Remember just last week when the commissioner of Overwatch’s premiere and eponymous league left his position? That alone was a bit of a surprise, but it in and of itself didn’t indicate some sort of sea change. The rumor that several more high-profile esports figures are also going to be leaving Blizzard in the near future, though? That feels a little more indicative, especially when one of the departures is esports global product director Kim Phan; astute observers will note that she’s been with the company for over 13 years.
The sources claiming these upcoming departures have laid some of the blame at the feet of company morale, especially as a result of working for Activision Blizzard’s President and CEO of esports Pete Vlastelica. The rumblings go that the focus has been on growing the competitive division over developing good programs for the community, damaging staff morale and enthusiasm severely. Obviously nothing is written in stone at the moment, but it certainly isn’t a great set of rumors to be flying around for a company that has had a year of bad PR thus far.