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EA eyes the eSports market with new Competitive Gaming Division

Publisher Electronic Arts has launched a new Competitive Gaming Division, focused on the budding eSports market, and industry veteran Peter Moore will serve as the group’s “Chief Competition Officer.”

“As the latest step in our journey to put our players first, this group will enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more,” the publisher said in a statement issued today.

EA notes that its Competitive Gaming Division will balance competition, community, and entertainment in order to forge a dedicated eSports userbase and facilitate the broadcasting of live gaming events.

Related: Disney XD doubles-down on eSports with upcoming Mario Kart 8 special

Currently, Moore serves as chief operating officer at Electronic Arts. Moore will continue to fill the role through the rest of EA’s financial year ending in March of 2016. EA Sports marketer Todd Sitrin joins Moore as the Competitive Gaming Division’s senior vice president and general manager.

“Todd will lead strategy and operations for the CGD, working closely with our development studios to create an exciting competitive platform in our games,” Electronic Arts representatives stated.

EA’s Competitive Gaming Division is an extension of the publisher’s previous eSports initiatives, including the FIFA Interactive World Cup and the Madden NFL Live Challenge. The studio’s games also play prominent roles in global competitions, including ESL One’s Battlefield 4 championships.

Rival publisher Activision Blizzard launched its own eSports division in October led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein. Multiple television networks have also branched out with eSports coverage in recent months; Disney has a Mario Kart 8 broadcast special in the works for its Disney XD network, and TBS announced that it will air more than 20 live eSports events throughout 2016, including season, playoff, and championship matches featuring Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Disney XD reported ratings success with its broadcast of the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event earlier this year.

“With eSports we’re seeing the growth of a new business,” Disney XD general manager Marc Buhaj stated previously. “We need to make sure that our game shows are appropriate to the folks watching. If we see a gaming opportunity that pops up, we’ll look at it.”