Olivia R. February 27, 2019
Comcast Spectacor and SK Telecom have announced the creation of T1 Entertainment & Sports, an esports entity that will operate out of Philadelphia, Seoul, and Los Angeles.
SK Telecom is home to three-time World Champion League of Legends team SK Telecom T1. Comcast Spectacor owns the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion, who played in the grand finals last season.
T1 will continue to have teams compete in Overwatch, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Hearthstone, but they will also be looking for players in Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. T1 reportedly chose Apex Legends and Ultimate as competitive titles due to their fast-growing popularity.
The partnership came out of both organizations looking to expand their reach internationally, bridging the cultural gap between east and west. The two powerhouses crossed paths in October of last year, when representatives met in Busan, South Korea during the League of Legends World Championship.
According to ESPN, Comcast Spectacor had always had an eye on SK Telecom T1, especially after the Fusion OWL team recruited South Korean players Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok and Kim “SADO” Su-min. While Comcast was looking at a variety of potential partners in Korea, SK Telecom had also been looking to expand outside of its home country.
As mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok continues to gain fame around the world, the organization has become aware of the its players growing followings in regions like North America.
The creation of T1 Entertainment & Sports is a way for both organizations to reach esports viewers all over the world, with Team Liquid and Cloud9's global popularity setting the current standard.
The two companies also bonded over a shared vision, recognizing that esports has a major impact on young people and dictates much of the content they consume. No specific plans have yet been revealed as a result of the deal.