Subnation appoints former ESL, Riot Games and Activision Blizzard executives

19 January 2022


Esports entertainment holding company Subnation has appointed a number of high profile executives in the gaming and esports space to bolster its operations.

The individuals’ careers span across multiple known esports and gaming companies including Activision Blizzard, Riot Games and ESL Gaming, as well as music, tech and arts festival SXSW. 

Subnation new hires blizzard esl sxsw
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Subnation

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Two of the new hires are former SXSW and DreamHack executive Justin Burnham, who will act as Subnation’s SVP of Physical and Digital experiences, as well as Daniel Herz, formerly of Complexity Gaming and ESL Gaming, as the firm’s Head of Business Development.

Moreover, the duo will be joined by Andy Ochiltree and Seth Pyrzynski, two former employees of Activision Blizzard.

According to the release, the high-profile individuals will accelerate Subnation’s growth in the fields of Web3, metaverse and gaming.

Since being founded in 2018, Subnation has partnered with the likes of NASCAR, Volkswagen and L’Oreal. In addition, the company operates Trench Made Gaming, an esports team co-founded by NFL player Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and launched its own esports league focused on pro athletes called the Players League. 

Seven Volpone, Co-Founder & CEO of Subnation, added: “Subnation is a trusted voice and IP creator in the gaming and esports community, providing guidance to some of the world’s largest brands, event producers, destinations and athletes. Our new team members come from some of the biggest players in gaming and entertainment, and will allow us to further innovate with our partners by bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds and Web3 via content, experiences, esports, merchandise, events and more.”

All four of the Subnation’s new executives are immensely experienced experts in the esports and gaming industries.

Burnham worked for 14 years in the gaming industry, with his tenure including being the Founding Producer of Gaming at SXSW and the VP of Creative at DreamHack.

Ochiltree, the new VP of Gaming and Head of Players League, was formerly the leader of integrated marketing for the Overwatch League. Prior to that, he worked at Mattel and Hasbro, as well as Marvel Studios. 

Pyrzynski has been named at the firm’s VP of Strategy and Innovation, Web3 for Subnation. Pyrzynski will focus on the development of Subnation’s Web3 offering, expertise and knowledge base. Pyrzynski previously worked as the Director of Global Events for Blizzard Entertainment and as Riot Games’ Esports Live Product Director.

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As the company’s Head of Business Development, Herz will be tasked with growing Subnation’s brand through partnerships, cross-platform content and esports. Prior to Subnation, Herz worked as the Chief Revenue Officer for Mission Control and Complexity Gaming, as well as being the latter’s Vice President. 

Esports Insider says: Subnation has acquired not one, but four world-class individuals. This sends a bold statement that the company means business. It’ll be interesting to see what new strategies are adopted by the team and how will they affect the esports and gaming industry. 

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