Pete Vlastelica Steps Down as Overwatch League Commissioner – The Esports Observer|home of essential esports business news and insights

Pete Vlastelica, who became the commissioner of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League after the abrupt departure of former OWL Commissioner Nate Nanzer in May of 2019, will step down as commissioner. Vlastelica, who also serves as president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports, was appointed to the role when Nanzer announced he would be leaving for a position at Epic Games

Several sources close to the situation have confirmed with The Esports Observer that Vlastelica has in fact stepped down but did not elaborate further.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson provided the following statement: “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. He was instrumental in building the company’s esports business and driving the industry forward, and we thank Pete for his contributions and impact on our business over the last four years.”

As commissioner, Vlastelica would eventually inherit a league beset by problems associated with COVID-19, ultimately halting all live in-person events in 2020. Live events were canceled as well as homestand competitions that were being counted upon in regard to growing the potential revenue, sponsorship opportunities, and fanbase of the teams and the league.

Teams would feel the financial brunt of the pandemic, with some organizations cutting entire rosters and high salaried players in order to sign less expensive and less experienced players.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with information that clarifies Vlastelica’s changing role within the company, provided by Activision Blizzard, as well as a correction on how he took over the role after Nanzer.

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