I kinda been following the eSports scene for a long time now, especially OpTic and FaZe. My early remembrance of eSports kinda originated around the days where every gamer would try to get an upload, especially montages, onto Machinima as it was one of the biggest hubs for gaming back in the early 2010s. Couple of OpTic gamers left to work for Machinima back in the day. Howver, there was not much money flowing around the industry yet, but the early days saw teams such as OpTic and FaZe where they had sniping/trickshotting divisions dropping montages. OpTic dropped their sniping divisions early and focused on their competitive Call of Duty team with names such as Nadeshot and Scump being the bigger names representing their brand. Both players were growing in popularity due to their on-stream personalities. On the other hand, FaZe kept doing their trickshotting and sniping montages, but several of their players began doing IRL videos. Both teams were growing in popularity due to their on-stream/camera personas. Each team recognized that having relatable personas helped grow their organizations massively. OpTic getting a team house in the Chicago area in 2013, and FaZe getting a team house in 2014 were big time changers for their teams as it allowed for their members to live under the same roof and make IRL content together. FaZe was growing at a rapid rate with the team house and their FaZe 5 Recruitment challenges that so many people were going for. After COD: Advanced Warfare, OpTic's popularity dropped off, but FaZe continued to stay strong as they had various members dropping content on their personal channels.
One thing I have enjoyed is seeing how post-COD Nadeshot, took a big risk by starting an organization in 100 Thieves. The good thing about Nadeshot was that his following was huge after his departure from OpTic. He was the huge reason why people were drawn into the competitive Call of Duty scene. Using his knowledge from OpTic, Nadeshot was able to see what draws viewers to teams were getting content creators with relatable personas. He invested into getting streamers, Courage and Valkyrae, as one of the very first additions to 100 Thieves. These two streamers were growing drastically during the Fortnite days. 100 Thieves still has competitive teams in both COD and League of Legends, I think, but the 100 Thieves name has been built due to the fact that Nadeshot has been picking up more Twitch personalities. 100 Thieves also began releasing merchandise that people would actually wear in public as well as collabing with Gucci. I do remember Drake also investing into 100 Thieves in their early days as well.
FaZe continues to be a big name in the eSports scene with offices in LA and hundreds of members worldwide. They have various rappers and athletes invested into the team such as Ben Simmons, Offset, and others. They even have members such as Lil Yachty and Bronny Jr. apart of the team. FaZe has been quite popular due to the fact they had FaZe Banks running the Clout House with a lot of other personalities and Sommer Ray. Their members were able to collaborate easily due to that.
Kinda sucks to see OpTic's popularity drop off after Nadeshot's departure. H3CZ selling the organization in 2019 didn't help either. But glad to see H3CZ regaining control of the team.
Overall, it's pretty crazy to see how the eSports scene has grown in the past decade, and it will continue to grow. There are other eSports teams out there, but I don't follow them as closely as these teams.
TLDR: imo, teams should invest more into building their brand around content creators as they are marketable