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SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor Forge Strategic Partnership for Cooperation in Esports Business

George Miller

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SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor Forge Strategic Partnership for Cooperation in Esports Business
(Left) Park Jung-ho CEO and President of SK Telecom (Right) Tucker Roberts the president of Spectacor Gaming division of Comcast Spectacor.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The two companies plan to promote the establishment of a global esports joint venture to develop global market opportunities together

 

SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor today announced that they signed a strategic partnership agreement to cooperate in the esports business, including the establishment of a global esports joint venture. The agreement signing ceremony was held on February 24 with the attendance of Park Jung-ho, CEO and President of SK Telecom, and Tucker Roberts, the president of Spectacor Gaming division of Comcast Spectacor, at MWC 2019 being held in Barcelona, Spain.

Comcast Spectacor is a professional sports and live entertainment company that owns and operates Philadelphia Fusion, one of the esports teams in the Overwatch League. It has proven its extensive knowhow by leading the team to the Grand Finals. In addition, Comcast Spectacor operates the Wells Fargo Center arena as well as many professional sports teams including Philadelphia Flyers, a professional ice hockey team playing in the National Hockey League, and Philadelphia Wings, a National Lacrosse League team.

Moreover, Comcast Spectacor is 100 percent owned subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology leader with over 54 million subscribers across the world.

Under the agreement, SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor will promote the establishment of a joint venture company to engage in joint business activities, such as joint operation of global esports teams and development of esports content.

SK Telecom operates ‘SK Telecom T1,’ a professional Korean League of Legends (LoL) team that has won the World Championship three times. With star players like Lee Sang-hyeok, known by his in-game name “Faker,” SK Telecom T1 is very popular among global eSports fans.

The global esports market is a blue ocean, expanding by 30-40 percent annually. The United States and Korea rank as the No. 1 and third largest global esports markets, respectively, in this fast-growing space.

SK Telecom expects the partnership to serve as an opportunity for the two companies to not only cooperate in esports but also become long-term growth partners in areas including media and content by leveraging their respective strength.

“This agreement 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,” said Tucker Roberts. “We’re excited to form a premier esports organization with SK Telecom and grow our businesses in new directions.”

“We are delighted to announce the strategic partnership 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 Park Jung-Ho. “Together with Comcast Spectacor, we hope to become the global number one team.”

 

About Comcast Spectacor:

Comcast Spectacor is a professional sports and live entertainment company that is part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology leader that operates Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Spectacor owns and operates the Wells Fargo Center arena and complex, as well as a portfolio of professional sports teams that includes the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion, the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings and the Maine Mariners of the ECHL. Comcast Spectacor also holds strategic interest in several partner companies spanning the sports and entertainment landscape, including Spectra, Learfield IMG College, Xfinity Live! Philadelphia and N3rd Street Gamers. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com for more information.

About SK Telecom:

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has launched the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018. The company is not only leading innovations in the field of mobile network, but is also creating unprecedented value in areas such as media, security and commerce. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, SK Telecom will inspire the world, building a future beyond expectations.

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eSports

Challengermode hires key leaders and promotes internal talent to level up leadership team

George Miller

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Challengermode hires key leaders and promotes internal talent to level up leadership team
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

  • Challengermode makes dual appointments with Philip Hübner promoted to CBDO and Dan-Alp Lindberg joining as CFO 

Leading esports platform Challengermode today announced the appointment of Dan-Alp Lindberg as Chief Financial Officer and the promotion of Philip Hübner to Chief Business Development Officer. The hires follow a substantial period of growth and a $12 million investment round led by eWTP Innovation Fund, the global investment arm of the Alibaba Group, Telia Ventures and Swedish soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Joining Challengermode in 2017 as Head of Business Development, Hübner has previously been responsible for onboarding the very first partners at the company, as well as devising the company’s partnerships and business strategy. With a wealth of esports specific experience – his first involvement in the space as a competitive DOTA player – Philip has worked in a variety of positions, from marketing and communications to product management to business development and strategy – highlighting the value of a broad knowledge base to grow the business side of the industry. In his new role Hübner will draw on this experience to translate increased accessibility in esports into greater value for stakeholders.

Lindberg joins as Chief Financial Officer, where he will be responsible for the company’s revenue growth and profitability while managing risks and compliance in order to facilitate Challengermode’s continued high-growth journey. He has over 15 years of management experience at both large companies and scale-ups , including roles at IKEA as well as creative agency and entertainment company B-Reel. Linberg’s deep knowledge of finance, operations, risk and analytics makes him a valuable asset to Challengermode given its position in the constantly evolving world of esports.

