Houston Outlaws

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Houston Outlaws
The logo for the Houston Outlaws features two revolvers forming the shape of a longhorn skull in the colors of the team.
FoundedSeptember 20, 2017
LeagueOverwatch League
Team historyHouston Outlaws
Based inHouston, United States
ArenaRevention Music Center
OwnerBeasley Media Group
Head coachHarsha Bandi
General managerMatt Iorio
Main sponsorT-Mobile
WebsiteOfficial website
Houston Outlaws Jersey.svg

The Houston Outlaws are an American professional Overwatch esports team based in Houston, Texas. The Outlaws compete in the Overwatch League (OWL) as a member of the league's Atlantic South Division.

Founded in 2017, Houston Outlaws is one of the league's twelve founding members and is one of two professional Overwatch teams based in Texas (the other, Dallas Fuel). Originally, the Outlaws were established by Infinite Esports. The Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) acquired Infinite Esports in 2019, marking the first change of ownership of an OWL franchise. However, IGC already had ownership of Los Angeles Valiant, and while the League allowed IGC to operate both teams, had set strict standards to keep the teams independent. Subsequently, IGC sold the Outlaws to the Beasley Media Group in November 2019.

The team will play its home matches at the Revention Music Center in Houston's downtown Theater District.[1]

Kim "TaiRong" Tae-yeong was the team's first head coach and led the team to two stage playoff appearances, but no season playoff appearances, throughout his tenure; after failing to qualify for the season playoffs in his first two seasons, he was released from the team. Harsha "Harsha" Bandi, who was an assistant coach for the San Francisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans, is the current head coach.

Franchise history[edit]


On September 20, 2017, Blizzard Entertainment officially announced that American esports organization OpTic Gaming had acquired the Houston-based franchise of the Overwatch League.[2] Reports suggested that OpTic received an investment from Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman to help fund the $20 million Overwatch franchise fee.[3] On October 31, the franchise name was revealed as the Houston Outlaws.[4]

Early years (2018–present)[edit]

On January 11, 2018, the Outlaws played their first regular season Overwatch League match, a 3–2 loss to the Philadelphia Fusion.[5] One week later, on January 17, Houston claimed their first victory after sweeping the Shanghai Dragons 4–0.[6] Houston went on to qualify for the Stage 1 playoffs but fell to the London Spitfire in the semifinals.[7] Houston entered their last regular season match against the New York Excelsior needing a win to keep their season playoff hopes alive. The Outlaws had a 2–1 lead after three matches, but New York won the next three straight to take the win 3–2.[8] The team finished with a regular season record of 22–18.

The Outlaws began their 2019 season winning three of their matches in Stage 1. The stage was capped off by a 1–3 loss to the Atlanta Reign that prevented Houston from qualifying for the Stage 1 Playoffs.[9] Houston performed poorly in Stage 2, as the team did not claim a single victory in their seven matches of the stage. After the All-Star break, the Outlaws hit their stride, posting a 5–2 record in Stage 3 and qualifying for the Stage 3 Playoffs.[10] However, lost to the Vancouver Titans 0–3 in the quarterfinals.[11] A 1–3 loss to the London Spitfire in Week 3 of Stage 4 officially eliminated the Outlaws from season playoff contention.[12] Houston ended the season on a 5-game losing streak to finish the season with a disappointing 9–19 record.

On June 12, 2019, Immortals Gaming Club (IGC), the parent company of Immortals and Los Angeles Valiant, acquired Infinite Esports, the parent company of Houston Outlaws and OpTic Gaming, marking the first sale of any Overwatch League franchise.[13] Both Riot Games and Activision Blizzard approved the sale; by OWL rules, one company may not own more than one OWL franchise, so IGC had to operate the Valiant and Outlaws as entirely separate entities, with oversight by OWL representatives, until IGC sold the Outlaws.[14] In November 2019, IGC sold the Outlaws to the Beasley Media Group.[15]

The Outlaws failed to make it past the quarterfinals in each of the three midseason tournaments of their 2020 season.[16][17][18] Houston ended the season with a 6–15 record and were eliminated from postseason contention on September 3 after a 1–3 to the Boston Uprising in the North America play-ins tournament.[19]

Team identity[edit]

On October 30, 2017, OpTic Gaming announced that the team Houston-based team would be called the Houston Outlaws. The organization chose the name "to honor the region’s rebellious and fearless nature in the face of all challenges, channeling its history and fight for independence to create a name and identity that is as large-and-in-charge as its hometown."[20]

