Outlaws Respond to Backlash After Leaving Overwatch Esports to Create Content

Outlaws has issued a statement addressing fan reaction to its pivot toward content creation, away from esports and messaging after the Overwatch League shut down.

The Outlaws, formerly the Houston Outlaws, announced on Nov. 10 in a video posted to social media that they would be stepping away from esports following the death of the Overwatch League and focusing on content creation.

The brand introduced three new content creators and said it does not rule out returning to esports at some point in the future.

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Fans were unhappy with the announcement, not only for the surprise pivot away from esports after starting as a brand in OWL in 2017, but also for not bringing in any Overwatch content creators. The three creators registered on Outlaws do not stream or create videos about Overwatch and mostly stick to Call of Duty or Valorant.

Diehard Houston Outlaws fans, who had been with the organization since its inception, said the pivot felt like a betrayal. Even casual viewers and fans were a little confused by the move, as it seemed like a big leap to go from Overwatch content to a FaZe Clan-style operation.

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The organization since then lost thousands of followersand some accounts claimed that the Outlaws

Outlaws posted a response to the backlash on Nov. 13 on social media.

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Outlaws respond to fans about transitioning out of esports

The brand said its decision to move into content creation wasn’t easy and that it is still “incredibly dedicated to the Overwatch League and our fans.”

“However, with the dissolution of the League (which was not our decision), we had to decide whether to stay together and forge a new direction as the Outlaws, or disband along with the OWL,” the statement said.

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The statement was another mistake from most of his followers, as people said the response was passive-aggressive and didn’t understand why fans were upset.

“I just want to echo that it’s not about change; It’s about how you, one of the most beloved teams in the league, treated fans who expressed extremely valid concerns. The passive-aggressive tone of this is also beyond irritating,” one of them said.

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Outlaws is one of many Overwatch League brands and franchises that must decide what to do with their business in a post-OWL world. Unlike franchises like the San Francisco Shock, which is owned by another esports brand, NRG Esports, Outlaws is operated by Beasley Media Group. The company owns a news website that covers esports and gaming and also has many radio shows under its umbrella.

Only time will tell if Outlaws as a brand will survive its shift away from its more hardcore esports fan base toward a more casual general gaming organization.

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