzer
      • Jungle: Crumbzz
      • Mid: Scarra The heart of the team, Scarra was known for being very knowledgable about the game and his high creep score, even gotten the highest CS in a competitive game in season 1 before the record was beaten by Froggen in season 2. He is also highly regarded among the LOL community for his humble demeanor, his ability to teach his viewers on the stream about mid lane and his oddly photoshoppable pictures. He was voted to represent North America for the All-Star tournament.
      • Marksman: Imaqtpie Though he is not well regarded in terms of competitive play, he is vastly popular in L0L community for his hysterical streams with his happy go lucky attitude and his deapan snarker humor and was responsible for Twitch.tv chat spam like kappa and Franker Z, as well as coining the word 'Donger', a nickname for Heimerdinger when he plays him in stream, and its variations.
      • Support: KiWiKid:

    • Team Curse
      • Top: Quas
      • Jungle: IWillDominate
      • Mid: Voyboy
      • Marksman: Cop
      • Support: zekent

    • Evil Geniuses
    • XDG (formerly Vulcun)
    • Team Coast (formerly Good Game University)

  • Europe

    • Gambit Gaming: Formerly known as Moscow 5 before their CEO was arrested and the team got released due to lack of funds, the roster was picked up by Gambit Gaming organization to represent them. The only team to represent Russia, they dominate the European scene, to the point that 4 of them got voted to represent Europe in the All-Star tournament, the only reason there was only 3 of them is because Riot only allows 3 of the players from the same team to be in the team. Famous for being unconventional, especially for mid and support.
      • Top: Darien A top laner so dominant that junglers have to camp him in order for him to not destroy his opposing laner and now thriving well with the new tanky top meta in season 4 with Doctor Mundo and bringing back Warwick in the competitive meta, to a point where Supa Hot Crew actually ban Warwick against Gambit. You've may have know him better as The Stoner though.
      • Jungle: Diamondprox
      • Mid: Alex Ich
      • Marksman: Genja
      • Support: Edward Formerly Gosu Pepper back in Moscow 5, he was responsible for making a support Nunu popular, especially with a play dubbed 'Empire' [[note]]where he made his opponents chased him to the brush, then ulti inside it, which also hides the particle effects of the ult, allowing him to go for full channel and kill them with tons of damage[[note/]]. Today, he's famous for being a top support player in the European scene, particularly his Thresh plays and being one of the first European player to transfer from EU LCS to NA LCS by joining Curse's lineup in mid-2013, he got back with Gambit near the end of the year though, and picking unconventional support like Elise(before her nerf negated the advantage) and Amumu against XDG in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was voted to represent Europe in the All-Star tournament.

    • Fnatic Gaming: One of the oldest teams in the League of Legends scene, and the first season's World Champions. Fnatic have a long and storied rivalry with SK Gaming, and every time the two have met, the EU casters and fans have dubbed it "El Classico" due to its high likelihood of producing incredible moments. Hands down one of the most feared teams in the EU scene.
      • Top: Paul "sOAZ" Boyer
      • Jungle: Lauri "Cyanide" Happonen: One of the remaining two members of Fnatic's original squad, Cyanide is known as an innovative jungler, and will often use champions otherwise thought unviable in the jungle. To wit, he is considered the pioneer of jungle Gangplank and, more recently, Karma. Not only does Cyanide have a Season 1 world title under his belt, he has ten other tournament gold medals, making him among the most prestigious players in any scene.
      • Mid: Enrique "xpeke" Cedeńo Martínez: Perhaps one of the best players in his entire region, if not the world, Peke is the other remaining member of the original Fnatic squad. His legendary assassin play, as well as a world-class Kassadin, helped shape one of the greatest moments in League of Legends' competitive history: the now-famous IEM Katowice nexus backdoor against - who else? - SK Gaming. Since then, he has become the de facto face of Fnatic and helped lead the team to a deep semifinal run at the Season 3 World Championships, where they lost to Royal Club. His deep champion pool, which is not limited to assassins, mind you, make him impossible to ban out and a force to be reckoned with no matter the opponent he's facing.
      • Marksman: Martin "Rekkles" Larsson : Rekkles played in the amateur leagues in 2013 due to being too young. Once he hit seventeen, Rekkles made his explosive debut in the 2014 Spring Split of the LCS with a league-high 19.3 KDA ratio on the first week.
      • Support: Bora "Yellow Star" Kim: He was recruited as marksman for the team in 2013 while Rekkles was awaiting his seventeenth birthday. After their former support nRated left the team, he was shifted to support role, teaming up with temporary marksman Puszu.

