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Former NFL Exec Johanna Faries Named Head of Call of Duty Esports

Veteran NFL executive Johanna Faries is joining Activision Blizzard’s Esports Leagues leadership team as the new head of “Call of Duty” esports, the publisher announced on Tuesday.

Faries will be based at Activision’s Santa Monica headquarters, where she will serve as head of product for the Call of Duty World League. In that role, she will oversee strategic leadership, business operations, and product development. She has over a decade of experience with business and fan development in the NFL, holding a number of leadership roles across marketing, league initiative strategy, fan and business development, partnerships, and consumer products. She also served in a broad range of diversity, inclusion, and mentorship programs during her time there.

“The addition of Johanna to our leadership team demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a world class organization with the objective of further expanding our shared vision in esports,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, in a press release. “Johanna has a proven track record throughout her tenure with the NFL of leading key business initiatives and driving fan engagement. She is a great addition to our organization and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

“To join a world class organization like Activision Blizzard in this role is as exciting as it is an honor,” said Faries. “With esports exploding in popularity, there is no doubt that Call of Duty is well positioned to be a major force in shaping the future of professional competition as we know it.”

The Call of Duty World League announced its 2019 season last month. It’s transitioning to a five-versus-five format and increasing the prize pool to $6 million, the largest in “Call of Duty” esports history. Activision Blizzard also said it’s removing region restrictions from all LAN events, so players from around the world can compete. The full ruleset for the upcoming season will be revealed at a later date before the start of online competition.

The first major 2019 Call of Duty World League event will be CWL Las Vegas on Dec. 7-9.

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