There’s no denying that the Esports market is growing, and quickly. Last year’s League of Legends Championship was watched by 27 million people on ESPN. To put that in perspective, the final games of both the World Series, and NBA Finals both drew smaller crowds. (23.5 million, and 18 million, respectively). So when ESPN’s former CEO decides to break into the Esports world, it’s really not a big surprise.
Today Activision Blizzard announced that Former CEO of ESPN Steven Bornstein will take on the role of Chairman of the company’s Esports division. What’s more, former MLG (Major League Gaming) co-founder Mike Sepso will serve as the Senior Vice President of this new division. The decision to create this new division doesn’t seem to come as a big surprise, as Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg expressed the company’s desire to support competitive gaming back in 2013.
Activision Blizzard has a long history in the world of competitive gaming. For years, Starcraft was one of the most popular titles, and one of the earliest games to be broadcast on television. In recent times, the company has been hosting major tournaments for StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Call of Duty. They even hosted the first Collegiate Esports tournament to be broadcast on ESPN, dubbed Heroes of the Dorm.
So what does this mean for the world of Esports as a whole? It’s hard to say, but if you’re a competitive gamer, or enjoy watching Esports, it looks like it will only bring good things to the table.