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Overwatch 2 sets Pride event for June 2023

Overwatch 2 is launching a major Pride celebration in June 2023.
overwatch 2 pride month june 2023

Blizzard Entertainment has launched official Pride celebrations in Overwatch 2, with June playing host to a renewed spotlight on the game’s LGBTQIA+ characters, and its community of players. During celebrations, everyone who logs into Overwatch 2 will find new decorative Player Icons and Name Cards representing diverse sexualities, as well as a newly-decorated Midtown map with LGBTQIA+ flags flying.

Special cards will also be available for Tracer, Soldier, Lifeweaver, Baptiste, and Pharah, with each card representing their sexual orientation.

In Watchpoint: Gibraltar, a new photo of Tracer and Emily will appear to coincide with these Pride celebrations, and keen players will also be able to learn more about the game’s lore and LGBTQIA+ representation in a new short story chapter focussing on Baptiste and Pharah.

According to Blizzard, the time was right to celebrate Pride as the team wanted to begin expanding its PvE lore in new ways, and do ‘much more’ in ‘exploring [its] character identities and relationships.’ Notably, a major piece of PvE content for the game was recently scrapped, which may explain this desire to deliver story-based content in an alternative form.

Read: Pride at Play is a wonderful celebration of queer games

Regardless of intention, it’s great to see the Overwatch 2 team openly celebrating LGBTQIA+ identity – particularly given recent hurdles facing the community. Worldwide, debate around trans and non-binary people has grown vicious, with loud conservative voices – particularly in the United States – calling for fewer human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.

Pride should be celebrated openly – and that’s something Blizzard is taking a welcome stance on.

‘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 recognised within the Overwatch universe as well,’ Blizzard said of the event. ‘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.’

‘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.’

In addition to revealing new in-game content, Blizzard has also launched new Pride-themed apparel on the Blizzard Gear Store, which has been curated by the Blizzard LGBT+ Employee Network. Net proceeds from sales are being donated to the US National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Going forward, Blizzard has promised new Pride-related content in Overwatch 2, and a continued celebration of sexual and romantic diversity. Expect the first wave of Pride to launch in Overwatch 2 from 1 June 2023.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.