Nate Nanzer Leaves Blizzard
Overwatch League’s commissioner Nate Nanzer has left his position at Blizzard to oversee competitive eSports at Epic Games. His announcement on Twitter included a thank you to the teams he worked with and the League’s fans.
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 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,” Nanzer said.
Nanzer’s Role in the League.
Nanzer has been with the League since it’s creation. He first pitched the idea of Overwatch eSports to Jeff Kaplan in 2015. While at Blizzard, he helped expand the League between the first and second season. He also worked on the League localization that’s set to occur in 2020.
Former Fox Sports executive vice president Pete Vlastelica, the current CEO of Activision Blizzard eSports League, will replace Nanzer as League commissioner.
“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,” Vlastelica said in a statement.
Nanzer’s new job will be to lead eSports strategy for Epic Games, as confirmed by the company in this statement: “We’re excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he’ll be working with us on competitive Fortnite.”
Of course, not everyone is convinced that Nanzer did a good job as the League commissioner. Issues like the Rober Kraft case and the “Ellie” social experiment went almost unnoticed by Nanzer. You would expect a commissioner to publish statements and run investigations, but Nanzer’s job was to sell, and he did that well.
Hopefully, Nanzer will be able to improve Fortnite’s competitive scene. Fortnite has had issues with bugs and cheating.
The Fate of the League
This departure doesn’t mean much for the League in the long run. Nanzer may have had a significant impact on the League’s humble beginnings, but it’s unlikely that him leaving will negatively affect the eSports scene. Nanzer may make Epic Games eSports rise to and beyond the Overwatch League. Only time will tell.