The design of the logo was a collaboration between OpTic Gaming and the Overwatch Development team.[21] It depicts two revolvers arranged in the shape of the classic Texan longhorn skull, with a star in between the horns. The two revolvers forming the skull "symbolizes the strength of the team and the city it represents," while the single star "represents the team’s pride in being a part of the Lone Star State."[22]

The colors of the logo, green and black, symbolize the "Green Wall", the name of OpTic's esports fan base. "We're excited for the Houston Outlaws to join the Green Wall family," said Hector Rodriguez. "All of our fans live to compete—to be louder than everyone else and to deafen the competition with our skilled play and enthusiasm. The Houston Outlaws will continue our historical dominance in esports and introduce a new meaning of 'community' to our fans in Texas."[23][24]


In May 2018, the Outlaws, revealed their first partnership, a sponsorship agreement with telecommunications provider T-Mobile, a company that was already a sponsor of the Overwatch League itself. The deal included a number perks to Houston Outlaws fans, as well a new behind-the-scenes content series.[25] Further, in May of that year, the Outlaws announced they were partnering with gaming peripheral provider Turtle Beach, previously a sponsor of the Outlaws' parent organization OpTic Gaming.[26][27] In the Spring of 2019, the Outlaws announced two new partnerships, one with gaming retailer GameStop[28] and the other with Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B.[29]


Current roster[edit]

Houston Outlaws roster
Players Coaches
Role No. Handle Name Nationality
Damage 20 Happy  Lee Jung-woo  South Korea 
Damage 6 Danteh  Cruz, Dante   United States 
Damage 27 KSF  Frandanisa, Kyle   United States 
Damage 76 Jake  Lyon, Jacob   United States 
Damage 99 Hydration  Goes Telles, João Pedro   United States 
Tank 33 JJANGGU  Cho Myung-heum  South Korea 
Tank 17 PIGGY  Shin Min-jun  South Korea 
Support 4 Joobi (I)  Triana, Enrique   United States 
Support 7 Crimzo  Hernandez, William   Canada 
Head coach
  • Harsha "Harsha" Bandi
  • Jae "Junkbuck" Choi

  • (C) Team captain
  • (2W) Two-way player
  • (I) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injury/Illness

Latest roster transaction: January 21, 2021.

Head coaches[edit]

Houston Outlaws head coaches
Handle Name From To Span Ref.
TaiRong Kim Tae-yeong October 31, 2017 September 20, 2019 1 year, 324 days [30][31][32]
Harsha Harsha Bandi October 16, 2019 1 year, 185 days [33]

Awards and records[edit]

Seasons overview[edit]

Season P W L W% MW ML MT MD Pos. (league) Pos. (conf.) Playoffs Earnings
2018 40 22 18 .550 94 77 2 +17 7th 5th Not eligible $75,000
2019 28 9 19 .321 47 69 3 -22 16th 6th Not eligible $25,000
2020 21 6 15 .286 32 50 3 -18 16th 7th Not eligible $5,000
2021 2 2 0 1.000 6 4 1 +2 5th 3rd TBD $0

Individual accomplishments[edit]

All-Star Game selections

  • Muma (Austin Wilmot) – 2018
  • Danteh (Dante Cruz) – 2019, 2020
  • Hydration (João Pedro Goes Telles) – 2020
  • Jecse (Lee Seung-soo) – 2020

Academy team[edit]

Founded on February 21, 2018, to compete in Overwatch Contenders North America, the Outlaws' academy team initially went under the moniker "OpTic Academy".[34]

On July 2, 2018, one day prior to Season Two starting, the team announced they would be rebranding themselves as "GG Esports Academy".[35] However, in October 2018, GG Esports Academy was removed from Overwatch Contenders for failing to submit a final roster by the roster deadline. The team submitted an extension request, but it was it was denied by Blizzard.[36]

Seasons overview[edit]

Year Season Region OWC regular season OWC playoffs Interregional
Finish[a] Wins Losses Win %
OpTic Academy
2018 1 North America 3rd 3 2 .600 Semifinals
GG Esports Academy
2018 2 North America 5th 2 3 .400 None held
Regular season record 5 5 .500
Playoff record 1 1 .500
  1. ^ Placements reflect standings in the team's respective group and not the entire region.


