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Activision Blizzard plans to create the ESPN of eSports with MLG acquisition

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A few days ago the eSports world was shocked with the announcement that Activision Blizzard bought Major League Gaming (MLG) for a staggering $46 million. Major League Gaming and the Electronic Sports League are the world's two biggest eSports organisations, so it's understandable that gamers would be concerned about what Activision plans for MLG.

In a nutshell - Activision wants to use MLG to create the ESPN of esports.

MLG will serve as the foundation for Activision Blizzard's eSports Broadcast Network. MLG is known for their eSports live streaming events, but the organisation also organized international competitive gaming events and tournaments. It's a pity that Activision Blizzard will only make use of MLG's streaming infrastructure, but on the other hand, it's perhaps the wiser decision given MLG's mountain of debt.

The ESPN of eSports is coming

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, "Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. 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."

eSports popularity rivals that of many traditional professional sports

Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, said, "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."

A few words from MLG founder

Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Networks and MLG Co-founder, said, "Sundance and I founded MLG to highlight the incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world. 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."

eSports certainly has the potential to surpass professional sports of viewership numbers, and Activision Blizzard's goal to turn MLG into the ESPN of eSports is a step in that direction.

Do you think Activision Blizzard's acquisition of MLG is good or bad for eSports?

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