Adam Apicella has left Esports Engine, an event production and solutions company that he co-founded in 2019 and was the acting President. The news was first reported by The Esports Advocate.
Esports Engine is owned by Vindex, an infrastructure company which also owns Belong Gaming Arenas. Vindex, along with all its subsidiaries, was acquired by ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) earlier this month. EFG itself is a merger between long-standing tournament operator ESL and competition platform FACEIT.
ESL and FACEIT were acquired and merged by Savvy Games Group — an investment fund fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — for $1.5bn (~£1.24bn) last year. Human rights institutions have accused the Saudi state of ‘sportswashing’, which some esports stakeholders believe has reached esports and gaming via such deals.
Apicella wrote on Twitter that he will release a statement about his departure soon.
Apicella is an esports industry stalwart. He was a senior member of Major League Gaming (MLG), going back to the early 2000s. MLG was founded by Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO and CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) of Vindex, respectively. Apicella’s departure marks a rare occasion where he will not be working alongside Sepso and DiGiovanni.
Esports Engine regularly operates some of the biggest events in the esports industry, in titles such as Call of Duty, CS:GO and Rocket League. It delivered the Fortnite World Cup in 2019.
“Adam Apicella has departed Vindex,” Vindex confirmed in a release sent to The Esports Advocate.
“Adam has been a valued leader of the Esports Engine team and has helped build one of the best global esports solutions companies. We look forward to continuing to bring innovative gaming experiences to players and fans around the world as we expand our capabilities in partnership with ESL FACEIT Group.”
Apicella has not yet shared publicly what his next venture will be.