By Colin Foley
League of Legends titans SK Telecom T1 will have some new company in the near future. The team’s sponsor, SK Telecom, will be partnering with Comcast Spectacor to form a new global esports endeavor. Named “T1 Entertainment & Sports,” the joint venture will feature the the three-time League of Legends world champs as well as SK Telecom's other existing teams in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Hearthstone. The deal was announced at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona on Monday.
“We are delighted to announce the joint venture with Comcast Spectacor. We at SK Telecom feel that esports is becoming increasingly more popular, especially among the young generation. We have thus founded T1 in 2004 and made the number one team in Korea,” said SK President and CEO Park Jung-Ho. “Together with Comcast Spectacor, we hope to become the global number one team.”
T1 Entertainment plans to fulfill that goal by establishing operations in Seoul, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Plans have also been announced to acquire teams in Fortnite, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, and the latest battle royale craze Apex Legends.
With the United States and Korea ranking as the first and third largest esports markets in the world, this new development could make quite the impact. Comcast’s Overwatch franchises, the Philadelphia Fusion and Fusion University will not be part of the new deal, and will remain solely operated by Spectacor. Nevertheless, Tucker Roberts, President of Spectacor’s gaming division, believes it will be a fruitful endeavor. “This joint venture marks a significant step for Comcast Spectacor’s esports business as we expand globally and join forces with the most successful League of Legends team in history," he said. "We’re excited to form a premier esports organization with SK Telecom and grow our businesses in new directions.”