The CIS-based teams were always seen as an important part of global esports. We have created a summary of this region's results for 2019. Today we will tell you which esports organizations have become the most popular.
The ranking is based on the cumulative hours watched of all the rosters of CIS-based organizations worldwide, over 2019. These statistics do not encompass only the Chinese platforms.
#5 - Vega Squadron
Our list starts from the real sharks of esports! In 2019, Vega Squadron was able to enter top 5 most popular organizations. Although this time the team's annual esports performance wasn't that good, this does not prevent the team from being one of most popular ones in its region.
The half of all the views earned was brought by the CS:GO and Dota 2 rosters. Both of these are the core rosters of organization, and both ran out of work in the middle of 2019. The team's shooter players have faced a huge recession, while the team's Dota players also had no further achievements, never getting further than the regional qualifiers.
The League of Legends representatives became central to organization's visibility, mainly because the respective team was able to qualify for the mid-season's main tournament, Mid-Season Invitational. There, the "sharks" have earned as much as 47% of the total hours watched. As for the results of the regular part of LCL, these have not increased the total amount due to the championship being broadcasted on Yandex.Efir, the statistics of which are currently not taken into account.
#4 - Gambit Esports
In case of Gambit Esports, we'll start from the League of Legends roster. Former legends from M5 have brought the organization a large number of fans which remains with the team till this day. However, this roster did not manage to reach Worlds 2019, stopping at the Continental League finals. In case this five-man team would manage to enter Worlds, it would generate a lot of competition for the second spot in the top.
The majority of the organization's visibility in 2019 was generated by its Dota 2 roster. The team had several phenomenal tournaments and nearly managed to enter The International. Naturally, this success is heavily rooted in the Russian-speaking audience, which was especially interested in seeing Gambit's performance at the regional qualifier – given the scandal surrounding the team after its failure at the EPICENTER Major 2019, which has happened shortly before.
The "red star" was one of the first organizations to actively train the young players. A roster known as Gambit Youngsters has attended a fair number of international championships (including even DreamHack Open Sevilla and WePlay! Forge of Masters). Although this particular team did not bring that many hours watched, their results became yet another reason for everyone to talk about Gambit in CS:GO.
#3 – AVANGAR
However, AVANGAR did manage to stand out, showing real results. The beginning of autumn was the highlight of organization's activities, with its CS:GO division earning the silver at the StarLadder Major Berlin. This was immediately followed by the same team earning the gold at the BLAST Pro Series: Moscow 2019.
The path which has led the players to such a result can be traced back to April. At that time, the team has won first at the DreamHack Open Rio and then at WePlay! Forge of Masters. Aside of this, the team has entered a number of top championships all around the world.
The end of the year was marked by rumors that the team will change its tag to a new one – which is exactly what happened. Virtus.pro became interested in this roster and bought it from AVANGAR. Of course, this was not the end for the Kazakhstani organization – which began training yet another generation of cyberathletes.
#2 – Virtus.pro
Virtus.pro became the second most viewed CIS organization once again. In 2018 this tag was represented by several rosters which have shown a fairly decent performance on the world stage – while in 2019, all the achievements were earned by the Dota 2 roster alone. It has constantly participated in all the topmost competitions for the discipline.
Solo and Co have earned two silver medals at the DreamLeague Season 11 and The Chongqing Major respectively. But when it came to its home turf (EPICENTER Major 2019), the team stopped short of reaching finals, earning the third place.
Once again, the team has gone to The International during the summer – in an attempt to return Aegis of Champions to the CIS. This particular tournament has affected the organization's statistics the most: while the roster has utterly failed at the World Championships, it has managed to gather a large number of viewers.
The Polish CS:GO roster did not bring the organization that many views due to not taking part in the international championships for a year. This situation is to be changed in 2020 by the new Virtus.pro players, as the entire team was bought from AVANGAR and subsequently even managed to take part in EPICENTER 2019, its first big championship under the new tag.
#1 - Natus Vincere
“Born to win” have justified their name once again. In 2019, the organization became the most popular in its home region and one of the most popular ones worldwide. This result of Natus Vincere is mainly attributed to having a number of fairly effective rosters at once.
Obviously, the organization's CS:GO division was its main means of staying relevant throughout the last year. This roster has attended all the main esports events of the year, including the World Championships. But over the course of 2019 the team has managed to triumph only at the single tournament: StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7. The team was able to show its full strength at its home turf, obtaining a gold medal.
The Rainbow Six roster has also arrived in time, obliterating the rest of Pro League participants during the fall and even getting the champion title. The team has also repeated its success in a lower-class tournament ESL Premiership Winter 2019, becoming victorious once more.
The Dota 2 roster has also attempted to regain its former glory in 2019, visiting the DreamLeague Season 11 major and winning the regional qualifier for The International 2019. Unfortunately, the outcome of both of these competitions saw the organization taking the very last spot.
It should be added that when looking at the top for the Russian-speaking viewers, the fifth spot would go to the Winstrike Team. This organization doesn't really have any international esports achievements to boast about, as during 2019 all of its rosters has only ever reached the regional qualifiers. But despite that, this team became the fifth most popular one, leaving many of its rivals behind.
This was achieved due to the tag's involvement in a number of interesting activities, the biggest of these being the announcement of Apex Legends roster. Additionally, the Russian-speaking community has closely followed all the member rearrangements of Winstrike’s Dota roster.
As a result, the top-5 was filled by the organizations which are known for constant participation in the international championships. Because of this, the top-5 was not reached by forZe, Team Empire, Team Spirit and rest of the teams that have failed to show their strength on the world stage.