Reports have surfaced today that the Overwatch League commissioner Pete Vlastelica has stepped from the said position. This was later confirmed by Blizzard, adding that Vlastelica will retain his other posts in the company, though, as the President & CEO at Activision Blizzard Esports. He lasted just one season for the OWL.
It can be remembered that former OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer left Activision Blizzard for Epic Games. Nanzer served in the league for two seasons. The company then tapped Vlastelica in the most crucial period for its ambitious eSports format. The incumbent regulator had the privilege of talking to its fans on the adaptations the league have to embrace due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which team has the meta edge at Grand Finals Weekend? @SideshowGaming is here with the 411 🧠
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) October 1, 2020
Reports of an Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirming this news surfaced. The statement from the company states, “Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports and Commissioner of the Overwatch League, will transition from his role in ABE to focus on new entrepreneurial ventures on behalf of Activision Blizzard, following the Overwatch League Grand Finals.” The turn of events happened in the middle of the competition’s playoffs season. There was also no word on what these Blizzard entrepreneurial operations are going to be.
The statement also thanked Vlastelica for his importance in the company’s success in eSports and in taking the industry forward. “We thank Pete for his contributions and impact on our business over the last four years.” The Overwatch-developers did not disclose the reason for this sudden departure. Since season 3 of OWL is still ongoing and in its late stages, the league could possibly survive with little supervision. Analysts expect Jon Spector, the Overwatch League vice president, to be the best fit for the now-vacant position.
Vlastica worked for Fox Sports before joining the video game industry. He served as the Executive Vice President for the Digital division from 2013. He then joined Activision Blizzard in 2016 and has since worked for the Los Angeles-based developers. There was no official statement from the former commissioner at the time of writing.
Earlier this year, a handful of OWL casters, analysts, and host left the tournament and failed to renew their contracts. One of which is Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, who were open to his reasons during the January bloodbath. Mykles often referred to his grounds for leaving the company as creative differences. “I felt there wasn’t anybody in the current leadership that had a deep understanding of esports,” the legendary analyst states, which was timely for the newly appointed commissioner.