Blizzard Entertainment is working on a deal to secure the services of esports commentator Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat for its Overwatch League, sources close to the caster and Blizzard told ESPN on Friday.
If the deal is completed, Semmler will start the new commentating gig around the Jan. 10 launch of the regular season of the Overwatch League. The preseason of the league launched on Wednesday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. Semmler will have to relocate back to his home country of the United States. Over the past few years, he has lived in Stockholm, where he moved to pursue esports.
Both Semmler and Blizzard declined a request for comment for this story.
The commitment to Blizzard and Overwatch would limit the amount of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events that Semmler would be able to participate in due to scheduling overlap. It is unlikely that he will appear at the ELeague Boston Major on Jan. 19-28, sources said. That event would be the first Counter-Strike major event that he has missed since ESL One: Katowice 2015. When contacted by ESPN, an ELeague spokesperson was not able to confirm the status of Semmler's participation in its upcoming event but said that the company would announce its broadcasting talent lineup at a later date.
Semmler is expected to join without longtime casting partners Anders Blume or Jason "Moses" O'Toole. Those two will remain in Counter-Strike, sources said. The three have worked together at a number of Counter-Strike events, as well as running a content website, Room on Fire, that analyzes and discuss in-game strategy. Anders and Semmler both casted Overwatch for the first time at the ELeague Overwatch Open together in October 2015.
Semmler would join an Overwatch League talent lineup of other commentators who have also migrated across game titles to focus on Overwatch.
In April, Blizzard recruited Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles and Erik "DoA" Lonnquist, who bolstered their careers in League of Legends in South Korea and became two of the most popular shoutcasters in that game's history. The rest of the Overwatch League talent lineup includes the likes of Matt "Mr. X" Morello, who made his name in Call of Duty, and Mitchell "Uber" Leslie, who worked for broadcasting company ESL in multiple games before relocating to the United States.