Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer announces move to Epic

By Olivia Richman


May 25, 2019

Reading time: 2 min

Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer is leaving Blizzard to lead Epic Games’ esports strategy. 

Late Friday night, Nanzer took to Twitter to address Overwatch League fans regarding the “toughest decision of his life.” What seemed to upset him the most is the staff, players, teams, owners, partners, and fans that he won’t be working with anymore. 

“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 a part of the team that helped build the league of #breakthrough, #Burnblue, #pdomjnate, #CaptureHistory, #OWL2019, and many more,” he said. 

While Nanzer acknowledged that he’s been the Overwatch League’s public face, he feels that he gets “too much credit” for its success. 

“It isn’t about me. It’s never been. It’s been about all of you,” he said. 

Nanzer stated that the Overwatch League is in good hands, and that he can’t wait to see where the remaining team will take the OWL in 2020 and beyond. He ended the thread by saying that he will continue to cheer on the OWL. 

Activision Blizzard noted that Nanzer will be replaced by Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. 

“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. 

Nanzer was Blizzard’s global director of research when he brought forth the idea for the Overwatch League. He was a major part of the OWL’s launch. Now, the Overwatch League is set to fullfill his original vision come 2020, when the full home and away schedule is revealed. 

Epic Games has also confirmed that Nanzer is joining their Fortnite team. 

“We’re excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he’ll be working with us on competitive Fortnite,” the developers told ESPN earlier today.

While Fortnite is one of the most popular video game titles of all-time, the Washington Post reported that Nanzer will have a lot of work ahead of him. The successful battle royale has had difficulties broadcasting competitive tournaments in the past, and many viewers have started to complain about the approach competing players have taken to winning in endgame, like hiding in 1v1s. 

But that should be nothing new Nanzer, who has dealt with the backlash towards GOATS for the past season of the Overwatch League.