Another high-profile figure within Blizzard’s esports organisations has left the company. Following shortly after the departure of former Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer, Kim Phan, the company’s global esports director, recently announced that she would be leaving the company after more than 13 years.
In a post on the Team Liquid forums (via The Esports Observer), Phan, who joined Blizzard in 2006 as an associate producer, said that she left the company on Friday, June 14, and that “going forward, I will be pursuing a new endeavour within the gaming industry.” Phan’s comment offers no hint as to what that new project might be.
Phan’s announcement comes less than a month after the announcement of another high-profile departure from the company. Back in May, Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer revealed that he was leaving Blizzard for a role at Epic Games. Nanzer’s replacement, former Activision-Blizzard esports CEO Pete Vlastelica, is said to have taken over the role on May 26.
Phan’s move was hinted at earlier this month, and is said to be only the first of a series of upcoming departures. Reports suggest that low morale caused by the new commissioner’s “commercialized” approach to the company’s esports league has encouraged a number of high-profile staff to seek opportunities elsewhere.
While the Overwatch League still seems to be going strong, Activision-Blizzard has been cutting costs elsewhere. Most notable was the decision to axe Heroes of the Storm’s esports scene earlier this year – although World of Warcraft esports are being upgraded. Despite that boost, however, it seems that overall, Blizzard’s esports division isn’t having the smoothest ride just now.
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