Jake, returning to the Houston Outlaws.
Image captured from the announcement tweet, via Houston Outlaws on Twitter.

After a long time casting and being around the Overwatch League community, Jacob “JAKE” Lyon is unretiring to join The Houston Outlaws, the organization announced on Jan. 21.

With his retirement at the end of the 2019 season and his jersey number being retired by his organization, it seemed his playing days were over. But, as he stated online, this break from competitive play has refreshed him. Now, he looks to play a bench role for the team as well as help the team as an experienced player.

Jake’s path back to the Outlaws

Jake started his competitive Overwatch career by playing in college, rising in prominance by playing for Hammers Esports. After some great performances at monthly tournaments, the team got purchased by Luminosity Gaming. He played for one of their teams, named LG Evil, alongside great talent such as Matthew “super” DeLisi. While playing for them, he showed off his skills on the United States roster in the 2017 World Cup. The U.S. team lost to powerhouse South Korea, but many players from both teams joined the Overwatch League. This included Jake, who joined the Houston Outlaws.

The hype for Jake and the Outlaws was high. Houston started the season hot, but they had specific issues that never led them to the top. One of these issues was the lack of a Tracer player, one of the few heroes that Jake couldn’t play at a high level. So besides his great play, he did get a lot of flak for not being as good as the top Tracer players in the world. He was a fan favourite, an avid leader and communicator. The team finished poorly in seventh place. Eventually Jake retired at the end of the 2019 season. Afterwards the Outlaws showed their appreciation and retired Jake’s jersey number. He remained near the scene, but not as a player.

Houston adding depth and experience

With this signing, there are many upsides. First, you get a fan favourite and veteran back playing in the top league. Secondly, you have a flexible player who can help with the craziness that will be the 2021 season. Especially with the pandemic, depth will be pivotal for next season. Nobody expected Jake to re-enter the league, but with him going back to the Outlaws, they’ve improved. Lastly, he confirmed in a tweet after the announcement that he would also be coaching. It seems he is joining as a player, but using his experience to help coach his team to success.

Michael Czar
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming as long as I can remember, with my first ever game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played game being Borderlands 2 (3000+ hours). Some other key favourites of mine are Transistor and Night in the Woods, but I spend stupid amounts of time playing Overwatch. I have a BA Honors in Film Studies, and want to continue to be part of film, gaming and writing.