“This year, we have tripled its size. It’s a huge, huge responsibility for us. If we don’t sell that, we’re going to lose a lot of money. But to my surprise, we sold out in 27 hours. So a little over a day, which is wild.
Of the gamers who participated, about two-thirds identify as LGBTQ+, including 20% who are non-binary or trans, according to a press release from the event. In addition to the guaranteed four games, there was a mixer on Friday night, as well as goody bags, personalized jersey nameplates and several other giveaways.
Thompson conducts a pseudo draft where he tries to balance the talent of all the teams based on the information received from the players. This includes mixing genders, non-LGBTQ+ players, and other considerations. Sometimes a little rebalancing is needed once the games have started.
The NHL was there too, with former defenseman Andrew Ference and current Chicago Blackhawks minor leaguer Kurtis Gabriel on hand and even occasionally taking the ice to help struggling teams. Luke Prokop, who could become the first openly gay player under contract with the NHL, sent a video because his playoff season did not allow him to attend. Ference and Gabriel, who wrapped players’ sticks with Pride tape, also took part in the All-Stars of Pride, which highlighted 28 players who stood out over the weekend. Taylor was one of those players.