Global esports director leaves Blizzard

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Blizzard Esports

Blizzard’s global esports director Kim Phan has announced that she is leaving the company.

On a Team Liquid forum, she said: “Going forward, I will be pursuing a new endeavour within the gaming industry. My last day with Blizzard was Friday, June 14th. As I hang up my sword and shield, I look forward to a bright future and wish all my Blizzard friends and family the very best.”

Phan’s departure after thirteen years at the company behind WarCraft and Overwatch comes hot on the heels of the departure of another esports executive at Blizzard, Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer, to join Epic Games. As a result, rumors are circulating that all is not rosy in Blizzard’s esports department.

Speaking to Dexerto, one anonymous employee of Blizzard’s esports division said: “People are really getting tired of working for Pete Vlastelica. The focus has become commercializing the esports titles instead of making good programs for the community. Many people internally are laying that on Pete, and it has crushed morale among the Call of Duty and Overwatch teams especially.”

Vlastelica is President and CEO of Activision Blizzard esports. Another anonymous source told Dexerto: “Right now, there’s a feeling that a lot of the senior management just don’t understand esports, but there is no room for negotiating with these people. They are convinced their vision, which is more in line with televised sports, is the right way to go and it has just made people miserable.”

The revelations come after Activision Blizzard made substantial staff layoffs earlier this year. For more Blizzard-related news, visit the company’s website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.