When it comes to esports, branding is important. For most pro-level teams, having a great name is just as important as securing a first-rate playing roster. Teams like Astralis and Team Liquid might have earned their reputation as frontrunners in the esports industry, but those catchy names and equally memorable logos have played a large part in their continuing success. Thinking about starting your own team? You’ll need a name that makes an instant impression. Read on for some handy tips on how to make the best choice when branding your new gaming collective.
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First Things First
Before you start brainstorming team name ideas, you’ll need to actually be part of a playing roster. The best team names reflect the talent filling out those key roles. It’s nice to have a team name prepared, but branding should only come into play once you’ve taken care of the basics.
Once you’ve secured a steady lineup of players, you can start thinking seriously about team names. If you’ve been playing competitively online as part of a clan, you’re likely already using a provisional team name. If your up-and-coming esports team is made up of players from clan-based gaming, consider integrating your original moniker. Many esports teams have taken this approach, which is why you see so many major teams using abbreviations and stylized handles.
Use a Name Generator Tool
Need some inspiration? You can take a look at an exhaustive list of esports teams here for ideas. However, bear in mind these are all leading authorities in the esports sector. You’ll do well to avoid using a name that’s too similar to one of the heavy hitters. Imitation is a form of flattery, but when it comes to esports team names, you’re running the risk of copyright infringement. What’s more, your team name is a way to position yourself as a unique and marketable brand.
If you’re really stuck for ideas, online name generators are a handy tool to turn to. Even if you don’t use the suggestions provided, you can lean into them for inspiration for more bespoke tags for your new team.
You Don’t Have to Take Yourself Too Seriously
Having a cool team name is all well and good, but it’s not a requirement in competitive gaming. In fact, many major teams embrace the fun factor. Take Ninjas in Pyjamas for example. This Swedish esports outfit has been using its moniker since 2000. Although they regularly go by the abbreviation, NIP, these esports favorites aren’t ashamed of celebrating their sillier side.
Be Prepared for Change
Should your team carve out a lucrative career in esports, you’ll almost certainly find yourself negotiating with big brands for sponsorship deals. For many self-starters, partnering with sponsors is the only way to invest in advanced training and raise funds to compete at an international level. Although they’ve since reverted to their original name, South Korean team T1 went by SKT T1 for a time after Comcast Spectacor and SK Telecom raised the funds to get the team off the ground.
What About the Legal Side?
Decided on a killer name? Great. Now it’s time to check to see if your new handle is actually free to use. Although you can use Google to see if you’re infringing on any trademarks, you’ll need to be meticulous when checking patents and copyrights. Casual gaming teams won’t be in a position to think about protecting their own brand. However, as a team emerges as real contenders, they’ll need to think seriously about protecting their brand identity. Lodging patents is an expensive, but foolproof way to safeguard your brand against imitations. However, simply having an established online presence will reduce the odds of a new team coming along and adopting a similar moniker.