The inaugural table tennis league aims to redefine ‘sportainment’ as the first-ever sports event to be staged entirely in a world-renowned integrated production studio complex
Singapore, April 27, 2017 – The T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League (T2APAC) has chosen the Asian location of iconic Pinewood Studios situated in Johor, Malaysia, to be the ‘home’ of Seasons 1 and 2 of the ground-breaking event.
The T2Cavern, a purpose-built arena integrating competition field-of-play, studio audience lounge, hospitality suites, player training area, and production sets, will be specially constructed within a dedicated production studio facility at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, where all 228 matches in Season 1 will be played and televised live. Since 1936, the world-renowned Pinewood Studios in the UK has set the stage for blockbuster Hollywood franchises such as Star Wars and James Bond.
The first-ever sports league to be held live entirely at a world-class film and television production complex, T2APAC sets truly groundbreaking benchmarks in sport. In partnership with Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios and Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Southeast Asia’s leading media group, T2APAC aims to deliver the next generation of multi-media ‘sportainment’ for fans and consumers, and an immersive in-venue experience that will enable studio audiences to get up close and personal to the world-class stars and table tennis action.
Said T2APAC CEO, Jeff Chue: “This is a genuine game-changer not just for table tennis, but for the sports industry. We are now armed with the best partners to equip us with the hardware and software needed to successfully fuse live sport with creative entertainment, and we are very pleased to have the best in the production business in Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios to bring our sport to an all-new level. We believe this will reinvent the way table tennis is enjoyed by an all-new audience, and sports media production and event management.”
Rezal A. Rahman, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios CEO said: “We’re proud to be part of the founding team working together to co-establish T2APAC as world-class ‘sportainment’ event. We have an impressive heritage of innovation, and have been home to some of the most successful entertainment productions ever made. We’re delighted to bring our expertise and services to transform the table tennis experience for viewers, backed by Pinewood’s world-renowned creative hub, and world-class production facilities and services.”
Henry Tan, Astro COO said, “We are excited to be an integral member of a truly ground-breaking sports event. T2APAC is all geared-up to be a brand new ‘sportainment’ format, featuring top global table tennis stars performing at a world-class production studio, their games being captured and broadcast live globally with our best-in-class production capability and state-of-the-art equipment. We are also proud to broadcast the tournament live in HD on Astro TV and on Astro GO.”
Said Wong Jee Seng, Executive Board Member of the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia, and Honorary Secretary of Southeast Asia Table Tennis Federation: “We are delighted to have the inaugural T2APAC being held on our shores, as this presents a great platform to foster closer ties with the international table tennis community. We look forward to working with T2APAC to create opportunities to help inspire and develop the next generation of Malaysian and Southeast Asian table tennis players.”
The ground-breaking T2APAC has also gone for innovative ways to redefine the sport, introducing a new 24-minute time limit match format, a unique scoring system, and a player draft system (for the mixed-team championship), with the goal to engage a much broader audience and consumer base. All players will play in separate but concurrent singles and mixed-team championships in a league format, and will go through a draft selection process which will be selected by Team Captains.
The tournament has already attracted several major top-10 players including Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany, Jun Mizutani from Japan, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, and Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei. The event will also feature world-renowned players including the women’s World No. 5 Cheng I-Ching from Chinese Taipei and World No. 3 Feng Tian Wei of Singapore, former World No. 1 Timo Boll from Germany and legendary defensive player Joo Sae Hyuk of South Korea who was ranked 5th in the world at his peak.
Touted as the richest competition in today’s professional table-tennis calendar, the players will be battling for an unprecedented prize purse of more than USD 1.5 million in the inaugural season, which will be played across seven match rounds from June to December 2017.