Smart teams up with T1 to bolster Philippines esports scene

Smart, a subsidiary of telecommunications company PLDT, has signed an agreement with South Korean esports organisation T1.

The agreement will see Smart provide T1’s Dota 2 team with facilities in the Philippines, which will be used during its boot camp and tournaments.

T1 and Smart
Image credit: T1, Smart

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According to the release, the partnership will look to support the esports organisation’s expansion in the Philippines, whilst also developing the country’s esports sector.

Since launching a Dota 2 division in 2019, T1 has established itself within the title’s SEA scene. The team recently made it to the Lower Bracket R3 (7th/8th) in The International 10 and also finished second in the Dota Pro Circuit SEA 2021/2022 Tour 1: Regional Finals.

At the time of writing, three of T1’s players are Filipino, including Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad who was previously a coach for Smart Omega, an esports team backed by the PLDT subsidiary.

Jude Turcuato, First Vice President and Head of Sports at PLDT and Smart, commented: “We are more than delighted to help our former coach Kuku and welcome T1 to the Philippines. 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.”

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This isn’t T1’s first partnership of the year with the organisation also securing a deal with OMEN by HP back in February 2022. Last year, T1 also sealed collaborative deals with Razer and Steelseries, among other brands.

Esports Insider says: Regional deals are always very interesting as it provides an insight into certain companies’ mindsets when it comes to esports. This deal, for example, showcases how Smart is looking to further develop the Philippines’ esports ecosystem by utilising T1 and proving its Dota 2 side with facilities within the region. It’ll be interesting to see if this strategy plays out and we see more sides enter the Philippines in the near future. 

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