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Volume 26 No. 47
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Comcast Spectacor, SK Telecom Announce Joint Esports Venture

South Korea-based telecommunications company SK Telecom and Philadelphia-based Comcast Spectacor, owner of Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion, will form a global joint esports venture to be named T1 Entertainment & Sports. The new entity will include the SK Telecom T1 League of Legends (LoL) team, which currently competes in the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) -- the game’s top pro league in South Korea. SK Telecom T1 has won three World Championships and are currently the only repeat champions. Within the next few months, SK Telecom T1 will be rebranded to simply “T1.” In addition to the League of Legends team, T1 Entertainment & Sports plans to field rosters in Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone and Apex Legends. The organization has already signed players for Apex Legends, to be announced at a later date, and is actively evaluating talent across its intended list of titles. The Fusion and Fusion University Overwatch Contenders franchises will not be part of this new venture, and will instead remain wholly owned and operated by Comcast Spectacor. The joint venture was officially announced at the Mobile World Congress '19 exhibition by SK Telecom President & CEO Park Jung-Ho and Tucker Roberts, President of Comcast Spectacor’s Spectacor Gaming division. Financial terms, including each company’s ownership stakes, were not disclosed.

ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NEW DEALS: While the new organization will look for new brand partnership opportunities, SK Telecom T1’s deals with brands like Twitch, ASUS Republic of Gamers and Razer will remain in place. T1 Entertainment & Sports will establish operations in Seoul, Philadelphia and L.A. Operational costs and revenue shares between Comcast and SK Telecom are still to be determined. While the new venture will be focused on esports, T1 will look to expand into other media and entertainment markets. Although South Korea is the third largest esports market in the world, there are few top level teams in the region backed by Western organizations. The most notable example is Gen.G, which entered esports (under the name KSV Esports at the time) by signing '17 League of Legends World Champions Samsung Galaxy, and has since expanded to field teams in various games across the U.S., Korea, and China.

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.