Blizzard has been at the forefront of competitive gaming since the 90s with StarCraft and today Activion Blizzaard appears to be cementing their commitment to eSports with the announcement of a new eSports division.
The new division is being looked after by former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network Steve Bornstein who will serve as the division’s Chairman. Mike Sepso who was co-founder and president of Major League Gaming (MLG) will take on the role of Senior Vice President. Steve Bornstein added:
“Last year, Activision Blizzard created entertainment that was viewed and played by over 150 million people for more than 13 billion hours. 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.”
The new division is separate from the Activision and Blizzard operations but there’s not much more to go on at the moment with regards to the purpose of this new division but we can assume it will be to promote their own franchises and future leagues. With the StarCraft series still popular with competitive gamers, the phenomenal rise in Hearthstone players and Overwatch still to come, there will be plenty for this new division to focus on.
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard also released the following statement.
“Celebrating our players and their unique skill, dedication and commitment is the essence of our esports initiatives. Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Publishing have been leaders in the development of esports. With that leadership, our strong franchises, our deep history and experience in esports and now two additional industry leaders, we intend to further enhance our efforts and make certain this remains an important growth driver for Activision Blizzard.”