Vlastelica to Join Former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and Major League
Gaming Co-Founder Mike Sepso on Activision Blizzard's Growing All-Star
SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that veteran
FOX Sports executive Pete Vlastelica has been named President and CEO of
Major League Gaming (MLG), joining sports broadcast titan Steve
Bornstein and competitive gaming leader Mike Sepso on the company's
all-star esports team. Vlastelica, who founded and sold the online
sports network Yardbarker to Fox in 2010, most recently served as FOX
Sports' Executive Vice President of Digital. At Activision Blizzard,
Vlastelica will expand and enhance the company's broadcast, content and
distribution leadership across the global esports ecosystem.
"We continue to add to our all-star esports leadership team. Pete is an
entrepreneurial leader with a history of creating inspired content and
developing new digital channels of distribution," said Bobby Kotick,
Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. "As we continue to build
MLG into the premier esports network, Pete will further our mission
celebrating the accomplishments of gamers worldwide."
"Pete understands that whether it's on a field, a console or a phone,
players and fans want to experience community, camaraderie and
excellence in competition. He's a rare talent who will deliver great
opportunities to our players and fans," said MLG Chairman Steve
"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. "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. I'm thrilled to join the team."
At FOX Sports, Vlastelica led content, product development, social media
and operations, with a focus on creating multi-platform content
properties, including Emmy-award winning "Garbage Time with Katie
Nolan." Vlastelica was responsible for production and distribution of
all Fox Sports content across digital platforms, including
FOXSports.com, FOX Sports Go, and Yardbarker, one of the largest online
sports networks, which he founded. Under Vlastelica's leadership, the
mobile app FOX Sports Go streamed Super Bowl XLVIII, at the time setting
a new Internet streaming record for a sporting event. Previously, he
managed business development at the Walt Disney Internet Group in London.
Vlastelica's appointment is another key moment in Activision Blizzard's
competitive gaming leadership.
The company launched
Activision Blizzard's esports division last year, naming former
CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network Steve Bornstein as the division's
chairman, and co-founder of MLG Mike Sepso as its Senior Vice
In December, Activision Blizzardacquired
the business of MLG, a leader in creating and streaming live
gaming events, organizing professional competitions and running
competitive gaming leagues.
In April, MLG's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship set
record esports viewership for the event during its broadcast, with
71 million video views, 45 million hours of live broadcast, and record
1.6 million concurrent viewers.
In May, MLG debuted
the Enhanced Viewership Experience (EVE) at NewFronts and a
collaboration with Facebook to broadcast live competitions to the
platform's 1.6 billion members.
In September, Activision launched
the Call of Duty World League. In partnering with MLG and MGL.tv,
the league hosted its final live qualifying competition at the Call of
Duty MLG Orlando Open and brought millions of fans live coverage from
Call of Duty XP.
Vlastelica will be based at Activision Blizzard's Santa Monica
headquarters and report to Chief Operating Officer Thomas Tippl.
Bornstein and Sepso will continue in their leadership positions and
operations for MLG will continue to be based in New York City.
This year, more than 256 million people watched competitive gaming1.
The company's esports portfolio includes regional and global events for
Activision's Call of Duty® and Blizzard Entertainment's Heroes
of the Storm®, Hearthstone® and StarCraft®
titles. Key events include Activision's Call
of Duty World League, Call
of Duty XP and Blizzard Entertainment's annual
BlizzCon celebration and Heroes
of the Dorm competition.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the S&P 500, is the world's most
successful standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight
nearly 500 million monthly active users around the world through
franchises including Activision's Call of Duty®, Destiny and
Skylanders®, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft®, StarCraft®,
Diablo®, Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™ and Overwatch®, and King's
Candy Crush™, Pet Rescue™ and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the
Fortune "100 Best Companies To Work For®". Headquartered in Santa
Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the
world, and its games are played in 196 countries. More information
about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's
1Newzoo, "2016 Global Esports
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160907005418/en/
Mary Osako, 424-322-5166
Director of Communications, Major League Gaming
Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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