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Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT

Team Liquid Hones Their Competitive Edge with Data Analytics

Find out how Team Liquid is using advanced data analytics to increase productivity and field championship eSport teams

In the rapidly-growing, ever-evolving world of esports, innovation is no mere buzzword—it’s a way of life.

For Team Liquid, the renowned Netherlands and US-based esports company, innovation has always been the secret to becoming and remaining the world’s premier esports franchise. They were the first esports team to build a state-of-the-art training facility where their athletes balance carefully calibrated practice sessions with healthy meals, along with sports psychologists, personal trainers, and massage therapists.

In 2018, Team Liquid looked to software and data as their next innovation frontier and partnered with SAP to make it happen.

This episode of the Better Together series features Team Liquid and the advanced data analytics enabled by SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) that has given them a critical edge over the competition.

We spoke to Mike Milanov, Chief Business Development Officer, Team Liquid.

  • Podcast: Mike Milanov sits down with Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, to learn more about the world of esports and about how data analytics are contributing to Team Liquid’s industry-leading status.
  • LinkedIn session: Dan Lahl, Vice President of Product Marketing, SAP, talks with Mike Milanov about Team Liquid’s data analytics journey so far and about where they will be headed next.

Here are some key insights from these conversations:

Take Data to the Next Level

Team Liquid was definitely not short on data. As Mike Milanov noted, “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of data points available per game, and in some cases, per second.” The problem was a laborious manual system for collecting and analyzing that data.

Shifting data out of error-prone spreadsheets and into SAP HANA Cloud means that millions of hours of gameplay are now readily available for real-time analysis. With SAP BTP, Milanov explained, typical preparation time for a match is down from four days to one hour.

In addition, Team Liquid is now able to maximize the value of their abundant data. Milanov told us: “Even if our team is sitting there preparing in the facility to practice against a different organization, the tool will, in real-time, give us predictive analytics on what the other team may do in terms of their composition or in terms of their strategy, which then allows us to use that to respond and react.”

Just Get Started

When Team Liquid first reached out to SAP in 2018, they were looking, as Mike Milanov explained, “to optimize our win percentages across the board” in all nineteen of their esports. But to take a manageable first step, Team Liquid decided to prioritize two of their top-tier games—Dota 2 and League of Legends, knowing that even achieving a narrow edge, improving performance by only 1%, for example, could mean an extra $50 million USD in prize money.

Milanov said: “Data and tech and IT and cloud may seem overwhelming and intimidating, but they’re really not.” His advice for other companies looking to undertake a digital transformation — “if you are a data-driven company, and you are wondering how to get to the next phase when your current physical infrastructure needs to move to the cloud—it’s a scary concept. That is where SAP makes it easy for you. Start with a big wish list, then whittle it down from there.”

Now that Team Liquid has seen what data analytics can do, Milanov is ready to expand to other esports to optimize their players’ performance across the board.

Make Innovation a Way of Life

Prioritizing innovation is not new for Team Liquid. “If your legacy is winning… you’re constantly looking for ways to innovate, whether that’s through hardware, or software, or methodologies around training, or fitness, or psychology,” Milanov said.

Every enterprise knows that finding a competitive edge is essential. “With SAP Business Technology Platform,” Milanov explained, “we have the speed that we need.”

Check out these additional stories involving data insights for improved performance:

  • San Jose Sharks: Embracing Data Insights to Grow Fan Engagement
  • Ottogi: How Does Faster Access to Data-Driven Insights Help Uphold a Reputation for Innovation?

Visit to find all our Better Together: Customer Conversations episodes.

Let us know if there are topics you’d like to learn more about and questions you’d like us to explore. Please contact us if you’d like to be a guest on a future episode.

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