Activision creating new Esports division
Former CEO of ESPN joins new team at the publishing company
Activision Blizzard has announced a new Esports division that will build on the Company's competitive gaming initiatives.
Former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network Steve Bornstein will serve as the division's Chairman and Mike Sepso, who was most recently a co-founder and president of Major League Gaming (MLG), will serve as its Senior Vice President.
"Last year, Activision Blizzard created entertainment that was viewed and played by over 150 million people for more than 13 billion hours," said Steve Bornstein, Chairman of the new division and former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network. "I believe esports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities, and between advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships and merchandising, there are tremendous growth areas for this nascent industry. I'm excited to help Activision Blizzard further its leadership position in esports."
Blizzard Entertainment has many of the world's biggest esports competitions. This year's BlizzCon event will take place November 6-7 in Anaheim, Calif. and will feature the global finals for StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. Players have been competing for more than $4 million in prizes across Road to BlizzCon tournaments.
Activision Publishing hosts the annual Call of Duty Championship. Call of Duty is the top console esports franchise in the world. Last month, Activision Publishing announced the creation of the Call of Duty World League, which provides a $3 million prize pool to professional and amateur players.