Leaving the payload
One of the head honchos of Blizzard’s Overwatch League is leaving the company to take up a new role with Epic Games. As reported by ESPN, Nate Nanzer will be joining the Fortnite developer to help grow the competitive scene of the popular battle royale title.
Speaking this weekend on Twitter, Nanzer said the decision was “toughest of his life” as “it means I won’t get to work with the best staff, players, teams, owners, partners, and fans in esports anymore.” Nanzer has been with Blizzard since 2014 and has curated the Overwatch League – or “OWL” for the cool kids – into a huge, hype and financially lucrative project. No doubt Epic are hoping he can do the same for Fortnite’s own esports scene.
Clearly, Epic are all-in. The developer has recently contributed a cool $100 million USD to the Fortnite circuit, which includes a $30 million prize pool for July’s World Cup Finals. I’d hazard a guess that, given his pedigree in the esports field, Nanzer didn’t come cheap either. Hopefully for Epic all this investment will pay off in future competitive events.
The Overwatch League has already announced Nanzer’s role will be filled by former FOX Sports Vice-President Pete Vlastelica, who is currently a major producer in all of Blizzard’s esports ventures. Stage Three of the current OWL season begins June 4.