After the success the Overwatch League had with the Calling All Heroes tournament in 2022, the league is expanding it, growing from a tournament to a year-long series. Where everything culminated at the Challengers Cup, the Challengers Series stretches into 2024.
A successful way of increasing gender inclusivity
When first brought to light, the idea of highlighting marginalized players across Contenders was an exciting one. A variety of teams formed together to try and make their name as the best players in Calling All Heroes. This gender-inclusive community held trails for a tournament over part of the year, all ending at the Challengers Cup.
Your first-ever #CallingAllHeroes Champions 🏆
Congratulations, @Altiora_Gaming Artemis!! pic.twitter.com/zQEiktvniT
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) December 19, 2022
Not only did the tournament have solid viewership, but some talent caught the eyes of Overwatch League teams. Two of those players are Haley “Halo” Hamand and Yunhee “Aniyun” Chi. They both won the tournament with Altiora Artemis and recently signed to the New York Excelsior. Both have their unique stories, with Halo playing for the Boston Uprising in the past before coming out as a trans woman.
As for Aniyun, she grew up as an Overwatch League fan of NYXL, even gaining notoriety after holding her own in an Ana 1v1 versus former league MVP Bang “JJoNak” Seong-hyun.
Expanding Calling All Heroes for 2023 onwards
As per the Overwatch League, 2023-24 is where Calling All Heroes is expanding significantly. Most importantly, there are now two key tournaments with qualifiers lasting just over a year. Starting in April 2023, the Challengers Series begins. Composed of both major and minor events, the Challengers Series will have teams compete in six events up until November.
Then, a last chance qualifier in January 2024 will culminate in a Championship in February. The entire Calling All Heroes breadth is officially partnered with Raidiant, a broadcast and content producing team with a focus on creating opportunities for women in gaming and esports.
Lastly, along with the games comes the Speaker Series. This series is a focus on conversations with pros across the gaming ecosystem touching on gender-inclusivity.
About the Author
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.