    • Alliance (formerly Evil Geniuses)
    • SK Gaming
    • Roccat (formerly Kiedys Mialem Team)
    • Supa Hot Crew XD
    • Copenhagen Wolves

  • Korea

    • SKT Telecom T1
    • CJ Entus Frost (formerly Azubu Frost)
    • CJ Entus Blaze (formerly Azubu Blaze)
    • KT Rolster Bullets
    • Najin Black Sword
    • Najin White Shield
    • Samsung Galaxy Ozone (formerly MVP Ozone)
    • Samsung Galaxy Blue (formerly MVP Blue)
    • Xenics Storm

  • China

    • Invictus Gaming
    • Positive Energy
    • Royal Club
    • World Elite

  • Southeast Asia

    • ahq e-Sports
    • Bangkok Titans
    • Gamania Bears
    • KL Hunters
    • Mineski
    • Saigon Jokers
    • Taipei Assassins
    • Taipei Snipers

Dota 2

The sequel of largely-popular Warcraft III custom map, Defense of the Ancients. Developed by Valve with two of the original creators of Dot A (Icefrog and Eul) behind it, Dota 2 became an e-sport title as early as it's beta phase. The first look of the game is shown on Gamescom Germany 2011, with a world tournament that pit the eight best Dot A teams in the world at that time and largest e-sport tournament prizepool of one million United States dollars. After that, Dota 2 entered beta phase for two years... even then, online and LAN tournaments are organized. In a beta game. Dota 2 has an annual world tournament named The International that boast a prizepool of US$1,000,000 for the winner. The International 2012 pitted the sixteen best teams in the world and The International 2013 had the same format. The International 2013, however, boasted the biggest prizepool of entire e-sports history with US$2,800,000, with more than one million dollars that came from Dota 2 players with Compendium system. The trophy of The International is called Aegis of the Champions. So far, only three teams have it. Natus Vincere (a.k.a. Na'Vi) from Ukraine (The International 2011), Invictus Gaming from China (The International 2012), and The Alliance from Sweden (The International 2013).

Notable teams in their region

  • Europe
    • The Alliance: the rising star of the Dota 2 scene that won The International 2013 a mere seven months after its formation. Based in Sweden, The Alliance is basically a Swedish all-stars team. Their playstyle is centered at non-common hero picks and split push.
      • Mid: s4: Dubbed "Son of Magnus" by community based on his magical performance with said hero and his actual name, the captain and drafter of The Alliance. His play with Puck that won his team The International 2013 title was dubbed "One Million Dream Coil".
      • Carry: Loda: Dota legendary player that created many playstyles and helped many heroes enter the competitive scene. Sometimes, he was the drafter of the team. His signature hero is very rarely seen on the competitive scene: Phantom Assassin. Dubbed "L-god" by the Chinese community.
      • Offlane: AdmiralBulldog: Formerly a pubstar with his signature hero Lone Druid (that he played more than 1000 times), Bulldog entered the competitive scene as stand-in for many teams before The Alliance recruited him. Now he is regarded as one of the best offlaners in the world.
      • Support: Akke: Loda's long time friend. He is one of the best micro-er in the world with his signature heroes Chen or Enchantrees.
      • Support: EGM: Abbreviation of "Enter God Mode", also Loda's long time friend. A superb support player.

    • Natus Vincere: Abbreviated "Na'Vi", they are an Ukrainian team that were in The International grand finals three times in a row and the winner of the first International in Germany. To sum their playstyle in a sentence: they will do things that make you wonder, enough said. They're also the most stable team in the world, having their three core players (Puppey, Dendi, XBOCT) stayed together for many years, a very rare thing in Dota 2 scene.
      • Support: Puppey: The captain and drafter of Na'Vi, he is considered by many as one of the best captains in the world due to his knowledge of the game and strategic plans that won them many games fantastically. As a player himself, he is one of the best micro-er in the world with his signature Chen and Enchantrees (Akke's rival).
      • Mid: Dendi: Regarded as one of the best mid players in the world... and he has the skill and guts to prove it. A very aggressive player in-game and a friendly person offline, he has many, many fans. His signature hero is Pudge, which always made spectators jump from their chairs if picked. One of the three subjects of the Valve-produced documentary, Free To Play.
      • Carry: XBOCT: One of the craziest carry player in the world, be it his farming skill, positioning or overall aggressiveness... and his attitude offline. His signature hero is Lifestealer.
      • Offlane: funn1k: Ukrainian rising star, joined in 2013. He is popular with his clutch plays with his signature heroes such as Dark Seer and Windranger. Also played very good carry with his signature Clinkz.
      • Support: Kuroky: German legendary player that joined Na'Vi in 2013. He is Puppey's long time friend and very experienced. His signature hero, Rubick, is regarded as the best Rubick in the world.

