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The Houston Outlaws were one of the final franchises to sign up for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. Houston was one of the last three teams to join, announcing its intention to start play along with 11 other teams in 2018. The Outlaws have arguably the most creative branding in the league with two revolvers mirrored across from one another to form a steer’s skull. That has endeared them to their home state of Texas, and they had a promising first season in 2018.

Houston Outlaws Owners

Like some of the other teams that were expansion franchises in the Overwatch League, the Outlaws’ spot was purchased by an existing Esports organization. OpTic Gaming decided to branch out into the Overwatch League and make their Esports brand even more robust. The Green Wall were not allowed to carry their OpTic Gaming name into the new league, as Blizzard has decided to build this league with new team names to make the experience more unique, but the support and the colors are there.

Houston Outlaws 2018 Year in Review

It didn’t take long for Houston to outshine its inter-state counterpart and stake its claim as the best team in the Lone Star State. The Outlaws went 7-3 in Stage One, and they were on the right side of a four-way game score tiebreaker to make it into the Stage One Playoffs. There, they were beat pretty soundly by the London Spitfire, but they were pretty mediocre the rest of the way. They went 15-15 over the next three stages, and Houston just missed out on a spot in the Stage Four Playoffs by one game.

This team had the best DPS play of any Western team. JAKE was fantastic on Junkrat, Hanzo, and Brigitte, and he was the team’s main slayer throughout the course of the season. He led the Outlaws to wins over Boston and London in Stage Four with massive performances, and he was flanked by LiNKzr, Clockwork, and Mendokusaii.

At times, LiNKzr outshined JAKE last season. He was fantastic on Soldier: 76 and Widowmaker, and the interplay between the two was great. Mendokusaii and clockwork were used mostly as substitutes on one or two champions depending on certain maps and strategies.

Muma was one of the top main tanks in the Overwatch League too. He was so good throughout the year that he was picked to represent the United States at the Overwatch World Cup, and he was one of the team’s few bright spots there.

The problem was the play at the other three positions, but particularly in support. Boink, Bani, and Rawkus all struggled at times, and their play left something to be desired.

Houston Outlaws Roster

Surprisingly, Houston didn’t change much up over the offseason. The Outlaws no longer have Mendokusaii and Clockwork as active players, but they gave them ancillary roles on the team. The only player they truly parted ways with was off-tank FCTFCTN, and he is now part of the Mayhem Academy.

The Outlaws will roll out almost the exact same starting lineup that they did last year. LiNKzr and JAKE will be the main DPS players, and Muma will once again be the main tank. SPREE and coolmatt will be flex players, while Boink, Bani, and Rawkus are the supports.

ArHaN was added after Stage Two last year, and he will further integrate himself with the team as a substitute DPS player. Look for him to specialize in a few roles with the Outlaws.

Danteh is the Outlaws’ other addition. Last year, Danteh was a DPS player on the San Francisco Shock, but he joined Houston in mid-September. He provides depth, yet he is unlikely to play too much.

Houston Outlaws 2019 Preview

I would have felt much better about Houston’s chances this year if they signed new supports and a new off-tank. However, the Outlaws have seemingly placed a premium on consistency and chemistry, and they are running it back with virtually the exact same team as last year. The familiarity will give them an edge in Stage One and Stage Two, but the tide will turn against them as the season wears on.

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