CARY – Epic Games, already a global leader in competitive gaming with its multi-billion-dollar Fortnite franchise,  is expanding its commitment to the growing esports business with the hiring of Nate Nanzer, the commissioner of the Overwatch League.

The move follows Epic’s acquisition of Psyonix and the Rocket League esports business. Only months ago, Epic pulled off the largest capital funding raise in North Carolina history with some $1.2 billion. And Epic, which Bloomberg news estimates is worth more than $10 billion and venture capital news site rank as a highly valued “unicorn,” is putting that cash to work in multiple ways.

In a statement, Epic confirmed the hiring of Nanzer, saying the company is “excited to welcome Nate to the Epic Games team, where he’ll be working with us on competitive Fortnite.”

The gaming industry sees the move as a major one for Epic.

“Needless to say, he is a huge get for Epic, as Nanzer was instrumental in the creation of the OWL,” notes Gamespot.

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Epic, which is privately held, “continue[s] to make moves to not only dominate the mainstream gaming space but also to make inroads into the burgeoning esports industry,” adds gaming industry analyst Richard Lewis at

“Is there anything Epic Games won’t buy? For some, it was also hard not to laugh at the prospect of the man who had done as much to promote the Overwatch League as anyone else bailing just as it hit a critical stage in its development. For others, there was genuine concern about how it might harm their esports title of choice.”

The new executive hire is the second high-profile management move made recently by Epic.

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According to a Bloomberg report, Epic recently hired UBS Group AG Asia tech banker Randy Gelber as its new vice president for Corporate Development.

Nanzer is leaving Epic rival Activision Blizzard for his new post.

“This has been the toughest decision of my life, because it means I won’t get to work with the best staff, players, teams, owners, partners, and fans in esports anymore,” Nanzer said via Twitter. That tweet was the first news of his departure.

Replacing Nanzer at Overwatch is Pete Vlastelica, who has led Activision Blizzard Esports efforts, according to ESPN.

Overwatch has drawn millions of viewers and has multiple franchises.

Epic, meanwhile, continues to grow with its online games store continuing to land exclusive launches.

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