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From its roots as a burgeoning concept to its present status as a vast competitive landscape, contemporary eSports has remained centered on community. The eSports culture comprises a wide spectrum of players, formats, and fandoms reflecting a mutual passion for gaming of countless shapes and sizes. 

One shining embodiment of this notion is Team Liquid, a multi-regional eSports team that has helped elevate the eSports field on the international stage. Founded in 2000 by Victor “Nazgul” Goossens, Team Liquid has been a consistent presence in numerous leading competitive divisions, including, but not limited to, League of Legends (LoL), Dota 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Starcraft II, and Rocket League. The team’s myriad cross-divisional accomplishments have already earned it a place in the annals of modern gaming history, and this tradition currently shows no signs of slowing down. 

Rising to Prominence

Goossens established the original Team Liquid website in the early 2000s, branching out of the Liquid clan in Starcraft Brood War, a group based on a crucial balance of world-class play and mutual respect. Subsequently, the site’s growth as a diverse, knowledgeable community spawned Team Liquid’s first sponsored team, which initially focused on Starcraft before eventually signing additional players within other competitive divisions. This growth culminated in one of the team’s players making it to the semi-finals in a Korean Starcraft tournament – an unprecedented feat at the time. 

As the team expanded its horizons throughout the ensuing decades, it began to accrue a variety of accolades; these included multiple North American League Championship Series (LCS) victories in LoL and several high-profile victories in the increasingly prominent and competitive Super Smash Bros Melee scene. In 2019, the team’s Counterstrike Global Offensive unit earned the Intel Grand Slam prize after winning four premier tournaments in 63 days. Today, many of the team’s players remain top-ranked and decorated in eSports’ most prevalent sectors. 

Expanding the Culture

Beyond competitive play, Team Liquid prides itself on being representative of the deep cultural patchwork driving modern gaming. Perhaps the best example of this commitment is the team’s dedication to representation within the gaming community, which it pursues through far-reaching community and fan engagement outlets, spotlights on efforts to make gaming more inclusive and equitable, and accessible competitive opportunities for women and marginalized genders. 

Such initiatives only underscore Team Liquid’s impact on the eSports landscape, making them one of the community’s most noteworthy and enduringly vital entities.