KELCEY LORENZO WRITES – K-Pop idols appear to be present in virtually every aspect of Korean media. They’re acting in television and web dramas, hosting and guest starring on variety shows, promoting various brands and products, and even competing in the Korean E-Gaming scene.
On November 1, S.M. Entertainment officially announced their very first eSports event, the 2016 S.M. Super Celeb League. S.M. idols Kim Heechul of Super Junior and Byun Baekhyun of EXO will each lead teams of fans and professional players in a League of Legends (LoL) tournament against selected teams of five Chinese pro gamers.
Some of the professional players set to participate in the event include Jang “MaRin” Kyung Hwan, member of SK Telecom T-1, and Choi “DanDy” In Kyu and Lee “Easyhoon” Ji Hoon, members of Vici Gaming.
While it may seem like this event is another marketing ploy for S.M. to promote their idols in South Korea’s booming eSports industry or just another way for idols to interact with their fans, both Heechul and Baekhyun are genuinely avid players of League of Legends.
In 2015, Heechul participated in a celebrity match, sponsored by famous LoL team SK Telecom T-1 (SKT T1 K), and another celebrity match in the Chinese Regional Final earlier this year. He also frequently posts about LoL on his Instagram.
In his band’s V-App broadcast show, EXOmentary, Baekhyun dedicated his episode, “Baekhyun’s (LoL)lercoaster,” to explaining and playing the game.
The 2016 S.M. Super Celeb League consists of seven matches, which started on November 11 and will end on December 23. All matches will be broadcasted live on DOYOU TV, a Chinese online gaming platform, and Heechul and Baekhyun will also MC special guest talks and interviews with the professionals after each match.