New York Excelsior doubling down on plan to build OWL roster of marginalized-gender individuals

Sources indicate that the team may be pivoting to a mixed-gender roster option.

Image via NYXL

Despite pushback from the Overwatch League community on its plans to build a roster around players of underrepresented genders, the New York Excelsior is seemingly moving forward with the plan—with a few key changes. 

Management has decided to continue recruiting and signing players who identify as a marginalized gender, according to multiple sources who updated Dot Esports on the situation following our previous report about the Excelsior

This time around, though, the organization has had to pivot to a mixed-gender roster to fill its ranks. Two prominent names in the Overwatch Contenders scene, Riley “cuFFa” Brown and Steven “Renko” Saucedo, have hinted at signing with the New York team. This aligns with what sources have said about the Excelsior switching up its plans. 

Signing cuFFa and Renko would give the New York Excelsior a tank and support, respectively, but the rest of the roster will still need to be completed. Sources have indicated that the team is still soliciting gameplay and video reviews from players in the Path to Pro scene, especially players of underrepresented genders. 

Critics of the New York Excelsior’s plan have pointed out that signing players of marginalized genders, especially if they’re below the Overwatch League’s base level of experience, could lead to a “glass cliff” effect. Though having representation in the league is important, setting players up for failure sets a dangerous precedent. 

The New York Excelsior has not yet responded to repeated Dot Esports requests for comment about the team’s 2023 roster plans.