Blizzard is trying to get more LGBTQ+ players in the Overwatch League

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Blizzard will hold an Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab) tournament for underrepresented genders starting in late October.

Registration for the Overwatch 2 Challengers Cup (opens in new tab) is open to any underrepresented genders as decided by Blizzard through a verification system. In the blog post (opens in new tab), Blizzard specifically notes that the tournament is open but not limited to "transgender, non-binary, genderfluid," and women participants.

To register, you have to join the Discord server and then fill out a form that requires you to submit your name, Battle.net account, Discord account, social media links, and a photo of yourself to complete it. "One's appearance and gender expression has no contingency on your application, and this step is to solely assign an individual to your application," the form reads.

The Challengers Cup doesn't directly tie into Blizzard's 'Path to Pro' hierarchy of esports leagues that build up to the Overwatch League. But Blizzard said "we hope it will serve as an entry point for underrepresented genders to jump into the broader Overwatch esports ecosystem, and we encourage all who are eligible to participate in both Challengers Cup and Path to Pro."

We are calling ALL heroes! Overwatch and Overwatch League are dedicated to making a difference. We strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for underrepresented genders in Overwatch. We want you - our heroes - to join us.⭐ Learn more at https://t.co/qDzfxjXwF5 pic.twitter.com/sfNpMoYCEBSeptember 30, 2022

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Overwatch League currently has no players who publicly identify as a marginalized gender competing in it. Its first and only woman player, Se-yeon "Geguri" Kim, played for the Shanghai Dragons before quitting in 2020.

The new tournament is capped at 128 teams and will use the Swiss-system (opens in new tab) format. The first qualifier starts on October 21, the second on November 18, and the finals will start on an unannounced date in December.

Blizzard has partnered with Raidiant (opens in new tab), a production company and website that focuses on including and celebrating women in esports, to host the tournament. The blog post doesn't explicitly mention whether or not the tournament will be streamed, but, like other official tournaments, it seems likely.

Blizzard will also host a Caster Camp for underrepresented groups to learn how to commentate over Overwatch games from Overwatch League casters: including Soe Gschwind and Matt "Mr. X" Morello. You can apply to join (opens in new tab) Caster Camp before it starts in November.

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.

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