Major League Gaming, the world-leader in esports, has been acquired by Activision Blizzard in a bid to create “the ESPN of esports”.
Activision today announced the acquisition of MLG – who create and stream premium live gaming events, organise professional competitions and run competitive gaming leagues (known as esports) – in a plan to expand the studio’s “reach across the rapidly-growing esports ecosystem” led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bernstein and MLG Co-Founder Mike Sepso.
“Our acquisition of Major League Gaming’s business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard.
“MLG’s ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform – including its live streaming capabilities – strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming. MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community. 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.”
Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, added: “Our mission for over 12 years has been to promote and expand the growth of competitive gaming worldwide, and today the industry is at a key inflection point as its popularity soars and rivals that of many traditional professional sports.
“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.”
It was confirmed that MLG would continue to operate MLG.tv, a premium online broadcast network for professional-level esports, as well as the MLG Pro Circuit, the longest-running esports league, and also GameBattles, the largest online gaming tournament system across all gaming platforms.
“Sundance and I founded MLG to highlight the incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world,” said Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Networks and MLG Co-founder.
“Activision Blizzard’s esports leadership, incredible intellectual property and long history in competitive gaming create a perfect home for MLG’s capabilities.
“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.