<strong>The World’s Most Popular Esports Team on Management, Game Selection, and Baltic Players (Interview)</strong>

The World’s Most Popular Esports Team on Management, Game Selection, and Baltic Players (Interview)

The world’s most popular esports team for five consecutive years, “Team Liquid,” visited Lithuania to meet with the local computer gaming and esports community. The team, invited by “Dell Technologies” to the “Baltics Gaming Expo,” shared insights into the esports industry, inspired those aspiring to a career in this field, and appreciated the gaming community in Lithuania and the Baltic countries.

Notable team player “Qojqva” and “Team Liquid” Partnerships Manager in Europe, Thom Valks, visited Lithuania. In an exclusive interview, the guests answered questions of interest to the gaming community.

You have been recognized as the most popular esports team in the world for five consecutive years. What do you think has led to this success? What has your journey been like from the beginning to now?

The main reason for our success has likely been our ability to adapt to trends and strategically choose games. A good example is the game “Valorant,” which is one of the most watched in the world today. We entered this scene very early and invested heavily in creating content to build a community around our team. Our global approach was also important as it allowed us to attract fans from all over the world. Recently, we announced our expansion into “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang,” which is very popular in Southeast Asia. This game is consistently among the most watched globally, and now “Team Liquid” will be in front of this audience. From the beginning, we have carefully crafted our expansion plans so that each new game and region contributes to our existing portfolio.

What is the daily life of a leading esports team like? What is your routine, the biggest challenges, and the most gratifying moments?

Firstly, leading an esports team like “Team Liquid” is a significant challenge because we operate in four different regions: North America, Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Efficient collaboration among all our different employees requires a lot of expertise, whether it’s working policies, technologies and systems, or intercultural communication.

Secondly, since “Team Liquid” competes in many game fields, it’s hard to establish one specific routine. It really depends on what’s happening in the world because there is almost always some activity: participating in a tournament, releasing content, organizing sponsor activations, or hosting an event for the team. With so many things happening, we need to constantly keep an eye on the big picture and ensure that all our activities contribute to our “core mission,” which is what we call our company’s strategy and vision.

Thirdly, the most gratifying moments are always related to collective achievements, whether it’s winning a tournament or releasing successful content (like an advertising campaign) that receives positive feedback from fans. When all our hard work culminates in any form of victory, it always brings great joy.

What do you consider your greatest achievement as a team and community? How many people are part of “Team Liquid”?

Our greatest achievement is creating an international fan community that encompasses many different countries and cultures. “Team Liquid’s” vision is to make the gaming world friendlier, and it starts with us. We often hear that being part of our community makes people feel better – it brings a sense of togetherness and community. Being part of the “Team Liquid” community allows them to be themselves. This is very important to us as an organization.

Currently, “Team Liquid” has more than 250 employees and over 170 athletes and creators. It’s a large group, and everyone contributes to the success of “Team Liquid.” What we do would be impossible without the amazing work of our employees and players.

What advice would you give to those just starting their professional gaming career?

Qojqva: I started my professional gaming career at 16. It’s quite a young age, but not uncommon. What I wish I had known then is how important it is to maintain a balance between gaming and personal life. If you play 12-14 hours a day, there should be days when you go outside, meet friends, or engage in some physical activity. Without that balance, it’s very easy to burn out quickly.

Thom: On the business side, one of the most important aspects is learning how these games work. This includes understanding the ecosystem, which can be unique in each esports game. It’s important to learn more about the audience of a specific game and all the ways brands can monetize their activities in this space. The ability to identify how companies can get involved is a crucial skill.

What do you think about the importance of technological partners and innovations in the context of esports? What are the most notable technological changes in your active history, and how do partnerships with technology leaders like “Dell Technologies” impact your results?

“Team Liquid” prides itself on competitive competence and excellence, which can only be achieved when we have partners who also strive to be the best. We are fortunate to have a wonderful partner in “Dell Alienware,” with whom we have worked for over a decade. They have equipped all our training bases – in Los Angeles, Utrecht, and São Paulo – with top-class equipment, enabling our players and staff to reach the highest level every day. We also collaborate with “Dell Alienware” to drive innovation: together, we developed the latest “Alienware Pro Line” series. By creating peripherals tailored to professional players’ needs, we can create a competitive edge when it’s time to compete. This also includes the “Alienware Pro Lab,” where we analyze our players’ cognitive performance at an unprecedented level. All this progress creates a better work environment, better equipment, and better training methods for our players. “Dell Alienware” has been crucial to our team’s competitive success.

Finally, how was your visit to Vilnius? What impression did the “Baltics Gaming Expo” event leave? What do you think about the Baltic gaming community gathered here?

Qojqva: I was very excited to visit Vilnius – both to see the city and meet the esports and gaming community gathered here. I enjoyed it a lot. The event is great!

Thom: Lithuania has quite a list of professional players. I follow “Counter Strike” the most: “jL,” “Bymas,” and “EspiranTo” are some of my favorites. The Baltic countries have a great history of producing very good “Counter Strike” players. Our own player “YEKINDAR” is from Latvia.

I was also very happy to visit Vilnius and stayed an extra day to explore the city.

The event is bigger than I expected. It’s nice to see that it’s really growing: “Trackmania,” “Valorant,” and many other tournaments. It was a pleasure to share our behind-the-scenes knowledge and advice in our exclusive presentation by “Dell Technologies.” “Dell” has been our partner for 13 years, and together we continue to create many significant innovations.

“Team Liquid” representatives visited Lithuania at the invitation of “Dell Technologies” during the “Baltics Gaming Expo” on the last weekend of May. This was part of the largest popular culture event in the Baltic States, “Comic Con Baltics 2024 powered by Samsung.”