KSV owns and manages top Korean eSports teams.
KSV is an eSports collaboration between Silicon Valley and Seoul, combining the skills and dedication of the Korean eSports culture backed by the investment and global reach of California's Silicon Valley. We take pride in our vision of creating and guiding homegrown Korean eSports teams into champions on the international stage.
Our first team announced is the Overwatch League Seoul franchise. KSV will be announcing our Korean executives and Korean player roster in late 2017. The Seoul team will play 40 games during the regular season, 20 of which will be in Seoul. While the first season will be played in Los Angeles, we intend to start hosting Invitational tournaments in Seoul starting in 2018.
Backed by top Silicon Valley and Korean investors, KSV (Korea + Silicon Valley) represents the next generation of eSports, bringing the best in eSports management, event production, and fan engagement together in one company.
Kevin Chou is the CEO and co-founder of KSV eSports, a venture bridging Silicon Valley technology savvy and Korean gaming preeminence.
Previously, Kevin was CEO and co-founder of Kabam, a global gaming leader in developing console-quality mobile games. Kevin led the company from business plan founding to over $400M in annual revenue. Kabam was profitable from 2012 until the sale of the company's studios to Netmarble, 20th Century Fox and GAEA, which in total generated nearly $1 billion in value. Kabam is most known for its Marvel Contest of Champions mobile game, which has been a top 10 grossing game in S. Korea, U.S., and many European countries.
Kabam worked with leading Hollywood studios to develop award winning games for Marvel, Star Wars, Fast & Furious, Lord of the Rings, Transformers and Hunger Games, which have been played by over 300 million people around the world. Kabam was funded by leading global investors and strategic partners, including Warner Bros., MGM, SK Telecom, Google Ventures, Intel, Alibaba, Canaan and Redpoint.
Kevin Chou graduated magna cum laude from the UC Berkeley undergraduate Haas School of Business. He serves on the Board of Trustees at UC Berkeley and is a special guest lecturer in the Entrepreneurship, Corporate Strategy, and Media disciplines.
Kent Wakeford is COO and co-founder of KSV eSports. Kent is an entrepreneurial leader with 18+ years of experience in the video game, eSports and digital media industries.
Previously, Kent was COO of Kabam, where he helped grow Kabam to a globally diverse company with over 1,000 employees in 7 countries. Kabam games were played by over 300 million people around the world and generated over $1B in revenue. Kabam was acquired by South Korea’s largest mobile games developer, Netmarble Games Corp. While at Kabam, Kent oversaw global publishing, partnerships with Samsung, Google and Apple, licensing with Marvel, Disney, Universal, Paramount, Hasbro and Lionsgate, and strategic investments from SK Telecom, Warner Bros., and MGM.
Kent Wakeford graduated cum laude from UCLA and Order of the Coif from USC Law School.
Michael is the CTO and Co-founder of KSV eSports.
Previously he was Co-founder of Kabam, a global leader in mobile games. Kabam raised over $200M in funding and was eventually acquired by Netmarble, 21st Century Fox, and GAEA for a combined value of almost $1 billion.
From 2011 until 2017 Michael was General Manager of Kabam China, where he oversaw operations and product development. Under Mike’s leadership, the Beijing studio grew to almost 300 people and$200M in yearly revenue and transformed Kabam into a mobile gaming powerhouse. He led the development of Kabam’s first mobile game, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, the highest grossing iOS App of 2012, as well as The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth which quickly became a top-25 grossing game in more than 70 countries and one of most successful Hollywood IP based games ever.
Prior to moving to China, Michael was founding CTO, overseeing Kabam’s technical strategy, planning and infrastructure. As CTO he build Kabam’s first game, Kingdoms of Camelot, which has become a more than $250 million franchise.
Michael graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Phillip Hyun is Vice Chairman and co-founder of KSV eSports. Phillip is currently the CEO of Gamevice which produces a gaming controller for smart devices partnering with both Apple and Samsung. It is currently being sold in over 498 Apple Stores in 23 countries.
Previously, Phillip was the founder and CEO of Enterprise Technology Group, Inc. which was sold to Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) to form LAKANA. As the President of LAKANA, he grew the company to eventually power the digital presence of over 400 local tv stations reaching over 176 million users in the US. LAKANA's clients included top US media companies such as TEGNA, Fox Television Group, EW Scripps, and Cox. Prior to ETG Phillip founded and operated companies that provided global technology and marketing services to companies such as FoxSports, NBA US & China, TOM Group, LG Electronics, and Hyundai Motors. Phillip was also an early investor and advisor to Kabam and currently sits on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Virtual Reality company Boulevard.
Phillip is a graduate of UC Berkeley and resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Forrest Kitlas is Co-Founder and Chief Human Resources Officer of KSV eSports.
Previously he was Head Talent Acquisition for Kabam Inc, helping it grow from 250 employees to over 1200, while increasing revenue year over year to $400M+ and staying profitable. This success lead to the sale of Kabam to Korea's Netmarble and 21st Century Fox. Forrest's experience with growing winning teams has spanned across 6 countries, 15+ product launches, 3 corporate acquisitions, 3 successful product sales, and 2 successful company sales. Through all of this, Forrest feels the most pride in his team's "people first" approach that strived to find the intersection of corporate success and personal development for every employee.