The Los Angeles Valiant remains dominant in both the Overwatch League and the establishment of a brand outside the League. Last month, they established a partnership with Microsoft. After announcing this partnership, Microsoft and the Valiant coordinated an event called the Girls in Gaming Summit, which promoted the importance of women in the gaming industry. It featured panels by women in various parts of the industry and emphasized the inclusion of a female presence in video games, all the while empowering more women to be involved in gaming.
Following this partnership, they have announced a partnership with the You Can Play Project, a group dedicated to ensuring safety and inclusion for participants in all sports, including LGBTQ+ players, coaches, and fans. You Can Play has established support from athletes and leaders in traditional sports such as the NHL and MLS, but the Los Angeles Valiant is the first esports team to participate in the social change movement.
But wait…there's more! We're coming into #PrideMonth 🏳️🌈 in style with these sweet Pride Patches.
A portion of all sales helps @YouCanPlayTeam provide education and awareness to sports communities of all ages to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion.
— Los Angeles Valiant 👼 (@LAValiant) June 1, 2018
“For too long, the esports industry has been unfairly characterized as a toxic, unwelcoming environment,” said LA Valiant CEO Noah Whinston. “This assumption runs counter to the core values of the Los Angeles Valiant organization and our partnership with the You Can Play Project further cements our dedication to making the LA Valiant an inclusive community. The message is simple: no matter who you are, who you love, or what gender you identify as – if you can play, you can play.”
“You Can Play is honored to have the LA Valiant as our first esports partner,” added Ryan Pettengill, executive director of You Can Play. “They are an organization committed to promoting diversity in and around esports. We are happy to be a part of that effort and so appreciative of their support.”
This partnership appears to not only be for Pride Month, but will extend beyond that. The Valiant will film a video to promote awareness of the You Can Play initiative across the esports community. You Can Play will also participate in future Valiant events to advocate their cause with Valiant fans. When the Valiant migrates to their home arena at the Microsoft Theater in 2020, You Can Play will help facilitate “Pride Night” events.
This month, the Valiant will sell pride-themed iron-on Valiant Pride Patches at the Valiant store. Part of the proceeds will go towards the You Can Play Project. The Valiant Pride Patch will make its debut in the Overwatch League this Saturday against the New York Excelsior.