“It’s so amazing to see that people are being represented. Gaming is for everyone.”
The Overwatch League 2023 Grand Finals united gamers from all walks of life. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1, its diverse community of fans and players gathered at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre to support their favorite teams. Before the matches, we interviewed fans about the event itself and more!
Overwatch League 2023 Grand Finals fans show their support
Team Hangzhou Spark achieved two reverse sweeps during the Overwatch League 2023 Playoffs before securing a spot in the Grand Finals. To support these players, fans such as Alex Peters and Alex Johnson donned Hangzhou Spark clothing to show their team spirit.
"I'm a Spark fan," Peters told esports.gg "Especially guxue. I've been following him even in the World Cup's Team China. They've given us the best matches this weekend. Hands down."
Peters is a big fan of Toronto Defiant as well. Although his favorite team didn't make it to the Overwatch League 2023 Playoffs, he praised the Mattamy Athletic Centre's atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Johnson shared his own thoughts about the esports tournament.
"It's kind of surreal seeing all these people that you've been seeing on screens for years in real life," Johnson told esports.gg "You're like, 'Oh, wait. They're actual people.' Like, it's obvious, but it takes a bit for your mind to wrap around it when you see them in person, which it's really fun. It's really cool. Meeting all the players. It's just really fun. They're just walking around. You can talk to them. It's great!"
Overwatch League 2023 Grand Finals celebrates women in gaming
In addition to the large booth where fans could purchase jerseys, the location had an area dedicated to Red Bull. Fans spotted drinking Red Bull had a chance to win the best seats! There was also an area that celebrated women in esports and gaming. Jessica Medeiros, the founder of Femme Gaming, spoke with esports.gg about the event itself and its impact.
"It's absolutely amazing seeing families, the women, even our men allies, checking out our booth and seeing how amazing it is," Medeiros said. "The Overwatch League community is very open to women in gaming. So we're really happy to see that this game is a very diverse game that includes a lot of different groups of people. We're really happy to be here at the Overwatch League Grand Finals. Overactive Media does a great job putting on these shows here in Toronto, so we're very excited to be a part of this inclusive space."
Medeiros shared what the event means to her as well, highlighting the diversity and inclusivity in modern video games and their communities. In Overwatch 2, there are currently 38 heroes to play as, and this roster feature a lot of diversity. In addition to characters from around the world, Overwatch 2 has canon LGBTQ+ heroes as well.
"When I was growing up as a kid, video games looked one way. It only spoke to one person," Medeiros told esports.gg. "And so now, I'm very excited to see that it is such a diverse game and community. It means a lot to me because video games are now so open. It's so amazing to see that people are being represented. Gaming is for everyone. One in three people game, so we need to make sure that people are being represented. I'm happy that it's happening now."
That's all for now. Stick around on esports.gg for more Overwatch 2 news and updates!