The Liquid Legacy
Team Liquid is one of the most storied and respected brands in esports, with a history as old as the industry itself. Esports got its start in South Korea in the late 90s, with the explosion in popularity of the real-time strategy game, StarCraft: Brood War. A decade before the term “esports” would enter the Western gaming vernacular, tournaments in South Korea filled stadiums and top players became national celebrities making seven-figure salaries.
In 2000, Victor Goossens, the first Western StarCraft player to compete professionally in Korea, founded the Teamliquid.net website to serve as a home base for “before-their-time” esports enthusiasts around the world to discuss strategy, stay connected to the South Korean scene and organize their own online competitions. To this day many of the top managers and broadcast personalities across the esports landscape have their roots as active contributors to the Teamliquid.net platform.
The release of games such as StarCraft II and League of Legends during 2009-2010 was a watershed moment for esports, with the popularity of these titles serving as a beachhead for esports to venture from its South Korean stronghold and gain a foothold in the West. With this new wave of global esports activity, Team Liquid began to transition from solely acting as a community platform, to signing its own players and forming a premiere esports team. With players now competing in more than a dozen competitive titles, Team Liquid has established a global footprint unrivaled in scope by any other esports organization.
In 2015, Team Liquid took part in an important strategic merger with Team Curse, absorbing its League of Legends team, and bringing its manager Steve Arhancet into the organization as co-CEO alongside Team Liquid founder Victor Goossens. The next year, aXiomatic purchased a majority position in Team Liquid and has since worked together with Team Liquid management and aXiomatic investors to bring know-how and best practices to team operations.
North American League Championship Series
In November 2017, Team Liquid was announced among the ten teams selected by Riot Games to become permanent partners in the professional esports league for League of Legends, known as the North American League Championship Series or ‘NA LCS.’ From the league’s outset, Team Liquid’s leadership in the NA LCS has been defined by unparalleled success in scouting and developing new talent; Nearly every single top-tier domestic player in North America has gone through Team Liquid’s Academy (or Development League) team, or worked directly with Co-CEO Steve Arhancet.
The International 7 World Championship
With its first-place finish at The Dota 2 International 7 (‘TI7’) in August 2017, Team Liquid claimed the mantle of “World Champions” and cemented its status among the industry’s elite. The victory was, quite literally, one for the books: Not only did Liquid pull off the first-ever ‘sweep’ of a TI Grand Finals, they also took home record winnings. At $24 million, TI7’s prize pool was the then-largest in all of esports history. On the heels of this amazing feat, ESPN named Team Liquid’s Dota 2 roster its ‘Esports Team of the Year’ for 2017.
For more on Team Liquid: https://www.teamliquidpro.com/