    • Fnatic: Hailed from Heroes of Newerth scene, Fnatic quickly become one of Dota 2's best European teams. They are known for popularizing split push playstyle dubbed "Rat Dota" by community, also a very stable team with the same roster since... forever.
      • Support: Fly: Team captain and drafter.
      • Carry: Era
      • Mid: h4nni
      • Offlane: Trixi
      • Support: notail: Famous for his Meepo plays.

    • Virtus Pro: A Russian powerhouse team, but often fall short of expectations.
      • Mid: God: Team captain.
      • Support: ARS-ART: Dota legendary support player. Ex-Na'Vi.
      • Carry: Illidan'
      • Support: JOTM
      • Offlane: NS

  • United States
    • Team Liquid: A down-to-earth US team and crowd favorite.
      • Support: FLUFFNSTUFF
      • Mid: Bulba
      • Carry: TC
      • Offlane: waytosexy
      • Support: qojva
      • Support: ixmike88: A player with EPIC signature moustache. He is now inactive.

    • Evil Geniuses: The premiere North American e-sports organization, boasting highly successful player across each competitive game. EG's Dota teams also bear some Dota legendary players.
      • Support: ppd
      • Carry: Fear: Dota legendary player that made a splash in the competitive scene with his orthodox heroes and playstyle. One of the subjects of the Valve-produced documentary, Free To Play. During the 2011 recording of Free to Play, he was a member of the European multinational team, Online Kingdom, despite still living in the United States.
      • Offlane: Universe
      • Mid: Arteezy: Youngest Dota 2 competitive player with huge potential.
      • Support: zai

  • China
    • LGD Gaming: Chinese powerhouse.
      • Carry: Yao: Team captain
      • Support: dd
      • Offlane: xiaotuji
      • Mid: Maybe
      • Support: ddc

    • Team DK: Often considered as the "Real Madrid of e-sport", DK almost always have an all-star team with different results. This year's team is considered their best formation ever, based on three cores of Burning, Mushi and iceiceice.
      • Carry: Burning: Legendary Dota carry player. His nickname is used as Anti-Mage's fun name, his signature hero.
      • Support: Dai
      • Support: Lanm
      • Mid: Mushi: If the Western scene has Dendi, the Eastern scene has Mushi as the best mid player. His heropool is ENORMOUS. Also can play a carry role.
      • Offlane: iceiceice: A cool guy offline like his nickname, iceiceice is one of the best offlaners in the world. He also can play mid with equal perfection, in fact, he won the Mid Tournament in The International 2013. His Invoker is considered as the best in the world.

    • Invictus Gaming: Chinese multi-platform organization that won The International 2012. Now boast a new, never-beforeseen team strat, "6 Man Dota".
      • Mid: ferrari_430: Dubbed as "The Pianist", Mushi's rival as best Eastern mid player and iG's new captain. His Templar Assassin is legendary.
      • Carry: YYF
      • Offlane: Faith
      • Support: Luo
      • Support: Chuan: One of the most popular players from the East, based on his attitude offline. Back from iG after a nearly one year hiatus.
      • Support: Banana

    • Vici Gaming
      • Fenrir
      • Fy
      • rOtk: Regarded as legendary player by many based on his trash-talk attitude in LA Ns.
      • Super!
      • Sylar

    • Team Newbee: an all-star team that recruited by son of a Chinese conglomerate, can be called "Manchester City of e-sports". Boasted some of the best Chinese players; three of them brought team TongFu to fourth position in The International 2013.
      • Xiao8: Called "Director 8", a charismatic captain. Formerly in LGD.
      • Hao: Rising carry player, formerly of iG.
      • King J
      • ZSMJ: A legendary carry player that was very famous for his Medusa play. He is now a support player.
      • Mu

  • South East Asia
    • Titan: Malaysian new powerhouse, regarded as all-star of SEA scene.
      • Xtinct
      • Ohaiyo
      • Ky.xy
      • Yamateh
      • Net

