The Overwatch community was stunned by Tuesday’s announcement that Jeff Kaplan, or Papa Jeff as some called him, would be stepping down from his role as the Director of Overwatch and departing Blizzard after 19 years with the company. Kaplan was more than just a developer, he became the beloved public face of the Overwatch development because he hosted all the development update videos personally.
There was an enormous outpouring of love and support for Kaplan as he closed the Blizzard chapter of his career. Here are some of the most notable reactions to his departure from the Overwatch community.
The Overwatch community reacts to Jeff Kaplan’s exit
In one of the most notable tributes to Papa Jeff, various Overwatch League teams changed their names on Twitter to include Jeff in them.
The Jeff inspired OWL names included:
- The Washington Jeffstice
- Dallas Jefuel
- Seoul JEFFasty
- Jefflanta Reign
Influencers from Overwatch’s past shared messages of support as well. Monte Christo, Malik Forte, and Tim the Tatman were all among the influencers who shared a congratulatory message for Kaplan.
Current Overwatch analysts also posted about Jeff’s departure. While all of them were supportive of Jeff, many were also wary of what his departure could mean for the future of Overwatch.
Current and former Overwatch Professionals also joined in.
Kaplan worked at Blizzard for 19 years, during which time he served as a founding member of the World of Warcraft team for 6.5 years and served as the director of Overwatch until the end of his tenure with the company. He leaves behind a notable legacy at Blizzard and huge shoes to fill for Aaron Keller who is taking over as the Director of Overwatch.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.