Mike Sepso

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Mike Sepso
Born
Michael Sepso

June 25, 1972
Known forMajor League Gaming
esports

Michael Sepso (born June 25, 1972) is an American video game, media and technology entrepreneur and currently co-founder and CEO of Vindex, a gaming and esports technology infrastructure business.[1][2] He is the co-founder of Major League Gaming,[3] a professional esports league and media company acquired by video game publisher Activision Blizzard in December 2015[4][5]

Major League Gaming (MLG), is a professional esports organization. Sepso and co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni founded MLG in 2002.[citation needed]

Life and career[edit]

Major League Gaming[edit]

Major League Gaming, or MLG, is arguably the first professional esports organization. Headquartered in New York City, New York, MLG holds official video game tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. MLG's aim from its founding was to bring computer and console game competitions to the level of spectator sports in terms of competition and production value.

Early on, MLG was kept afloat exclusively through financing from its founders.[6] In 2006, Oak Investment Partners, a local venture capital firm, invested in MLG and by 2012 it had invested nearly $60 million in the league.

In 2006, MLG broadcast their Halo 2 Pro Series on USA Network as the TV program Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit.[7] With the broadcast, MLG became the first televised video game console gaming league in the United States.[8] The Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit ran until 2007,[9][10] and was also featured on ESPN.com,[11] and other sites.[12]

In 2013, MLG.tv, MLG's website, launched video streaming. The online-only platform was one of the first for streaming esports, closely following the spinoff from Justin.tv into Twitch.tv in the summer of 2011.[13] Sepso said of MLG.tv, which would later be a driving factor in Activision Blizzad’s acquisition of the company: “The past two or three years started to explode because of online video. While we early on did bring MLG to television, the reality is our audience lives online.”[14]

In October of 2014, MLG opened the MLG.tv Arena in Columbus, Ohio.[15] The 14,000 square feet arena is located near the Easton Town Center and the campus of Ohio State University. MLG.tv arena’s first live event was the MLG Pro League Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Season 3 Playoffs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fitch, Adam (2020-04-27). "From MLG to Vindex: The story of Mike Sepso". Esports Insider. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  2. ^ "Belong Gaming Arenas opens 1st U.S. esports gaming center in Houston". VentureBeat. 2021-06-23. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  3. ^ "From Lazy Summer to Major League Gaming: Mike Sepso on Founding the Esports Giant". Cheddar. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  4. ^ Lawton, Jacob. "Mike Sepso". Esports Insider. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  5. ^ "Activision Blizzard Acquires MLG for $46 Million". Fortune. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  6. ^ Feuer, Alan (2013-08-09). "Seeking to Be Both N.F.L. and ESPN of Video Gaming". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  7. ^ Magee, Kyle (May 8, 2009). "MLG Secures $10 Million in Series A Financing from Ritchie Capital to Build World's First Professional Video Game League". Major League Gaming. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Wingfield, Nick (2016-01-04). "Activision Buys Major League Gaming to Broaden Role in E-Sports". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  9. ^ "A video-game league of their own - Aug. 21, 2008". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  10. ^ Terdiman, Daniel. "Major League Gaming goes big league". CNET. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  11. ^ "ESPN:The Life:Video Games:MLG". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  12. ^ "ESPN 360 acquired". ESPN. June 4, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  13. ^ Wilhelm, Alex (2011-06-06). "TwitchTV: Justin.tv's killer new esports project". TNW | Media. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  14. ^ Dispatch, Tim Feran, The Columbus. "Major League Gaming's Columbus arena set to open". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2022-02-11.
  15. ^ "MLG.tv Columbus Arena Opens Tonight With $75,000 Call of Duty Tournament". GameSpot. Retrieved 2022-02-11.