Singapore, October 6, 2016 – T2 Asia-Pacific has officially announced the launch of a brand-new elite table tennis competition, with the inaugural season featuring 24 of the world’s best men’s and women’s players, and set to be held in Hong Kong in 2017.
Recognised and supported by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU), and the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association (HKTTA), the T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League 2017 will feature 24 world- class players (12 men’s and 12 women’s players) hand-picked from around the world. Competing in separate but concurrent men’s, women’s, and mixed-team league competitions, Season 1 will comprise 228 men’s and women’s singles matches played entirely in the vibrant city of Hong Kong from July to December 2017, and during breaks in the current international and domestic table-tennis calendars.
Touted as the richest competition in today’s professional table-tennis calendar, 24 players will battle for an unprecedented prize pool of USD 1.5 million in the inaugural season, and each player will have not one, but two chances to win prize money.
Premised on 21st Century consumer lifestyle trends, T2 APAC is driven by the rapidly growing consumption of sports and entertainment via digital multimedia content.
“T2 APAC embraces an all-new business model that is intended to infuse table tennis with commercial innovation. Intrinsically a single sport, one of our key goals is to mould the protagonists into internationally recognisable personalities,” said Jeff Chue, CEO & Commissioner of T2 APAC.
“Simply looking at the sheer number of hobbyists and recreational players worldwide, table tennis is arguably the most highly participated sport in the world,” he added. “But most people probably can’t name many of the top players in the world today. T2 APAC aims to change that by making household names out of our select stable of elite players, and through an out-of-the-box story-telling approach that will resonate with the new generation of digital consumers and sports fans.”
T2 APAC will showcase a unique competition model as well as innovative features such as the virtual T2 ARENA; cutting- edge production values integrating Ultra-Slow Motion presentation; a player draft system; time limit for each match; and a unique scoring system. By ensuring a level playing field and unpredictability of outcome, audiences and fans around the world can expect edge-of-your-seat competitive excitement throughout the season.
Said Tony Yue, ATTU Secretary General and President of the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association:
“Asia has always been at the forefront of table tennis innovation and growth. In recent times, we have seen more and more talented players emerging, even from non-traditional table tennis countries in Southeast Asia and West Asia. T2 APAC is certainly a welcome catalyst that we anticipate will not only raise the marketability of players considerably, but will also springboard commercial value of the sport in this region to even greater heights.
The Chinese Table Tennis Super League is currently the only professional domestic competition in the Asia-Pacific region. But with no regional professional competitions to speak of, T2 APAC will fill a void in this part of the world while complementing the ITTF’s and ATTU’s tournament programmes.
“Just in the last few years, interest and participation in the sport has grown tremendously all over the world,” said ITTF President Thomas Weikert. “We wish T2 APAC the best of luck with their plans to become a successful league and boost the sport in the Asia-Pacific region.”
T2 APAC has appointed Belarusian Vladimir Samsonov as its Director of Player Operations, and former ITTF Executive Director for Education and Training, Mikael Andersson of Sweden, as Director of Competitions & Technical Operations.
The ‘Tai-Chi Master’ of table tennis, Samsonov is a top professional player who has consistently enjoyed world top-10 ranking for most of the last 20 years, and finished fourth in the men’s singles event at the recent Rio 2016 Olympics. Andersson is the former Danish national coach and National Coaching Director of Canada, and was also responsible for the ITTF High Performance programme during his 15 years at the sport’s world governing body.
About T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League:
T2 APAC is the brainchild of Shanghainese, Frank W Y Ji, a table-tennis aficionado and serial entrepreneur. Headquartered in Singapore, the first-ever Asia-Pacific table-tennis league aims to introduce commercial innovation into the sport, and to captivate a global audience through a unique competition format, state-of-the-art media coverage, and out-of-the-box articulation of storylines and personalities driven by specially-produced multimedia content. The inaugural season will be held entirely in Hong Kong in 2017, with a new host country each season thereafter.