T1 esports organization announces COO John Kim has passed away

John Kim was apparently hospitalized due to undisclosed 'health issues' where he passed away.


The T1 organization, formerly known as SK Telecom T1, is one of the most prolific Korean esports organizations in the world. It has made an incredible name for itself with high-level performances in the global League of Legends scene and with iconic players such as Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, though it has also expanded into a number of other games beyond LoL. However, the organization has suffered a major loss today as Chief Operating Officer John Kim has passed away after ongoing issues left him hospitalized.

John Kim’s death was reported by the T1 organization via its official Twitter. John Kim was COO of the organization, handling global operations across multiple games in which the group was involved, including Fortnite, DOTA 2, and Hearthstone. Unfortunately, Kim had also apparently been dealing with some medical issues. Though the nature of these issues was undisclosed, they apparently took a turn for the worst. Kim was recently hospitalized on July 7 where medical staff had been working to try to stabilize his condition since. He officially passed away on July 16, 2021.

According to T1 itself, Kim was heavily instrumental in helping to build and expand the T1 organization as a whole. A large portion of the esports scene gathered to pay respect to the deceased T1 leader, including fellow esports organizations Gen.G and G2 Esports, who also have a high-caliber place in the League of Legends scene. T1 players such as DOTA 2 player Nuengnara “23Savage” Teeramahanon, Fortnite player Do “Hood.J” Hwan Kim, and T1 content creator Nick “LS” De Cesare also shared their respects and condolences, to name a few.

Even a cursory glance around the field shows that John Kim had quite a profound effect on both the organization he was a part of and the esports scene as a whole. Following his passing, T1 is still scheduled to have a League of Legends LCK match with DAMWON on July 17 at 4 a.m. PT / 7 a.m. ET and an honoring of Kim is expected. Shacknews also offers its condolences and wishes the best to Kim’s family, friends, and the rest of T1 in this time.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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