Southeast Asian gaming and esports pioneer Tier One Entertainment announced on Tuesday (26 October) its expansion beyond the region after it signed an investment deal with Japan-based internet firm KAYAC and global media company Warner Music Group.
Founded in 2017, Tier One is one of the largest gaming and esports entertainment companies in Southeast Asia with over a thousand talents under its banner. The company is a Singapore-registered entity and has been operating in the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
With its expansion into Japan, Tier One will be looking to discover "the hottest up-and-coming local talents to sign and develop".
Last Friday (22 October), the company notably announced a landmark partnership with Japanese esports legend Daigo "Daigo" Umehara and his agency Cooperstown Entertainment.
In addition, Tier One will be aiming to debut its first idol group in Japan "to delight Japanese and global fans" as well as "[bring] gaming to the mainstream".
The idol group is tentatively named "Project 4" and will consist of four members, with the first being model and cosplayer Harry "har_fie" Field. Tier One will unveil the rest of the members in a series of promotions that will launch in the coming months.
“Japan is a country with a long history both in gaming and innovation in multimedia. With over 57% of its population being gamers, there’s a big opportunity for us to grow our brand,” Tryke Gutierrez, CEO and co-founder of Tier One, said in a press release. “Japan has always been my second home and is a country that's really close to my heart.“
“Through Tier One I was able to further share my passion for video games. Now with our Japan expansion, I get to work closely with another one of my great loves: Japanese culture,” added Tier One co-founder Alodia Gosiengfiao.
"We are thrilled that Tier One Entertainment is bringing the enormous momentum of the SEA gaming scene to Japan as its first foray outside its territory. Our collaboration will allow us to forge unique kinds of gaming entertainment to audiences in Japan and other key markets in Asia,” said KAYAC CEO Daisuke Yanasawa.
In addition to managing gaming and entertainment talent in Southeast Asia, Tier One is also operating Blacklist International, an esports team based in the Philippines that competes in games such asMobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) and PUBG. Blacklist International recently made headlines after winning its second-straight MLBB Professional League Philippines (MPL PH) title at MPL PH Season 8.
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