The world of esports is becoming more and more important to gaming as a whole. Whether you like it or not, this year’s International Dota 2 Championship grabbed over 20 million viewers. While that still pales in comparison to real world sporting events like the Super Bowl or The World Cup, but that is still an impressive number that only looks like it will be increasing in the future. The folks over at Activision Blizzard’s Major League Gaming Division are well aware of this fact, and have brought on a new CEO to keep the ball rolling.
You may remember Activision Blizzard acquired MLG late last year with the intend to utilize their preexisting streaming platform to further embed themselves in the esports scene. At the time, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was reported as saying “Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports.”
Today MLG will come under the guidance of former FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Digital, Pete Vlastelica. Vlastelica will be assuming the role of President and CEO of MLG, joining former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG Co-Founder Mike Sepso.
“I’m joining MLG because of the rare combination of massive digital scale and deep audience engagement around competitive gaming, and because there’s no better category of live streaming video content out there,” said Vlastelica, who set records for the online streaming of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. “It’s clear that video games are the future of sports – and if any company is positioned to capitalize on this global opportunity, it’s Activision Blizzard.”
It’s true that Activision Blizzard does have some very interesting titles in terms of esports. Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Starcraft already draw a great deal of fans, and Overwatch will likely continue this trend.