    • Orange e-sports
      • Winter
      • Sharky
      • SXCOXS
      • Insidiousc
      • Ysaera

  • International Squad
    • Cloud9 Hyper X: One of the most popular team in community based on their plays and players. Formerly Speed Gaming.int, Rattlesnake.int, and Kaipi.
      • Carry: Eternalenvy: Called by community as "EE-sama", a hugely popular carry player. On the way to become "EE-god".
      • Mid: Singsing: One of the most popular mid players because his hilarious stream and epic plays. Also an insane person offline. His Kunkka plays are epic.
      • Offlane: bone7
      • Support: Aui_2000
      • Support: pliedie

    • Sigma.int: An international squad that based in France.
      • 7ckingmad
      • FATA
      • pas
      • miggel
      • Sockshka

  • Prominent Community Members
    • Tobiwankenobi: A shoutcaster that very popular with his energy and constant shouting at casts, he made an epic game more epic with his cast.
    • Ayesee: A shoutcaster with most manly voice in the whole Dota 2 scene. He was the main caster for The International grand finals two years in a row.
    • 2GD: Leader of "GD Studio", a Dota 2 cast team. Popular for his snarky comments and high skill plays.
    • Bruno: Dubbed "Statsman", is all about tournament stats. Hero picks and bans, win rates, etc. Also made some hilarious commentary as a caster. His "Leg Strat" quote at The International 2012 was legendary and made him popular.
    • cyborgmatt: A blogger that post in-depth analysis and explanation per Dota 2 patch. Community joked that he is actually "Icefrog", Dot A's original developer. He denied it.
    • Anuxi: Dota 2 item creator. Her item sets are very popular in community.
    • Pyrionflax: A Dota 2 streamer with hilarious comments and voice, his voice became a Dota 2 Announcer Pack!
    • Merlini: Dot A legendary mid player that became a caster after his retirement. Now dubbed as "Merlini Police" by community, his nickname became Zeus' fun name.
    • synderen: An ex-Dota 2 player with extensive game knowledge. Now a caster. His casts with Tobiwan is EPIC.
    • Maelk: A Dota legendary player that became project manager of a Dota 2 tournament site. He is famous for the "Maelk Awards" against Mousesports in 2011, killed and feed twenty times with Venomancer and STILL won.
    • Icefrog: The original Dot A's main developer. No one knows how he/she/it looks like offline... but according to some pro player, he/she/it is a funny guy/girl/frog (kill me).
    • Eul: One of the original Dota's main developer before Icefrog. He now joins the frog in Valve. Unlike the frog though, everyone in community knows him.
    • Kunkka, Mercurial: Dota's loading screen artist. Their nickname became the name of Dot A hero, Admiral and Spectre.
    • 820, 2009, QWERTY-: Legendary players, their nickname became Dota's fun hero names.
    • Meepwn: Legendary Meepo player that now works in Valve.

     Turn Based Strategy 

Pokémon

Competitive Pokémon has been around for almost as long as the franchise has existed, but it wasn't until 2004 that The Pokémon Company International began hosting official tournaments for the TCG. Since 2008, the video games have been played in these tournaments as well. The highest level tournament, the Pokémon World Championships (often referred to simply as Worlds), is an invitation-only event held every August. Players from over twenty-five countries are chosen to take part based on their performance in previous world and national-level competitions, as well as overall ratings. The top players every year win scholarships, merchandise, and an automatic invitation to next year's Worlds.

Although many of the top competitors have earned the fan community's respect, a few players have become particularly notable.

  • Jason Klaczynski is the first and only TCG player to come in first place at Worlds three times, and has also placed well in many lower-level competitions. Strangely, despite his excellent performance at Worlds, he does not seem to have the same amount of success at the national level.
  • Jun Hasebe is a TCG player who entered the Japanese Nationals at the age of seven, and became one of the five Japanese players to be invited to Worlds that year. He became the youngest World Champion, an honor which he still holds today. Although he returned to Worlds in subsequent years, he never placed higher than sixth in these tournaments.
  • Ray Rizzo is a three-time Video Game World Champion, and has become something of a legend in the community, to the point that some have called him the best Pokémon player on the planet. His Pokémon are nearly as famous as he is, with a near-exact copy of his Metagross being distributed at national-level tournaments in several countries.

For the fighting game community, see Fighting Game Community
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