Overwatch League franchise New York Excelsior (NYXL) has hired Mike Sepso, Co-founder of Major League Gaming (MLG) and former Senior Vice President at Activision Blizzard.
Sepso is now a Strategic Partner of the NYXL ownership group Sterling.VC – a venture capital fund that is supported by New York Mets principal owner Sterling Equities. He will be focusing on the commercial of growth of the franchise through sponsorship and media rights deals.
Sepso discussed the move in a statement: “As a New Yorker, I am incredibly excited to work with this team to develop a massive fan base for NYXL while bringing a persistent esports presence to the New York market. As the winningest team in the Overwatch League, NYXL has already ignited the passions of New York esports fans, and I’m thrilled to join the organization to help build on that momentum ahead of the team’s second season.”
Sepso had a hand in designing and molding the Overwatch League in his previous post as SVP at Activision Blizzard. He also oversaw commercial partnerships for the company’s esports division. He first made a name for himself during his time at MLG, which he helped launch in 2002. During his tenure, non-endemic sponsors such as Dr. Pepper and Old Spice entered the esports industry through the company.
Scott Wilpon, Partner at Sterling.VC also commented: “With nearly 20 years of experience in esports, Mike brings valuable expertise across sponsorship, media rights and a number of other areas that will help us develop this business and engage our fans in new and unique ways. Mike is a force within the esports community and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the team.”
The Overwatch League will return for a second season on February 14th, with 20 teams each playing 28 matches over the four five-week stages.
Esports Insider says: Mike Sepso has undeniably been behind some big projects – MLG has contributed towards shaping esports events into what they are today and the Overwatch League proved popular during its inaugural season. This is an unexpected move to say the least, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on NYXL to see the impact Sepso makes there.