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.”