Pride is coming to Overwatch 2!
Overwatch 2 is a joyful escape for millions of players worldwide. We always set out to create a futuristic world that is worth fighting for, where everyone feels seen and celebrated. This game is only worthy of that hopeful world if people can connect with our heroes and see themselves in the universe.
We want Pride to be that for our players. And just as important, we want that for ourselves. One thing we have heard from both players and Overwatch team members alike is that seeing themselves in the game over the years has helped them find the strength and courage to show the world who they are. We are a diverse development team and it’s important to us that the universe we are creating–the world that we pour our passion and energy into–represents us, and represents a world that we want to be a part of. The work that we are putting in front of the world is an extension of ourselves.
A core tenet of Overwatch 2 is giving everyone a chance to play the way they want, by choosing between different roles, unique playstyles, and diverse heroes that best fit each person’s individuality. Outside of matches, we want people playing Overwatch 2 to have a way to proudly celebrate who they are. Cosmetics such as Player Icons and Name Cards are a means to represent that for those who want a reflection of themselves in our universe.
Beginning on June 1, everybody that logs into Overwatch 2 will receive an extensive collection of profile Player Icons and Name Cards celebrating the many diverse identities that make up the tapestry of this fantastic community. The full list of cosmetics can be found below.
Name Cards allow you to choose how you identify within the game, and you’ll notice specific ones dedicated to some of our LGBTQ+ heroes. You’ll find a lesbian card for Tracer, a gay card for Soldier: 76, a pansexual card for Lifeweaver, as well as a bisexual card for Baptiste and a lesbian card for Pharah. For years, players have speculated on the sexual orientations of Baptiste and Pharah, and we are thrilled to not only include them in these Pride cosmetics but to also publish a brand new short story focusing on their identities, each other, and themselves.
Pride’s emphasis on expressing everyone’s true self is beautiful, and we want it to feel like it’s not only a celebration for our players but an event recognized within the Overwatch universe as well. In honor of what this event means to so many people–and for the original Stonewall riots that inspired this annual celebration–for the whole month of June, you’ll play on an updated Midtown map taking place shortly after a fantastic Pride parade. Watchpoint: Gibraltar will also see the addition of a new photo in the barracks of Tracer and her partner Emily (this is also included as a new spray that can be equipped for Tracer). We hope this provides some connection to these celebrations for any players who have always wanted to take part in real-world events but are unable to.
For those wondering “why now”: we love our characters and their lore, and in expanding the OW2 experience to include the upcoming PvE lore, we realized how much more we can do in exploring our character identities and relationships. With our first Overwatch 2 Pride event, we knew that we wanted to celebrate the diversity that makes the world worth fighting for. This is just the beginning of Pride in Overwatch 2. Over the coming Seasons and years, we’ll have more to share as the deeper lore of the Overwatch universe unfolds.
Beyond what we are doing in-game, Pride is an opportunity for us to give back and support the LGBTQ+ community. We invite you to head to the Blizzard Gear Store to explore a range of Pride-themed apparel, curated by the Blizzard LGBT+ Employee Network, with Blizzard’s net proceeds* from the sales from May 16 through June 30, 2023 being donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). NCTE’s mission statement speaks to the core of what we are striving to do in making a better world within the Overwatch universe: “The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.” For more information about NCTE, please visit http://transequality.org/.
There is power in ensuring we all feel welcome not only in this game, but in the community that has rallied around it, and through that power we hope every person who ever logs in feels acceptance and comradery with Tracer, Soldier: 76, Baptiste, Pharah, Lifeweaver, and every other hero in unique and personal ways. The world is worth fighting for, and in the words of Lifeweaver, “our strengths mingle” so we are honored to fight alongside all of you.
The Overwatch Team
New Pride Cosmetics
All cosmetics will be automatically added to every player’s account on June 1, along with all future accounts created in Overwatch 2. We wish to acknowledge the hard work of every creator of the original flags and symbols on which these cosmetics are based. We especially want to thank Daniel Quasar for their support and enthusiasm working directly with us to incorporate the Progress Pride Flag into the game.
(Already in Game)
Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride
Tracer Lesbian Pride
Soldier: 76 Pride
Soldier: 76 Gay Pride
Lifeweaver Pride Pansexual
Pharah Lesbian Pride
Baptiste Bisexual Pride
“Lena and Emily” Spray for Tracer