The Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws have fought for the title of best Overwatch team in the Lone Star State thrice before. But never on Texan soil. The crowd was electric, the gameplay fast and explosive, and Dallas got a hard-fought victory on home turf in their Overwatch League match.
The Fuel came out swinging with a 100-0 win on round 1. Min-seok “OGE” Son dominated Austin “Muma” Wilmot and Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson, healing like a madman. The cameras were literally shaking from the energy of the spectators.
Houston weren’t out of it yet though. They came out on a traditional Pharmercy Dive, and Jacob “JAKE” Lyon got the picks they needed to win the first two fights. Muma was doing well on the Wrecking Ball, but Dallas responded with a McCree GOATS, just about stealing the point in overtime. Dylan “aKm”‘ Bignet’s Cree forced the Outlaws onto GOATS, but it just wasn’t enough. Dallas took the first map 2-0 and the crowd was screaming.
The Outlaws ran the classic “JAKErat” with a Hog, Orisa bunker while Dallas went Sombra Dive. Jake and Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin on Widow taunted the Fuel with early picks. Outlaws fended them off for a while but finally fell to an EMP and Zachary “ZachaREE” Lombardo’s Nanoblade. LiNkzr and the tanks switched to an unconventional Mei Dive for second point and Dallas couldn’t do a thing. Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty managed to stay alive amid constant Ults from the Fuel and led Outlaws to a second point hold.
Fuel needed to hold first point with their Sombra DOATS. They bided their time, then collapsed onto the Outlaws with a huge six-man EMP from aKm. Fuel tried the same tactic, but LiNkzr won the point with a massive four-man Grav. Second point and Houston needed to capture just 53 percent. Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen and Muma isolated and destroyed Dallas’ players for the first tick, and then LiNkzr came in on the Wrecking Ball to secure the map 2 win.
Houston on attack, Sombra GOATS vs. Ana GOATS. Outlaws took the first point lightning fast, but a couple trades later, OGE retook for Dallas, dishing out massive damage with his hammer. Lucas “NotE” Meissner was solid, but Won-sik “Closer” Jung kept the Dallas in it with sound barriers just long enough to deny Houston a finish.
UNKOE became the star of the show, landing huge antis every fight. Boink and Spree stalled the Fuel out for three minutes, but it ultimately came to nothing. Fuel won the map.
Dallas attacked first in a GOATS mirror matchup. They sped through first point, but an overextending Closer allowed Outlaws to stabilize. Muma utilized the high ground beautifully, collapsing hard into the Fuel and tearing them apart. Outlaws held out for a while, but a solo Grav onto Spree by AKM allowed Dallas to push through, all the way to the end of the map.
Outlaws ran GOATS into a defensive poke-dive from Fuel. Zackaree got a six-man EMP and AKM tidied up on the Soldier. They held out to overtime, but Spree only needed them to group up once and they did just that, giving Houston first point. Dallas just about managed to stabilize a couple meters away from 3rd point, but it wasn’t enough. Muma ripped through them once again for a map finish.
On Houston’s second attack, Dallas love their big EMPs. Outlaws withstood aKm’s first EMP, but the fight wasn’t over. AKm managed to let his second off just as he died, which was all the Fuel needed. They mopped up the remaining Outlaws for a full hold.
Dallas only needed 73m to win. An early pick onto OGE sent a shiver down every Dallas fans spine… but they didn’t give up. The fans were screaming and their energy made it to the players as they forced their way through and won the Battle for Texas for the first time in history.
Houston may have won the previous three times, but Southern hospitality was off the table and Dallas took a historic win. Outlaws fought hard and bravely, but amid the cheers of countless hometown fans, Texas burned blue.
I fell in love with Tomb Raider for the PS1 as a 4 year old and have gamed ever since. While I’ve meddled with the pro scenes of a couple games, I only really got invested with Overwatch for which I’ve been a pro player, coach and analyst in the tier 3 scene. Nowadays I mostly just play Overwatch, some Pdx Grand Strategies and R6 Siege but my favourite video game will forever be Star Wars Republic Commando. RIP Sev, you’ll always be remembered.
Disclosure: I’ve been a tournament admin and writer for The NUEL. While I am unlikely to cover the UK collegiate scene I still believe it important to disclose.