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Telco Smart to aid South Korea-based esports org T1 in PH expansion

Philippines — PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications has struck an agreement with South Korea’s T1, one of the pioneering esports organizations in the world. Through the partnership, Smart will provide facilities that will assist T1’s expansion in the Philippines.

As part of its goal to boost the esports industry in the country, Smart will house the online MOBA game DOTA 2 Team of T1 and power its connectivity during their boot camp and tournaments. Three Filipino esports athletes are also part of T1’s roster: Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad, Khim ‘Gabbi’ Villafuerte, and Karl Jayme.

Jude H. Turcuato, first vice president and head of sports at PLDT and Smart, said that they are more than delighted to help their former coach Kuku and welcome T1 to the Philippines. Turcuato added that this is part of Smart’s advocacy to help develop esports in the Philippines and empower Filipino esports athletes as they make their mark in the global arena.

“We just want to take this opportunity to thank Smart and Smart Omega for helping us with our boot camp. They have also helped us get professional IT support on standby, especially during official matches. The facilities are good, and the place is safe as well,” Palad said.

Smart Omega is the professional esports team backed by Smart.

T1, along with eight other squads in the region, is set to play in the Southeast Asia Dota Pro Circuit Division I this month. T1 won first place in the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Season 2 – SEA Upper Division and ESL One Summer 2021; second place for DPC SEA 2021-2022 Tour 1 Regional Finals, and landing in the top 7-8 of The International 10 in 2021. Founded in 2003, T1 is also known for their three-time world championship title for League of Legends.