Sundance DiGiovanni

Sundance DiGiovanni

Sundance DiGiovanni discusses founding MLG with Mike Sepso, selling the company years later, and what he'd like his legacy to be.

2 min read

That shot in the dark that Marcus talks about… why did you give him that chance? What was the deciding factor?

When Marcus first reached out to us, he had already established himself as one of the most notable voices in esports. Live on 3 was the gold standard for in-depth discussion around esports, and his work with other esports entities was well known.

Having Marcus join our broadcast was essential to help us establish credibility and trust with the StarCraft 2 community as we worked to build an audience. His passion and commitment to esports was infectious and having that energy in the room made for a better evet both for the viewers at home as well as for the live audience.

MLG. You and [Mike] Sepso are the guys behind its creation. Speak on that, and the movement it created within gaming.

Building an esports focused business before the word esports was widely known had it’s fair share of challenges. In the early days, we had to educate every partner that we approached on the value of connecting with such an engaged audience.

A few years after we launched the MLG brand had become synonymous with competitive video gaming in the United States and at one point there were over 100,000 xbox live gamertags that started with “MLG”. In the early days we focused on overserving the community, even if it meant taking risks.

By doing so we built a tremendously loyal fan base which eventually allowed us to bring in to bring in significants sponsorship partners

The Sale

I spoke to Justin [Kan] about the sale of Twitch to Amazon; speak on the sale of MLG to Activision and Warner Brothers.

When we sold the business we did it in two pieces and it was a very stressful time.

The visible transaction was with Activision while we sold another chunk to Warner Brothers. The closing process was fairly smooth but ran into the end of December and almost got delayed due to the holidays.

For me the sale was the closing of chapter one and the opening of chapter 2. I was excited to have gotten the deal done and very grateful for the trust that had been given to me but what I was most focused on was the next chapter.

A day later I took my wife and our three sons on a ski trip to Utah for ten days. We celebrated as a family and I slept better than I had in years. I actually did press interviews on the transaction from the gondola at one point. It somehow felt perfect at the time.

Sundance’s Legacy

What do you want your legacy to be? Many know you as the guy who created MLG but what do you want beyond that?

I’d like to be remembered as someone who did his best and was kind to people along the way.

While MLG will always be a part of my story I was somewhat relieved to step out of the public eye towards the end of my time there. The most important thing to me is that my kids know that I will always be there for them and that they are my legacy.

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Sean Plott discusses why Marcus means so much to his career, and why he's the go-to for life advice.

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The Legacy

The biography of Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham, esports industry heavyweight and pioneer of video game broadcasting.


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