NYXL under fire for reportedly building OWL roster of “marginalized genders”

Overwatch League stadiumRobert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior is facing backlash after reports claimed the team was looking to build a roster consisting of “marginalized genders.”

On November 28, reports emerged that the NYXL was reaching out to players of “marginalized genders” to be part of the team’s squad for 2023. However, this is something that has people part of that community concerned.

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According to OWL insider Arran Spake, the NYXL’s owners have been pushing for the team to go in this direction, but players who have been approached don’t want to join, because they don’t want “handouts.”

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News of the roster change has many fans and players worried, saying there isn’t enough talent to pool from marginalized groups to form a roster capable of competing at the highest level.

Overwatch 2 players slam NYXL for marginalized gender roster

The backlash to the reports came quickly with many aspiring pros taking issue with the OWL team’s decision.

“I want to join an OWL team based on skill and not because of my gender, the fact that NYXL is wanting to make an all marginalized gender team that they know will struggle is frustrating,” remarked Aspen – a female support main.

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London Spitfire GM Ysabel ‘Noukky’ Müller called the roster a “really bad idea.”

“There is simply not enough talent yet to be a serious competitor or development team,” she said, recommending the team invest in Calling All Heroes instead.

Calling All Heroes is a program Blizzard set up exclusive for certain genders to compete in, though it’s not on the same level as Contenders, Overwatch’s secondary esports competition.

Boston Uprising’s social media manager also panned the roster concept, further remarking how “there are few, if any, OWL-level players who are also a marginalized gender.”

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With all this backlash, it will be interesting to see if NYXL go ahead with the roster or backtrack and opt for a more traditional team.

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