The Ultimate Checklist for Starting an Esports Team

by | Feb 6, 2023 | News

The Esports Industry is Growing Every Year

The esports industry is growing rapidly and has become a multi-billion dollar market. According to a report by Newzoo, the global esports market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $1.79 billion by 2022. The industry is driven by increased investment in esports organizations, the growth of online streaming platforms, and the rise of mobile gaming.

Esports has also seen a surge in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people have turned to online gaming and watching esports competitions from home. This has led to increased sponsorship deals, advertising revenue, and merchandise sales for the industry.

With the growth of the industry, many traditional sports teams, investors, and media companies have entered the market, recognizing the potential for revenue and the growing interest in esports among young people.

Overall, the esports industry is poised for continued growth in the coming years, as the global gaming market continues to expand and more investment flows into the space.

Starting a Professional Esports Team

Starting an esports team can be a great way to bring together people who love competitive gaming and have a passion for winning. Whether you are a seasoned gamer or just starting out, there are a few key steps to follow in order to get your team off the ground.

Before you start your esports team, it is important to know what you want to achieve and who your target audience is. Do you want to play in casual online tournaments or professional leagues? Who are the gamers you want to attract to your team?

Choose a Name for your Esports Brand

The first step to start an esports team can begin as simple as with a name. As your brand or organization grows, you will find that it is possible to branch into multiple games or streams of revenue. For example, video games have a tendency to rise and fall in popularity as time goes on. Rather than choosing a name based on one game, if you keep your name broad, you can shift your organization’s focus to other games.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a professional esports team name:

  1. Be memorable: Choose a name that is easy to remember and catchy, so that it sticks in people’s minds.
  2. Keep it short and simple: A shorter name is easier to remember and more recognizable, especially in the fast-paced world of esports.
  3. Consider your team’s theme or style: If your team has a specific theme or style, choose a name that reflects this.
  4. Avoid using trademarked or copyrighted names: Make sure the name you choose does not infringe on any existing trademarks or copyrights, as this could lead to legal issues.
  5. Make it unique: Try to come up with a name that sets your team apart from others, and avoid using names that are too similar to those of other teams.
  6. Consider the audience: Make sure the name you choose is appropriate for the target audience of the game or tournament you are participating in.
  7. Get feedback: Seek feedback from friends, family, or other members of the gaming community to see what they think of your proposed name.

Pick A Game To Compete

First and foremost, you should select a game that you and your players enjoy playing and have a good understanding of. You may also want to consider the size of the player base and the level of competition in the game. For example, League of legends requires 5 players to play at any given time. Knowing this, you will need to ensure you have 5 committed players as well as a few substitutes in case one them is unable to move forward with the team or is unable to attend a tournament due to illness or other factors.

As of today, here are some of the more popular video games with consistent online tournaments:

  1. League of legends
  2. Valorant
  3. CS:GO
  4. Dota 2
  5. Apex Legends
  6. Mobile Legends
  7. Hearthstone
  8. Fifa 23
  9. Overwatch
  10. Rocket League
  11. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  12. Fortnite

Where to Recruit Players

You can start by recruiting friends and acquaintances who are interested in playing competitively. You can also search for players online through forums, Discord groups, or other social media platforms. It is important to look for players who share your goals and have a similar skill level.

There are also many Discord channels and Subreddits with people looking for staff or players to join their esports team. Here is an example of a Discord Channel dedicated to Overwatch and anything tournament related:

Organize a Team Schedule for Practice

To play professionally, it is important to set up regular training and practice sessions to help your team improve their skills and develop strategies. Most established esports teams have a staff dedicated to improving their team’s success. This includes having coaches create strategies for their players, dedicated spectators to monitor player’s performance during practice, and a second team dedicated to compete against the main team for practice.

Esports has become eerily similar to any other sport in the sense that practicing with your team will improve overall success. Team building is just as important in soccer or football as it is in any esports team. Set up a group chat or a Discord server where your team can communicate and coordinate.

Establish A Budget For Your Team

Now that you have a team to register into tournaments with, you will want to establish a team budget. Some tournaments with prize pools require a tournament fee to enter. With 5 or more players on a team, the tournament fees can be as high as $50 or more. As your team discovers success, you will be exposed to ways to monetize your brand and create an income stream. You can also use those profits to grow your brand with social media posts, video editing, or gaining better hardware for your players.

