Johanna Faries, the current Call of Duty League (CDL) Commissioner, has recently been promoted to the freshly created position as Head of Leagues. She will continue to oversee the CDL but will now also lead the Overwatch League (OWL). She will be taking over for the now-former OWL Commissioner Pete Vlastelica. Pete Vlastelica, who took over from Nate Nanzer in May 2019, is also the current president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports. Vlastelica has stated that during his time leading the OWL they were faced with many challenges due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, forcing them to quickly adjust their season and how to work around the pandemic lockdown orders to provide not only a safe but also an enjoyable environment for people to experience OWL.
“We did a few experiments last year with homestands, but this was the first year that we were going to go into two seasons spent playing all of our regular season matches in Los Angeles,” he said. “There was a lot of work done over the past three years to get ready for this home-and-away season. And then four homestands in — after four really solid homestands, sold-out crowds, screaming fans, great competition, venue looked and felt just right for the product that we had put together — after four of those, coronavirus hit.”Credit: Variety
Vlastelica will be exiting his role as OWL Commissioner in favor of a position at Epic Games, the developer of the fan favorite battle royale game, Fortnite. In an interview with Activision, Faries had a few things to say about why she was interested in a position at Activision Blizzard, and specifically Call of Duty Esports.
“Three primary reasons: 1) the people at AB – who are tremendously smart, talented, innovative, and kind, 2) the opportunity to impact the future of sports by way of esports, and 3) the ability to be an immediate contributor given my NFL background, while also learning a ton in the process. Call of Duty’s historic legacy and dynamism as a gaming franchise also presents an unparalleled opportunity for us to excel not only in esports but in all of sports, in my opinion. Putting all of these factors together, this role is an incredible chance to create something new, to grow and stretch, and to work alongside amazing people every day.”Credit: Activision
Given her extensive knowledge, Faries seems like she will do a fine job working across and leading both CDL and OWL. She is slated to officially make her debut as Head of Leagues on October 12, 2020.