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Line them up in order,
And into teams as well.
Each of them’s a character,
Under someone’s spell.
Some have foreign accents
And put on different things:
A cute hat, something grave,
Tails and dots and rings.
The leader might be biggest,
Or they’re equal in one case.
Some will often go alone
And neighbour only space.
Sometimes leaders represent
Their teams in one location:
An initial strategy
For quick communication.

The answer is a single word.

Also, I hope it's OK to post this here: I'm trying to test a large number of similar riddles for a book I'm working on.

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It seems like you are talking about

Letters

Line them up in order,

Alphabetical order (listing the alphabet)

And into teams as well.

Letters in teams could be considered words.

Each of them’s a character,

Characters (printed symbols) include letters.

Under someone’s spell.

Letters are used to spell words

Some have foreign accents
And put on different things:
A cute hat, something grave,
Tails and dots and rings.

These refer to the different diacritics added to letters in different languages, e.g, grave and acute accents, umlaut, cedilla.

The leader might be biggest,

Letters at the beginning of a sentence (or a proper noun) are capitalized and therefore, the biggest (credit to samm82 in the comments).

Original idea: Alpha (first Greek letter).

Or they’re equal in one case.

In upper case, letters are roughly similar size

Some will often go alone. And neighbour only space.

Letters such as 'a' and 'I' can represent words on their own.

Sometimes leaders represent
Their teams in one location:

I think this refers to acronyms (leading letters represent words).

An initial strategy
For quick communication.

If you consider textspeak with things like "lol" and "omg", often acronyms are used for quick communication (note the play on words with initial too)

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, well done! Very thorough write-up too. The only thing that you interpreted slightly differently from what I intended is the 9th line. I'd explain, but it looks like I can't use spoilers in the comments. $\endgroup$
    – Joe_AK
    May 12 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Joe_AK, the site's standard way to put a spoiler in a comment is to encode it in rot13. Type your spoiler into the encoder and then copy-paste the ciphertext into your comment. Anyone who wants to see the spoiler can then decode it in the same way (rot13 is symmetrically reversible like that), and any who don't can simply not decode it. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    May 12 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Joe_AK I think the intended 9th line is that rot13(gur yrnqre (vr. svefg yrggre) bs n fragrapr (be fbzrgvzrf jbeqf, yvxr cebcre abhaf) vf ovttrfg (vr. pncvgnyvmrq)) $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    May 12 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @bobble, thank you! I saw some comments like that on another post and I was very confused. And samm82, yes, that is correct. $\endgroup$
    – Joe_AK
    May 12 at 15:42

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