A few days ago, a Facebook post was posted about that a boy was not allowed to wear the jersey for Overwatch League franchise Houston Outlaws at school. The reasoning behind it was because the jersey has 2 guns on it and was “deemed as violent”. Houston Outlaws general manager Matt “Flame” Rodriguez replied that it wasn’t the first incident, but that the team would resolve the issue for the fan.
Houston Outlaws revolvers
The Houston Outlaws jersey is themed with the iconic OpTic Gaming Greenwall green and black color scheme. It also features the Outlaws logo across the front which is designed with the Texas longhorns in mind. Instead of an actual Texas Longhorn cow, the head is replaced with two revolvers. This is because Overwatch is considered a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter, which makes it fit in.
However, when a 10-year-old boy wore the Houston Outlaws to school, he was told to take it off because it promoted violence. The guns are also said to not have been suitable for an elementary school as it displays “illegal activities”. Even if Overwatch is a more cartoony first-person shooter than a game like Call of Duty, the revolvers are still guns. It turns out that Berryton Elementary in Kansas isn’t actually the first school to have brought up this issue.
Matt “Flame” Rodriguez writes in a reply to Team United Kingdom lead Bad Pachimari that this was actually a problem brought up when the team went over the logo. While discussing merchandise options, the team was also wondering whether the logo would be fine on a backpack if worn to school. To resolve the problem, Flame brings up a previous case where another young student wore an Outlaws t-shirt and the organization sent him their baseball jersey as a substitute.
I do think it'd be cool to do a like secondary Outlaws logo that makes the gun outline less obvious solely for the purpose of merchandising for the younger audience. I'm actually surprised this 'turn your shirt inside out' thing has only happened a handful of times.
— Matt Rodriguez (@flameIRL) October 12, 2019
He then goes on to bring up another case regarding the team’s branding. Flame says that the team isn’t called the “Outlaws” in China because the translation is “Sharpshooters” in Mandarin. China has one of the strictest gun ownership laws in the world, where citizens are not allowed to have guns. Unless a citizen works for law enforcement or military, one can be charged for the illegal possession of firearms. The minimum penalty is 3 years and up to the death penalty. Because of this, the team had to change its name in China to “休斯顿牛仔镇”. This translates to “Houston Cowboy Town” or “Houston Cowboys” in English.
There is no further information confirming that the Houston Outlaws will actually create a secondary Outlaws logo. The main purpose behind doing so, would be for merchandising toward younger fans. With the Outlaws no longer under ownership by OpTic Gaming, the organization is due for a brand refresh. What do you think about this situation? Let us know about your opinion, and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your Overwatch coverage.