  1. ^ Mathews, Chris (August 21, 2019). "Major Houston esports team reveals dates, venue for first-ever home matches in 2020". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Chen, James (20 September 2017). "Overwatch League Completes the Circuit". Red Bull. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  3. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia (September 20, 2017). "Houston team announced for new Overwatch esports league". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (31 October 2017). "Overwatch League's bad boys are here: OpTic Gaming's Houston Outlaws". Dot Esports. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  5. ^ Rosen, Rick (January 11, 2018). "Overwatch League: Philadelphia Fusion vs Houston Outlaws Recap". Heavy. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (January 17, 2018). "Massive skill divides plague Overwatch League's last two Jan. 17 matches". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "London Spitfire beats Houston, New York to win Overwatch League Stage 1 playoffs". ESPN. February 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Lingle, Samuel (June 15, 2018). "Houston Outlaws eliminated from OWL playoff race by New York Excelsior". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Golden, Garrett (March 17, 2019). "Overwatch League Recap: Atlanta Reign vs Houston Outlaws". The Game Haus. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Richardson, Liz (July 8, 2019). "Overwatch League stage 3 playoff bracket revealed". Dot Esports. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  11. ^ Linscott, Gillian (July 12, 2019). "Shanghai Dragons Break Through to the Semifinals". Hotspawn. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Richardson, Liz (August 12, 2019). "Overwatch League season playoffs update: Stage 4, week 3". Dot Esports. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  13. ^ Goslin, Austen (June 12, 2019). "Immortals Gaming acquires Infinite Esports parent company of OpTic Gaming and Houston Outlaws". Polygon. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Hayward, Andrew (June 12, 2019). "Immortals GC Acquires OpTic Gaming and Houston Outlaws Parent, Infinite Esports & Entertainment". The Esports Observer. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Takahashi, Dean (November 14, 2019). "Immortals Gaming Club sells its Houston Outlaws Overwatch team to Beasley Media Group". Venture Beat. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Collins, Sean (May 22, 2020). "Decay leads Dallas Fuel to record-setting performance in 3-1 win over Houston Outlaws in May Melee". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  17. ^ Field Level Media. "Defiant upset Reign, reach OWL Summer Showdown semis". Rueters. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  18. ^ Richardson, Liz (August 7, 2020). "Fuel to the fire: Overwatch League Countdown Cup Knockout round results". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 3, 2020). "Houston Outlaws, Vancouver Titans eliminated from Overwatch League playoffs". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  20. ^ OpTic Gaming (October 31, 2017). "Introducing the Houston Outlaws, the official Overwatch League team from OpTic Gaming" (PDF). Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Witthaus, Jack (October 31, 2017). "Houston esports team in Overwatch League reveals logo, team members". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Kennedy, Megan (November 1, 2017). "Houston Outlaws join Overwatch League's inaugural season". Click2Houston. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  23. ^ Marshall, Cass (November 1, 2017). "The Houston Outlaws stake their claim in the Overwatch League". HeroesNeverDie. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  24. ^ Ring, Oliver (November 1, 2017). "OpTic Gaming's Overwatch League team to be named Houston Outlaws". Esports Insider. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  25. ^ Murray, Trent (May 5, 2018). "Houston Outlaws Announce Partnership With T-Mobile". The Esports Observer. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "Turtle Beach & Houston Outlaws Band Together | Turtle Beach Blog". Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  27. ^ Hollingsworth, David (May 1, 2018). "OpTic Gaming extends partnership with Turtle Beach". Esports Insider. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  28. ^ Fitch, Adam (March 27, 2019). "OpTic Gaming and Houston Outlaws add GameStop as video game retail partner". Esports Insider. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  29. ^ Hayward, Andrew (April 8, 2019). "Houston Outlaws Adds Grocery Chain H-E-B as Sponsor". The Esports Observer. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  30. ^ "Introducing the Houston Outlaws, the Official Overwatch League™ Team from OpTic Gaming". Business Wire. October 31, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  31. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (October 8, 2018). "Houston Outlaws coach let go amid ongoing Infinite Esports layoffs". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  32. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 20, 2019). "Houston Outlaws release head coach and assistant coach". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  33. ^ Richardson, Liz (October 16, 2019). "Houston Outlaws acquire Harsha as head coach". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  34. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (21 February 2018). "Former RunAway tank Kaiser signs with OpTic Gaming's Overwatch League academy team". Dot Esports. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  35. ^ "OpTic Academy is now GGEA". GG Esports Academy. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ Genova, Vincent (October 6, 2018). "OpTic Gaming's GGEA kicked out of OW Contenders after roster mishap". Dexerto. Retrieved March 17, 2019.

External links[edit]