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Volume 25 No. 194
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Former MLB Exec Chris Park Taking CEO Role With Esports Organization

Former MLB Exec VP/Product & Marketing CHRIS PARK is taking a job in esports for a chance to tackle all of the changes faced by the sports industry at once from a position of strength. “Working at MLB was and has been a dream, and it really took an incredible opportunity for me to move forward,” said Park, who will be announced officially today as the new CEO of Gen.G, an esports organization with teams in Overwatch, League of Legends and four other games. Park will oversee a staff of roughly 100 from Gen.G’s new L.A. offices. Team Founder KEVIN CHOU will become Exec Chair. Park received equity as part of his compensation package, the team confirmed. “There are just immense changes going on in media and marketing, and we spent a lot of time thinking and wondering, and reinventing how sports are consumed,” Park said of his time at MLB. “Gaming, and esports in particular, is sitting at the epicenter of all of those changes.” Park was non-committal about specific initiatives he will pursue with Gen.G, which Chou founded in '17. With offices in Seoul, Beijing and L.A., the team operates the Seoul Dynasty Overwatch League team and a team in the Korean League of Legends circuit. Forbes estimated its valuation at $110M last fall. Park said esports has inherent strengths that traditional sports are still trying to develop. Gaming is intrinsically digital, social and global, and also allows for closer fan-star relationships than sports, traits that can yield rapid growth. He said there is still space in the market to define the team’s brand, too. “It is fair to say there’s a ton of opportunity and a ton of plausible paths forward for esports organizations generally, and I do think success is going to require good focus,” Park said. “In a lot of ways it’s probably a great problem to have. There’s a lot of people in other verticals who have the opposite issue: trying to find any plausible opportunities for growth.”