Activision Blizzard Taps Fox Sports' Pete Vlastelica to Run Major League Gaming
Vlastelica joins a growing e-sports team at Activision led by Steve Bornstein and Mike Sepso.
Activision Blizzard has appointed Fox Sports digital veteran Pete Vlastelica to run its professional e-sports division, Major League Gaming.
As president and CEO of Major League Gaming, Vlastelica will now be in charge of an organization that organizes several large e-sports championships throughout the year, including its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship, which logged 1.6 million concurrent viewers when it was broadcast live in April.
Activision created an e-sports division last October with the hiring of former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein as its chairman and Major League Gaming co-founder Mike Sepso as its senior vp. In early 2016, the company acquired MLG with the plan to make it the foundation of its e-sports broadcasting business.
Vlastelica sold his online sports network, Yardbarker, to Fox in 2010 and has served a variety of roles at the broadcaster over the last six years, most recently as exec vp digital for Fox Sports. Under his leadership at Fox, the company launched the Fox Sports Go mobile app and streamed Super Bowl XLVII.
"We continue to add to our all-star e-sports leadership team," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said Wednesday in a statement. "Pete is an entrepreneurial leader with a history of creating inspired content and developing new digital channels of distribution. As we continue to build out MLG into the premiere e-sports network, Pete will further our mission celebrating the accomplishments of gamers worldwide."
Added Vlastelica: "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. 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."
Vlastelica will be based at Activision's Santa Monica headquarters and report to COO Thomas Tippl. MLG will continue to be based in New York.