Blizzard is forming a new division that will be tasked to handle “management, operation, sales, and distribution” for all Overwatch esports programs. This includes the Overwatch League and Overwatch World Cup, both of which are penned down to take place later this year.
The new division will use the name and assets of tournament organizer Major League Gaming, which Blizzard acquired a couple of years back for a reported $46 million deal. The goal was to establish an independent broadcast network that would become the “ESPN of esports” for Blizzard.
“The new division will build on Blizzard’s nearly 20-year history as a leader in esports and leverage MLG’s extensive experience with live events and content distribution,” reads the announcement. “It will also operate the MLG-branded media network, which will broadcast both Blizzard and Activision esports content as well as other premium gaming programming.”
The new Major League Gaming division will also handle managerial duties; including team, media, advertisement, sponsorship sales, content development, and event production for the Call of Duty World League. This is in addition to its task of overseeing competitive Overwatch.
It must be pointed out that the new “dedicated division” is separate from the existing Blizzard esports division. It will strictly handle Overwatch esports activities, while the rest of the games under Blizzard will continue to be run by the original team of people.
Overwatch boasts over thirty million registered players worldwide. In the company’s latest earnings report, Blizzard revealed that the new team-based shooter had crossed a major sales milestone to become its eighth billion-dollar franchise. The achievement is incredibly impressive, especially considering that the game was released just a year ago.
Even at this early stage, the developer has committed itself to the longevity of Overwatch and related Overwatch esports circuits. It will not be long before we see the game on the same platform as League of Legends, the most-played and popular title on the planet.