Houston Outlaws might sound like a more traditional sporting set up, but it is actually the name of OpTic Gaming’s new Overwatch League team. E-sport teams are betting big on Overwatch, with OpTic being the latest organization to confirm a team for Overwatch League. Yesterday they announced their ten player roster, which you can see below.
- Austin “Muma” Wilmot
- Matt “Coolmatt” Lorio
- Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty
- Lucas “Mendokusaii” Hakansson
- Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin
- Daniel “Bonik” Pence
- Chris “bani” Bennell
- Jacob “JAKE” Lyon
- Matt “Clockwork” Dias
- Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen
The Overwatch League plans on using a permanent teams and league format, rather than the more traditional relegation and promotion systems of other E-sports tournaments. So far, the League will consist of twelve teams with the first Season beginning on December 6th. The League is doing interesting things, having teams very much focused on where they are based.
The teams so far include Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons. The League and its teams have already generated some big investment with the Kraft Group (New England Patriots owner), Jeff Wilpon (COO of the New York Mets) and Comcast Spectator (owner of the Philadelphia Flyers) all owning teams. E-sports stalwarts such as OpTic Gaming, Tean Envy, Noah Whinston and Andy Miller are all involved as well.
As a well known entity in E-sports, Optic are bound to bring a strong following to the League and I am very curious to see what happens as the more traditional geographically focused team structure meets the sprawling fandom that internet based entertainment brings. This is also one of the first times we are seeing a true focus on the growth of an E-sport. Traditionally they have grown from grass roots efforts, with the original monsters like DOTA and Starcraft almost being accidental things, driven by player passion even before the games’ developers.
Blizzard are going all in on their attempts to make Overwatch an E-sports monster, and I am curious to watch this all unfold.