Nate Nanzer, commissioner of the Overwatch League, has announced that he will be leaving his position and Blizzard entertainment in a series of tweets earlier this evening.
According to an ESPN report from Jacob Wolf, he will be leaving to join Epic Games, the creators of the incredibly successful battle royale title Fortnite as one of the leads for esports strategy for the game.
Hey Overwatch League family. I wanted to share that soon I will be leaving Blizzard for a new opportunity. This has been the toughest decision of my life, because it means I won’t get to work with the best staff, players, teams, owners, partners, and fans in esports anymore. 1/4— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) May 25, 2019
I can’t emphasize enough how proud I am of what we’ve all accomplished together. It has been the honor of my life to have been part of the team that helped build the league of #breakthrough, #BurnBlue, #pdomjnate, #CaptureHistory, #OWL2019, and many more. 2/4— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) May 25, 2019
I get way too much credit for the success of the Overwatch League. It’s been awesome to be our public face, but too many overestimate my role in making the league great. It isn’t about me; it’s never been. It’s about all of you. 3/4— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) May 25, 2019
That’s why I’m confident the league is in great hands. I can’t wait to see where the team takes the Overwatch League in 2020 - and beyond. And I’ll be cheering right there alongside you, every step of the way. 4/4— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) May 25, 2019
Wolf reported that Nanzer will be replaced by Pete Vlastelica in the interim. Vlastelica currently oversees all of the Activision Blizzard esports products, including Overwatch and the Overwatch League. In the past, Vlastelica has also held an executive vice president role with Fox Sports.
.@overwatchleague commissioner @natenanzer is leaving @ATVI_AB, taking a job to lead esports at @EpicGames, sources told ESPN. @PeteVlastelica will serve as the Overwatch League’s commissioner for the time being.https://t.co/hPoVMw29zU— Jacob Wolf (@JacobWolf) May 25, 2019
Vlastelica commented on the matter in the original ESPN report, saying:
"As President & CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, I am stepping in as Overwatch League commissioner, effective immediately. We have the best team in the business working incredibly hard to realize the vision we set out to create years ago, and I'll be working very closely with our staff, the teams and partners to do just that."
According to Wolf, Epic Games released a statement confirming the report. The statement has yet to be published to any official Epic Games channels.
"We're excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he'll be working with us on competitive Fortnite."
The next event happening for the 2019 Overwatch League season will be the beginning of the third stage in the season. Competition begins on Thursday, June 6 with a series between the San Francisco Shock and the Atlanta Reign.