Activision Acquires E-Sports Event Pioneer Major League Gaming

  • Trade report cited signs of financial struggle at the company
  • Professional and amateur game tournaments will be featured

Big Year for M&A: Activision Buys Major League Gaming

Activision Blizzard Inc. is buying e-sports pioneer Major League Gaming, deepening its commitment to the business of producing live video-game competition.

As part of the deal, Activision is acquiring, an online network for professional tournaments, and GameBattles, a site for amateurs. Terms weren’t disclosed, according to a statement Monday. ESports Observer put the price at $46 million in a Dec. 30 report and cited signs Major League Gaming was struggling financially.

The deal follows Activision’s announcement last year that it was creating a division to stage and televise e-sports events around its Call of Duty and Destiny video-game franchises, and other products. Major League Gaming was co-founded in 2002 by Mike Sepso. He runs Activision’s e-sports effort with former ESPN CEO Steven Bornstein.

“The team has the most experience in the industry producing premium e-sports content,” Sepso said in an interview. “I think we can grow it and make it bigger here.”

The company will continue to work with publishers of non-Activision games, Sepso said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.