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Overwatch League Commissioner Leaves Blizzard for Epic Games, Will Oversee Competitive Fortnite

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer has left the company for Epic Games.

Nanzer announced the news via Twitter.

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

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

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

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

Epic Games confirmed to ESPN that Nanzer would be joining them in the role of “overseeing competitive esports.”

Epic Game’s statement on the matter was to the point but also revealed a little more about Nanzer’s role. “We’re excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he’ll be working with us on competitive Fortnite.” 

It is also worth noting Epic Games recently acquired Rocket League developer Psyonix, opening up more possibilities for esports titles.

Back at Blizzard Entertainment, Pete Vlastelica will be filling in Nanzer’s former role. Vlastelica also currently oversees all of Activision Blizzard’s esports games. He issued a statement on his new responsibilities:

“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.”

Nanzer worked for Blizzard since 2004, and founded the Overwatch League. The idea was allegedly pitched over breakfast at Gamescom 2015 to Overwatch game lead Jeff Kaplan.

The Overwatch competitive scene has had new developments and controversies during that time. The opening week of this year’s Overwatch League 2019 reached over 13 million viewers. In addition Twitch became the exclusive streaming partner for Blizzard Entertainment.

We also saw the addition of having to link your Battle.net account to Twitch to watch certain tournaments. Other controversies include that the first female player in the Overwatch Contenders League “Ellie” had earned her high ranks due to a professional male player pretending to be her.

Finally, among its numerous attempts to curtail its so-called “toxic community” Blizzard Entertainment discouraged fans from making the OK hand gesture- believing it to be a white power symbol thanks to a 4Chan prank.

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.