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Vlastelica steps down as Overwatch League commissioner

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Pete Vlastelica is stepping down from his roles as Activision Blizzard’s chief executive of esports and Overwatch League commissioner to move into a new “entrepreneurial” role within the organization.

The move was announced shortly ahead of the Overwatch League Grand Finals, which are taking place in South Korea on October 8-10.

“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,” an Activision Blizzard Esports spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

Vlastelica replaced Nate Nanzer as Overwatch League commissioner in May 2019. He joined Activision Blizzard in 2016 following his role as Fox Sports’ executive vice president of digital.

The esports league has been badly hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to Activision Blizzard allowing teams in both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League to defer franchise fee payments following the devastating financial impact of the health crisis.

Vlastelica four years ago moved to Activision Blizzard and the world of esports after a lengthy stint in digital sports media, first with Yardbarker and then Fox Sports.