Xiao and Kazuha running a coffee shop

Birthday bash

HoYoFair 2022 is the best Genshin Impact fan event yet for one reason

License to ship.

HoYoverse

Happy birthday, indeed. HoYoverse put in the work for the Genshin Impact 2022 anniversary. Not only did the developer commit to offering players a way to earn at least 20 free wishes and other rewards this year, but they also hosted a squee-worthy livestream full of fanmade Genshin Impact shorts this past weekend. HoYoFair, the “birthday” stream in question, both celebrates the game’s anniversary and allows the company to form connections with the community’s most passionate creators. Best of all, the shorts feel like they’re straight out of a fanfic — especially when it comes to ships.

HoYoFair saw many callouts to popular pairings, including Ei/Yae Miko, Keqing/Ganyu, Beidou/Ningguang, and many other (mostly gay) ships. They appear as early as the opening animation, which takes place in an alternate universe where all the characters are in high school. Ei and Miko fuss over a Raiden Shogun doll at a local shop. Keqing, Ganyu, and Barbara rehearse for an idol performance. Childe, Zhongli, and Hu Tao are on the track team.

The list goes on, and so do the ships. (Fans jokingly call HoYoverse “Homoverse” for a reason.) There’s a Keqing/Ganyu festival fight, an Eimiko-inspired dango commercial, and an AMV starring Diluc/Kaeya and Amber/Collei. They might not be outright kissing scenes, but they do explore the importance of the two characters’ partners in their lives.

HoYoverse also featured many non-romantic shorts that still felt fandom-fueled, like a Childe and Yelan duel and Zhongli being a dad to Xiao, Ganyu, and Shenhe. “Dreams in Eternal Reminiscence,” one of the most popular shorts, explores the theme of eternity and Raiden Shogun’s backstory before meeting the Traveler.

“This short animation portrayed Ei's past, happiness, anxiousness.. loneliness..and depression so well... Thank you for giving us this amazing work,” one fan thanked the creators. Needless to say, fans are in tears over that one.

HoYoFair isn’t exactly a new celebration. The developer also hosted a “birthday party” fan celebration last year, but it was overshadowed by the review-bombing and rewards uproar. Now, it seems to have garnered a variety of well-made shorts and the appreciation from fans to support it.

“They really went and made this year 10x better than last year. Props to the entire Genshin community. Thanks for bringing us amazing content!” one commenter wrote on YouTube, comparing the celebration to last year’s content. Overall, fans seem to agree.

If you want to experience HoYoFair for yourself, I suggest going to the official Genshin Impact Bilibili channel or watching the video specifically labeled “Genshin Impact fan art birthday party on Bilibili” on the HoYoLab YouYube channel. There’s a curated special program in English called “Marvellous Battle in the Dream Garden,” but the Bilibili one has over 30 minutes of shorts that you’re missing out on including action-packed fight animations and feelsy fan shipping videos.

Genshin Impact is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, iOS, and Android.

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