Update: Wim Stocks Leaves CSL Esports, Joins Vindex’s Belong Gaming Arenas

Last week, longtime Collegiate Starleague and WorldGaming Network (now CSL Esports) executive Wim Stocks quietly announced that he was stepping down as chairman after 11 years in a leadership role at both organizations. 

“After 11 years I am stepping down as Chairman of CSL & WGN. I am so proud of what we accomplished in this still-formative era for esports,” Stocks wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

On Saturday, it was revealed via a report in ESI that Stocks would join Vindex-owned Belong Gaming Arenas as its senior vice president, partnerships & commercial. Vindex acquired Belong from UK-based video games retailer Game Digital in early August and hired GAME Digital CEO Martyn Gibbs to serve in the same role. As part of the same deal, GAME Digital owns and operates all arenas in the UK and Spain via an exclusive license agreement with Vindex. Vindex said at the time that it planned to invest $300M USD over the next five years in the business, and open 1,000 new locations globally.

Stocks is a long-time video games and esports industry veteran who has served in executive roles at video game companies since 1990 including Atari, THQ, a revamped Atari,  and many others. Stocks’ journey into competitive gaming began in 2010, when he joined Virgin Gaming as its executive vice president. The company would later be renamed to WorldGaming.  

In 2016, a year after WorldGaming was acquired by Cineplex, Stocks was named CEO of the company and Collegiate StarLeague. In September, both companies were acquired again by Playfly Sports and Stocks was named chairman. 

In November the two companies’ assets were combined to create CSL Esports and former Nerd Street Gamer COO Rob Johnson was hired as its new CEO. WorldGaming’s business would be shut down, Playfly Sports announced at the time.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information on Stocks joining Belong Gaming Arenas.

 


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