Thousands of screaming fans packed the stands and floor space at Boston’s TD Garden in September 2017—to watch a video game championship. At Center Court was an elevated stage with ten computers running the competitive game League of Legends. Four massive screens were mounted above to display the action. When confetti finally rained down on the crowd, the threepeating champs jumped around between smoke machines as a familiar chant broke out—“T-S-M! T-S-M! T-S-M!”—much like Alabama fans cheer “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!” in Tuscaloosa.
TSM—short for Team SoloMid—is one of the most recognizable brands in esports, and its victory in Boston built on its success as the winningest North American team in League of Legends, competitive gaming’s top title. But its founder, CEO and owner, Andy Dinh, who emerged from the sidelines to hug his players onstage, had only one thought after the team’s sixth championship: What’s next?
“I want TSM to be a household brand; I want us to be the Dallas Cowboys and the Yankees,” says the perpetually kinetic 26-year-old, who was featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2017. “It’s not enough for me just to be successful in North America.”
Esport companies like TSM field competitive teams in video games that are as fun to watch— whether live in a stadium or online on a game-streaming service like Amazo