Establish Your Team Brand

After creating a good structure for your team and organization, it is now time to make your brand public! There are many platforms that are ideal for esports teams to gain exposure. Here are a few that can help put your brand on the map:

  • Twitch.TV
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • A personal website
  • Discord Communities
  • Reddit

The benefits to creating a team brand include multiple streams of income such as selling branded merchandise, discovering new players interested in joining your team, finding talented individuals who want to raise your brand’s awareness, or potential sponsors reaching out to help raise their brand’s awareness. Esports in general has a very large audience that grows each year. Be sure to create a friendly and catchy brand to take advantage of that growing audience.

Creating a Logo Design For your Esports Team

A team name and logo can help you stand out and create a strong identity for your team. You will want to be creative and have fun with it! If you have trouble creating a logo, there are other ways of getting around this. Here are a few resources that can help you create the team logo of your dreams:

Fiverr is a service website that connects talented freelancers with anyone to create digital assets such as logos, videos, websites, jersey designs, twitch overlays, and more!

48HoursLogo is a website that allows people to create a contest in which graphic designers submit an entry. You can choose how long the contest will run, the average being 48 hours. By the end of the contest, you will have 20+ logos to choose from. You are also welcome to provide feedback and changes before selecting a winner.

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Esports Team

Sharing your team’s progress, achievements, and stories on social media is a great method to build your brand and attract fans. Building a fan base or community around your brand is a great way for sponsors or potential talent to find you. Even if you’re not experienced in social media, it is also a good idea to secure your brand’s usernames at the start so others cannot steal your name. After some time, you might be able to recruit members who are experienced in building a team brand.

Monetizing an Esports Organization

It is important to note that monetizing an esports team requires a strong brand, a dedicated fan base, and a competitive performance. Building a successful esports team takes time, effort, and investment, but the potential rewards are significant as the industry continues to grow.

There are several ways to monetize an esports team, including:

  1. Sponsorships and advertising: Esports teams can secure sponsorships from brands that want to reach the large and engaged esports audience. Teams can also sell advertising space on their website and social media channels.
  2. Prize money and winnings: Teams can earn money by participating in and winning esports tournaments, which often offer large prize pools.
  3. Merchandising: Teams can sell merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, and mousepads to fans to generate additional revenue.
  4. Streaming: Teams can partner with streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube to monetize their content and reach a wider audience.
  5. Player salaries: Teams can also generate revenue by signing players and paying them a salary.
  6. Investments: Teams can attract investment from venture capital firms, private equity firms, or other investors looking to enter the growing esports market.
  7. Event production: Teams can also generate revenue by hosting and producing esports events and tournaments.

How Many Esports Teams Can You Manage?

An esports organization is capable of branching into multiple video games for exposure and tournament winnings. There is no limit to how many teams you can have under your organization, however, you will want to have a proper structure in place that details how many people can qualify for the varsity team or practice teams.

Find Sponsors

Many manufacturers and product creators offer an affiliate program on their website. Similar to Twitch’s partnership program where streamers need to meet minimum requirements before being eligible for a partnership, many other sponsors have minimum requirements as well. They will want to verify your team’s following such as looking at you how many YouTube subscribers you have or followers on your social media profiles. If you can prove to these sponsors that you have an audience, many will be open to forming partnerships with your brand.

Creating Team Merchandise

Merchandising is a great method to monetize your brand. People are willing to wear your brand as a badge of honor making your name more recognizable. Aside from manufacturing costs, the profits go straight to your organization. This differs from sponsorships where in most cases, you receive a small percentage of the profits. Examples of merchandise you can offer to your audience includes:

  • Team jerseys
  • Stickers and decals
  • USB’s with your brand
  • Coffee mugs with your brand

Join Gaming Tournaments

Participate in online and offline tournaments to gain experience and build your reputation.

Find Local Tournaments

Esport lounges have been becoming more and more popular. Many of them offer tournament sign ups with a different game being offered each week. You can even speak with the manager or owner to play a specific game if your brand is known for it. If your organization already has a following, your brand can help these local lounges or cafes to bring in more clientele.

Sign Up For Online Tournaments

There are many tournaments online that allow organizations to register their teams. Some examples of websites that offer tournaments (some with prize pools) can be found here:

Best Hardware for Competitive Gaming

Overall, each player who aspires to be a part of an esports team needs to have a good headset, mouse, keyboard, and gaming computer. Without these core essentials, they will not be an effective teammate. If you need recommendations on good hardware, check out the links below:

Best Pre-Built Gaming Desktop for Esports Gaming

Best Mouse and Keyboards for Esports Gaming

Best Headset and Mics for Esports Gaming


Starting an esports team can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it also requires time, effort, and commitment. With these steps in mind, you will be well on your way to creating a successful and competitive esports team.

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