Activision Blizzard has announced plans to open a new esports division headed up by the former CEO of ESPN Steve Bornstein.
The division promises to build on Activision's "competitive gaming leadership by creating all-new ways to deliver the best-in-class fan experience across games, platforms and geographies," and further the development of its "world-leading esports ecosystem".
Borstein will serve as chairman, with MLG's former president and co-founder Mike Sepso serving as senior vice president.
"Celebrating our players and their unique skill, dedication and commitment is the essence of our esports initiatives," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Publishing have been leaders in the development of esports. With that leadership, our strong franchises, our deep history and experience in esports and now two additional industry leaders, we intend to further enhance our efforts and make certain this remains an important growth driver for Activision Blizzard."
Bornstein, meanwhile, believes that esports "will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities and between advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships and merchandising, there are tremendous growth areas for this nascent industry."
Last month, Activision announced the Call of Duty World League, a new esports program that will see teams across the globe competing for cash and a place in the Call of Duty Championship.
"There are no better leaders for this new initiative than Steve and Mike," added Kotick. "Steve has unparalleled experience in creating a sports network powerhouse and his groundbreaking leadership at ESPN and the NFL Network shaped how the whole world experiences sports. Mike's entrepreneurial vision helped make 'esports' a household word and he is uniquely positioned to take the experience to the next level."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 launches on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 6.