Pete Vlastelica is out as commissioner of Overwatch League, one week before the league’s Grand Finals, according to a statement from the company.
Vlastelica is also out as president and CEO of Activision Blizzard’s esports division. He will stay in his duties through next week’s Grand Finals, then transition to a different role focusing on entrepreneurial ventures at the company.
Activision Blizzard didn’t provide any context as to whether this was Vlastelica’s decision or the company’s. Vlastelica, a former Fox Sports executive, didn’t comment in an email.
“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,” the company said.
Thursday’s shake-up is the latest executive change within Activision Blizzard’s esports division. Overwatch League’s original commissioner, Nate Nanzer, stepped down in May 2019 and was replaced by Vlastelica. Earlier this year, long-time MLB executive Tony Petitti left baseball to become president of sports & entertainment at the publisher, a role that includes oversight of esports.
Overwatch League launched in 2018 as one of world’s the first fully-franchised esports leagues. It is structured to resemble traditional sports leagues like the NFL or NBA, with revenue sharing, minimum salaries and set teams based in specific cities.
Originally 12 franchises, the league has since expanded to 20 teams in six countries around the world. Franchise owners include the owners of the New York Mets, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams and Sacramento Kings.