“I’ve always been keen to help grow esports as an industry, even back when I was a competitor – so I am excited to be bringing that accumulated experience to my new role as CBDO” comments Philip Hübner Chief Business Development Officer at Challengermode. “For all its recent success, the esports industry is still relatively young, and is still in a process of change. While sponsorships and big event tournaments will continue to be important, our mission is to create new partnerships and new opportunities that will drive growth in the grassroots level of esports in the years to come.”

Dan-Alp Lindberg, Chief Financial Officer at Challengermode, said: “I am super excited to step into the role of CFO at Challengermode and look forward to continuing to roll out our esports platform internationally. I truly believe the team and this platform has incredible potential to accelerate the growth of esports, harness the space’s commercial potential, facilitate new business models and establish new revenue streams along the way.”

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eSports

Hashtag Tom on being crowned 2019/20 ePL champion…

George Miller

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Hashtag Tom on being crowned 2019/20 ePL champion…
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It meant a lot for me to be crowned the 2019/20 ePL champion as it is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the professional FIFA circuit and the first major trophy of my career. I didn’t even make the first tournament on FIFA 19 so winning it on FIFA 20 was even more special.

Hashtag Tom on whether winning was the biggest success of his career to date…

Yeah, it was the biggest success I’ve had in my career. It was my first major trophy and something I’d been working towards for four years in the FIFA scene. It’s the reason I play competitive FIFA so getting my first one meant a lot and considering it’s the only trophy I have to my name I have to say it’s the biggest success!

Hashtag Tom on finally winning a title after experiencing disappointments…

I can’t explain the number of times I had walked away from a tournament in FIFA 19 & 20 and felt like I should have won. I lost a final to Tekkz before, lost in two semi-finals and a quarter-final where really, I felt like I should have been lifting the trophy. To finally win the ePremier League after a lot of tough losses felt extra satisfying. My main emotion was relief as I really wanted to end the year with a trophy to my name.

Hashtag Tom on the strength of the underdogs in the ePL…

I think it shows how strong the UK FIFA scene is. I watched [2019/20 runner-up] Marc Marley beat my teammate Shawrey before he beat Tekkz [in the Xbox final] so I knew just how good he was. I think Marc did unbelievably well to beat the biggest names in the tournament so all credit to him. Hammond and Callum from Spurs and Chelsea were also seen as ‘underdogs’ before the tournament and went far on the PS4 side of things, so I think it shows the strength in depth in the ePremier League. 

Hashtag Tom on what he’s been up to since winning ePL…

I took a couple of weeks off before the release of FIFA 21. I haven’t played in any competitive tournaments since the ePL. The FIFA 21 competitive season has been put back a bit due to COVID and having to set up a new way of playing from home instead of live events. My first tournament was at the end of November.

Hashtag Tom defending his title this season…

I will be looking to defend my title this season. I haven’t decided who I will be representing yet, but it might be time to try again for Tottenham Hotspur as I support them. 

Hashtag Tom’s advice for anybody thinking about playing in the tournament, be it professionals or amateurs….

I would recommend they take part as the Premier League is a massive tournament with a lot of people watching. It also gives you the unique chance to try and represent your favourite Premier League team. And if you’re looking to break in to professional FIFA then this is the perfect opportunity for UK talent to showcase their talent.

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eSports

T1 Enters Multi-year Partnership with Red Bull

Niji Narayan

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T1 Enters Multi-year Partnership with Red Bull
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

T1, home to the most successful League of Legends team of all time, has entered into a long-term partnership with Red Bull.

The alliance will cover all of T1’s competitive teams and players, including those in VALORANT, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and more. The deal further expands Red Bull’s long history in esports and gaming, which encompasses its own events, pro players, content creators and teams around the globe.

The T1 League of Legends team is the most decorated in history, winning the League of Legends World Championship three times, becoming the only team to earn the title more than once. Red Bull and T1 have their sights set on a fourth trophy, recently securing Yang “Daeny” Dae-in and Lee “Zefa” Jae-min, previous coaches of the current World Champion title holders.

Red Bull provides its esports teams and athletes with facilities and expertise the brand has acquired from more than 30 years of training the world’s best athletes. The partnership will give T1 access to Red Bull’s performance infrastructure, such as its Athlete Performance Centers in Austria and Santa Monica, where Red Bull sports athletes such as Max Verstappen, Leticia Bufoni, and Fabio Wibmer train, facilitating development in and out of the game.

“As a pro gamer, I drink energy drinks during practice and before games,” said T1’s League of Legends mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. “All of us at T1 are excited to enjoy our new partnership with Red Bull.”

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