Thai esports organization SEA Serpents have purchased the Thailand League of Legends Championship Series slot previously owned by Ultimate Gaming, and will be the first team to import two South Korean players and a foreign coach into any of the Garena Pro League regions, the organization told ESPN on Monday.
Serpents has come to agreements to bring in South Korean players AD carry Kim "Emperor" Jin-hyun and support Jeong "Fixer" Jae-woo into the Thai region. Emperor most recently played on Longzhu Gaming in South Korea, while Fixer was listed as a sub on Phoenix1 in North America. It will also have former Renegades: Banditos and Team Coast jungler Matthew "Impaler" Taylor as its head coach.
The upcoming summer split in the Thailand LCS will mark the debut of the SEA Serpents organization, which was founded by Thai professional basketball player Richard Latham of the Nakorn Pathom Mad Goats.
Latham told ESPN that he's been interested in League of Legends for a number of years. Given the recent success of GPL squad Gigabyte Marines at the 2017 Riot Games Mid-Season Invitational earlier in May, which gives the GPL two slots for the League of Legends World Championship in October, he believed this was a good time to invest.
"Ever since Bangkok Titans made their awesome run [at Worlds] a couple years ago I told myself that one day - I would do the same thing for Thailand," Latham told ESPN. "Esports offers hope and opportunity to a generation here that hasn't known much of either. It can offer the kids here opportunities guys from their backgrounds could never conceive otherwise. I want to be at the forefront of inspiring a new generation of Thai gamers, and them what's possible in today's esports world. Even in their own very back yard."
The remainder of the roster will be filled out by former Team Terrigen top laner Atit "Rockk" Phaomuang, former Bangkok Titans jungler Jakkid "Sek" Krinbai and former Bangkok Titans mid laner Sanpett "TAP" Marat, who was previously known as InTreso.
Latham said that by increasing the professionalism of the region, which he claims lacks in professional business, salaries, and other consistencies like other regions, that Serpent will set a standard. The team intends to provide a full-fledged gaming house for its team, including a chef, cleaning staff, and a bilingual manager to handle logistics.
Should the team win the Thailand LCS summer split, they will compete in the Garena Pro League against other Southeast Asian teams from Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The top two teams from that league will move on to the League of Legends World Championship Play-In in October for an opportunity to compete in the group stages.