Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer has announced that he will be stepping down from his position at Activision Blizzard for a new career opportunity.
According to a report by ESPN, Nanzer, the man who has been the commissioner since the inception of Overwatch League has accepted a job overseeing competitive esports at Epic Games.
Nanzer broke the news on Twitter with a series of tweets thanking the Overwatch community for the support of the league and of how proud he is of what his team has managed to put together in the last few years.
“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,” Nanzer said.
The idea of the Overwatch League began with a pitch in 2015 by Nanzer to Overwatch’s League game director Jeff Kaplan while the title was still in production. Almost four years later, the Overwatch League is now well into its second season with a myriad of high-profile sponsors and having signed media deals that push the boundaries of the esports industry, whether it be with the Twitch All-Access Pass or broadcasts featured on ABC.
With the Overwatch League’s ambitious 2020 localization implementation on the horizon, Nanzer’s departure during this critical period has left many feeling uneasy. In preparation for 2020, the 20 Overwatch League franchises — including the PHL Fusion — have already begun preparations to bid Burbank farewell with the construction/renovation of dedicated esports venues such as the multi-million dollar Fusion Arena.
However, in regards to the future of the league, Nanzer assures that people give him too much credit and that he leaves knowing that its management is in good hands.
“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,” writes Nanzer. “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.”
Epic Games released the following statement in conjunction with the release of Nanzer's tweets.
"We're excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he'll be working with us on competitive Fortnite," the statement reads.
In his place, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues Pete Vlastelica will be taking over the role of Overwatch League Commissioner.