Chief Innovation Officer Summit
December - , 2018 , New York
Major League Gaming
“Mike's entrepreneurial vision helped make ‘esports' a household word." - Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard (ATVI – Oct 2015) Michael “Mike” Sepso is a world leading entrepreneur and executive in the esports and gaming industry. As an entrepreneur, he was instrumental in the creation of the esports industry itself and continues to be a key figure in what is now a fast growth, multi billion-dollar segment at the cross section of the gaming and sports entertainment industries. A successful entrepreneur, public company executive, CEO and spokesperson, Sepso is a unique mix of visionary, dealmaker and operator with an unparalleled global network in the esports industry he helped create. Sepso currently serves as a partner and strategic advisor to the New York based esports investment group led by Sterling Equities, the owner of the NYXL Overwatch League Franchise. The group is investing in the development of the New York City esports ecosystem. He is also a strategic advisor to the board of directors and CEO of Game Digital, the largest video games retailer in the UK and Spain, focusing on the rollout of their Belong Gaming Arenas business. Finally, Sepso is a cofounder and chairman of the Electronic Sports Group, a global advisory firm established by leading traditional and esports executives aiding leading firms in the private equity, advertising and media businesses on their investments and operations in the global esports space. Mr. Sepso was an early pioneer in esports when, in 2002, he founded Major League Gaming with Sundance DiGiovanni. The company went on to become the largest and most powerful independent esports league in the world and achieved many of the industry’s important first milestones, including launching the first professional esports league system, securing the first televised series with NBC Sports and building and launching the first OTT broadcast platform for premium esports content. In 2015, Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick turned to Sepso to launch the company’s first esports and media division. As Senior Vice President and head of the new division, Sepso galvanized ATVI’s various esports programs into what is now the largest and most successful esports organization in the world. Within four months of launching the division, Sepso oversaw the acquisition of MLG, at the time the largest acquisition of an independent esports business. In his role as the leader of ATVI’s new esports division, Sepso designed the original blueprint for the company’s new esports league structure, brought to life in the form of the Overwatch League, the world’s first global, franchised esports league. Following the launch of the league, Sepso oversaw commercial operations for all ATVI esports, including the largest sponsorship deals in the history of esports with global partners HP and Intel. A passionate ambassador for esports, Sepso is a frequent keynote speaker at the industry’s most prestigious events and conferences. He is also a highly sought-after advisor for some of the industry’s most critical industry groups and companies including the IAB and Nielsen. Over the past two years, his efforts have largely focused on developing key industry relationships with brand advertising and media leaders in order to educate and promote investment in the esports industry globally.