Singtel partners SK Telecom to grow gaming, esports in Asia

Singtel SK Telecom combo logo

SINGAPORE: Singtel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korea’s SK Telecom to cooperate and leverage each other’s assets and capabilities to grow gaming and esports in Asia. 

The collaboration will see both companies work together on developing and providing digital gaming content, solutions and services for gamers in the region.

Asia is home to one of the largest gamer bases in the world with an estimated esports audience of 190 million. With an increasing number of millennials in Asia playing games and watching esports content, Singtel and SK Telecom will jointly utilise their platforms and channels to scale up regional esports events and leagues, as well as provide curated original and third party gaming content for their respective local portals.

In July, last year, Singtel organised the inaugural PVP Esports Championship which attracted over 3,600 teams competing in both Dota 2 and Arena of Valor for a $300,000 prize pool. The championship final was played before a sold-out live audience and streamed to over 13 million viewers online through Singtel’s content partners. 

Adopting a regional approach, Singtel is also collaborating with Optus and regional associates Airtel, AIS, Globe and Telkomsel to grow the gaming and esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia, Australia and India. 

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said: “SK Telecom is synonymous with gaming and has been a leader in the industry since the beginning. They have a wealth of experience and one of the most recognisable esports teams and personalities in the world today. Coupled with the Singtel Group’s deep local knowledge, telco assets and reach to over 675 million customers in the region, of which almost a third are gamers, we have the synergies and opportunity to really grow and develop the gaming ecosystem for gamers in Asia. I am very excited about this partnership and looking forward to working together to delight the gaming community in the region.” 

Peter Ha, chief strategy officer of SK Telecom, said: “Singtel is one of the world’s leading telcos, with a strong presence in Asia. They have been strengthening their competitiveness in the gaming sector through numerous initiatives such as their PVP Esports Championship. SK Telecom is South Korea’s largest telco with an abundance of experience, technology, and infrastructure in gaming distribution and operation. Together we will be able to provide gamers in Asia with quality content and services, giving gaming a boost in the region and pushing it further into the mainstream.”

SK Telecom is a pioneer in gaming and has operated its own game portal service successfully since 2009, developing it into one of the leading digital portals in Korea with over 35 million users. It also has its own esports team, regarded as one of the top teams in the world.

The partnership enables SK Telecom to extend the reach of its games business and increase the profile of its esports team in the Singtel Group’s markets of Singapore, Australia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, via existing channels. It also lets Singtel draw on SK Telecom’s strong presence in gaming to broaden its audience and strengthen brand recognition in the region’s gaming community, especially Korea – one of the most lucrative gaming markets in the world and a leader in gaming and esports.