First, there’s the women who hold this whole thing together behind the scenes.
There’s Alicia, Chloe, Holly, and Stella, our god-tier program managers though whom all workstreams flow. They’re the traffic signals you encounter daily, telling you when and where to go, how slippery the road is, how long until you arrive. There’s Khara, who knows the secrets to our website, who’s the best at taking my articles and making them look pretty. Without them, there would be chaos.
There’s Kayla, who liaises with the teams to coordinate content across social media, broadcast, and editorial, and who manages press requests at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. There’s Holland, Hannah, and Alvina in competition ops, who help ensure that the teams are comfortable and prepared and keep matchdays running smoothly, among many other things. They’re our player whisperers as well as the conduit for communication between the league and the teams.
There’s Kristin, Zorina, and Jamie, who are a huge reason the Overwatch League brand grows stronger every single day. There’s Lucy, a powerful one-woman social media army. They are the neon lights that illuminate our players and teams, turning them into household names and cultural touchstones.
There’s Marisa, who built a gleaming steel bridge between the league and the dev team so that we can showcase and celebrate Overwatch the way it deserves. There are many women on the dev team—artists, designers, engineers, programmers, and more—who were a part of it before it even began. It was their passion and hard work that provided the vision for the league.
There’s Mary, Diana, and Kelsy; armed with headsets and walkie-talkies, they’re the conductors of Blizzard Arena’s uniquely challenging gameday orchestra. There’s Ashley, Brenda, Tamara, Susan, and many others who do the same for the broadcast and video-production teams. There’s Tracy, who manages the commissioner’s office and ensures that our VIP hospitality is best-in-class. They’re bringing you the best experience possible, whether you’re at the arena or watching from home.
Then there are the women who you might be more familiar with.
There’s Geguri, of course, who still represents the zenith of accomplishment for women in professional Overwatch as the only female player in the league (so far). There’s Soe, Mica, and Emily if you’re watching the main English broadcast—they almost need no introduction. On the Korean broadcast, there’s Caster Jung—whose career in esports spans 20 years, making her a true pioneer in the field—and Akaros, one of the first women to make the jump from playing to casting. If you’re watching the Chinese broadcast, there’s Tutu, an impressive and singular figure in the world’s most populous country.
They are all beloved, not just for their skill, knowledge, or reporting, but also for their vibrant personalities, diverse backgrounds, and passion for the game. They are rightfully celebrated for having carved out a space for themselves, and they should serve as lodestars for girls and women trying to find their own place in the Overwatch League community.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the women scattered across Overwatch League teams, who have done an amazing job building their own organizations from the ground up, whether it’s a role that brings them into the public eye or not.
There’s Jen and Heather from the Valiant, Joy and Analynn from the Gladiators, Annie from the Dynasty, Susie from the Spitfire (who was GM when London made history as the inaugural-season champions), Briana from the Dragons, Janet and Cecily and Julia from the Uprising, Kate and Avalla and Mason from the Justice, Lindsay and Chef Heidi from the Fusion, Collette and Samira from the NYXL, and a plethora of others that I don’t have the wordcount to properly honor.
There are the women who aren’t in the league, but nevertheless changed the game for us (Flowervin comes to mind). There are the women who aren’t in the league yet: the players and coaches and team owners and talent and filmmakers and editors and content creators and project managers and executives of the future. I don’t know their names yet, but I want to meet them soon.
Last but never least, there’s the women who make up a big part of our fan base.
You’re in the crowd every matchday, cheering and hollering and cosplaying, making clever signs, and loving the Overwatch League loudly and passionately. You’re buying merch and showing up to the arena because you know nothing can beat the feeling of watching your team play, and win or lose, you’re there, wearing your team’s colors and lending your support. You’re on Twitter and Discord, posting fanart and translations and memes, starting podcasts, organizing fan projects, and pouring your love into this crazy league of ours.
When I first found myself drawn to esports, it was this energy—creative, heartfelt, and, most importantly, welcoming—that made me decide, yes, I want to be a part of this. A year after making it happen, it’s clearer than ever: you’re a big part of the reason the Overwatch League is so great.
You make us proud, and I think I can speak for all the women who work for the Overwatch League when I say—I hope we make you proud as well.