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Activision hires former ESPN CEO and MLG co-founder to lead new esports division

Activision Blizzard steps into the esports ring with heavy hitters Steve Bornstein and Mike Sepso. Will they be able to make an impact on the esports scene?

Activision Blizzard is starting to make big strides in the esports scene, and when 13 billion hours were spent last year watching their games, it's easy to see why the giant publisher wants to take esports seriously.

Former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG co-founder Mike Sepso are taking the reins on Activision's newly announced esports division and they're eager to see esports evolve.

In it to win it

"I believe esports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues," said Bornstein in an Activision Blizzard press release. "I'm excited to help Activision Blizzard further its leadership position in esports."

In September, Activision announced a Call of Duty esports league and a prize pool of $3 million

Subsidiary Blizzard has many titles to work with, like Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Starcraft II.

With so many people watching the publishers games, it's a move that only makes sense. "Activision Blizzard is uniquely positioned to give millions of fans around the world what they want," said Sepso, "and I'm excited to help support this community in a way that honors its history."

They certainly have their foot in the door, and with Blizzard already appearing on ESPN2 with Heroes of the Dorm, "the first collegiate esports event to be televised on ESPN2," it seems like they know what they're doing.

 

It's only a matter of time

With the ever growing popularity of esports, and the fact that esports professionals can apply for athletes visa, it won't be long before people aren't so dismissive of this rising scene.

Maybe one day Bornstein will have a chance to prove to ESPN president  John Skipper that he shouldn't be so quick to dismiss esports.

Published Oct. 22nd 2015

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