Esports juggernaut, SK Telecom T1, has always exerted their dominance over the esports world. Their League of Legends team has become legendary across the world with players like Faker, Bang, and coach KKoma. SKT boasts the most international wins of any League of Legends team and fans across the world. However, the organization did something unprecedented by also signing two western players. Initially, SKT wanted to sign only Kim “Surrender” Jung-soo, but Surrender constantly suggested the two players from Planet Odd. Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert and Frederik “Hoej” Nielson were picked up by the legendary organization.
SKT is not the first korean organization to join Hearthstone; however, they are most likely the largest. SKT’s presence in Hearthstone highly verifies its significance in South Korean esports culture and its success in general. A Hearthstone event hosted by World Esports Games and Leagues, or WEGL, in December last year. Four players from across the world faced off against Korean players and Xixo and Hoej were amongst the four. Blizzard also made their stop in Seoul in June for the Hearthstone Championship Tour as they hosted a minor tournament for $25,000. The signing of the Surrender is significant it itself as he will be the Hearthstone representative for the 2018 Asian Games, but the signing of Xixo and Hoej may represent new opportunities for western players in Asia. SKT has picked up 3 powerhouse players and will look to dominate the Hearthstone scene in the same fashion as every other esport they are a part of.