Blizzard Entertainment have announced support initiatives for “underrepresented genders” in the Overwatch 2 competitive community.
Dubbed “Calling All Heroes,” the joint Overwatch and Overwatch League program aims “to build an inclusive game and competitive environment for everyone.” This, via initiatives that are “focusing on equity, visibility, and community support for underrepresented genders.” In short, the new programs aim to bring more Woke representation to competitive teams and casters.
Along with the previously announced “Defense Matrix” initiative – which demanded players’ phone numbers and would record their voice chats– there will also be the Challengers Cup. This tournament is described as “an additional competitive avenue for underrepresented genders.”
Running across fall and winter 2022, along with the Path to Pro tournament, Blizzard hopes the Challengers Cup “will serve as an entry point for underrepresented genders to jump into the broader Overwatch esports ecosystem.” Nonetheless, Blizzard “encourage all who are eligible to participate in both Challengers Cup and Path to Pro.”
Hosted by pro-LGBT eSports production company Raidiant, Co-Founder and Executive Producer Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo added her thoughts. “It is my absolute honor to support the Calling All Heroes Challengers Cup through Raidiant. It has been my personal and professional mission through Raidiant to ensure that everyone feels represented in eSports.”
“In addition to producing entertaining live broadcasts of the Challengers Cup, Raidiant will create compelling content featuring a number of the event’s competitors, telling their impressive stories and building a fandom for these deserving gamers,” Garozzo beamed.
The Challengers Cup Official website states “Teams must be made up entirely of members of underrepresented genders,” and “All participants must complete the Discord verification process to participate in the Challengers Cup.”
The second of the Calling All Heroes initiatives announced was the Caster Camp, aiming to “provide underrepresented groups the opportunity to learn from some of the best broadcast talent in the industry, build skills, and form professional relationships.”
Soe Gschwind, Matt “Mr. X” Morello, and “other Overwatch League talent” will educate and discuss “various topics on how to be successful in eSports broadcasting.” Those who participate will also have the opportunity to submit a video reel of them casting an Overwatch game, which will then be reviewed by the instructors.
For both the Challengers Cup and Caster Camp, hopeful entrants must verify their Battle.net account, social media accounts, and “gender self-identification information.” Blizzard explains they “will trust an applicant’s gender self-identification, and if an individual completes all steps, they will be accepted into the Calling All Heroes program, subject to all other individual program policies and eligibility requirements.”
How Blizzard hopes to verify someone of an underrepresented gender was not specified. After 2019’s debacle over the first woman in the North American Contenders League “Ellie” actually being an existing pro-male player, Blizzard could be more stringent, to say the very least.