Video game publishing company Activision Blizzard is growing its reach into the world of esports with its recent acquisition of Major League Gaming (MLG), a leading esports network dedicated to broadcasting live gaming events and organizing professional gaming tournaments.
With the big addition to its “rapidly-growing esports ecosystem,” Activision shared its excitement to build upon MLG’s proven streaming capabilities and technologies in a recent release. Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said the move furthers the company’s plans to “create the ESPN of esports.”
“Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming initiatives.”
Welcome @mlg to the Activision Blizzard family! Excited to have MLG’s strong, seasoned team join us as we create the ESPN of esports.
— Bobby Kotick (@BobbyKotick) January 4, 2016
Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, added that “this acquisition and Activision Blizzard’s commitment to competitive gaming will expand the opportunities for gamers to be recognized and celebrated for their competitive excellence.”
Activision Blizzard’s new esports broadcast network will be led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG Co-founder Mike Sepso. Sepso says “the acquisition of MLG’s business is an important step towards Activision Blizzard Media Networks’ broader mission to bring esports into the mainstream by creating and broadcasting premium esports content, organizing global league play and expanding distribution with key gaming partners.”
According to the release, the MLG.tv, MLG Pro Circuit, and GameBattles platforms will continue to operate. MLG will also continue to work with partners and other publishers across the industry.
Last year, Activision announced big plans for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 esports in 2016, revealing the new Call of Duty World League and a whopping $3 million prize pool. The Call of Duty World League Pro Division Stage 1 begins next week at CallofDuty.com/CWL.