Houston Outlaws Player Profile: Dante “Danteh” Cruz

Before the League

Dante “Danteh” Cruz has had quite the up and down journey from the start of his Overwatch career. While he is now known for his DPS play in Overwatch League; Danteh started his journey in esports expressing his love for games on YouTube.

On this platform, he played various things like Minecraft PvP. His YouTube channel has around 107K subscribers, as of recent. With this, he used his channel to springboard himself into the world of Overwatch Esports by joining team Denial Esports. This team later transformed into team Yikes, after the org was brought under scrutiny for not paying players. On this team, Danteh played with other notable OW players such as Xqc and Space. The former being a notable streamer and Team Canada main tank, and the latter, the current LA Glads off tank. From his time on Denial//Yikes Esports, Danteh was able to gain notoriety within the community. In 2017, he landed himself on his first OWL team, the San Francisco Shock. 

Danteh and the Shock: A mixed bag

When Danteh was announced to the Shock in 2017, most fans had mixed feelings on it. Some fans viewed the roster as relatively inexperienced and weak. Others saw the Shock management as building for the future, with two players yet to turn 18.

Danteh and the Shock saw little success the first two stages of OWL’s Inaugural Season and were heavily criticized. For Danteh, while still a flexible and talented DPS, he struggled to make his mark throughout the first half. However, he showed his true strength towards the end of the second stage by playing Tracer exceptionally well. While he did not necessarily match up against the best Tracers (such as Striker from Boston Uprising, and Saebyeolbe from NYXL) he was showing to be the best of the first half Shock roster leading into stage three.

However, one of Shock’s upcoming players, Sinatraa, would make Danteh come out of the starting roster. Sinatra was considered to be a tracer god and would take the role from Danteh. Following this, Danteh’s role within the Shock would change to a flex/Sombra specialist. He was considered one of the best Sombra’s within the league during stage three. However, he still was overshadowed on the roster by recent come of age Sinatraa, and recently acquired dps Architect. Danteh’s time with the shock ended following the first season of OWL. He was considered by many as one of the most improved players in OWL for Season One. Even with his rocky start, Danteh bounced back to lead his team out of the gutter they found themselves in. Danteh’s journey did not continue with the Shock as he had a new destination, the Houston Outlaws. 

Becoming an Outlaw

Danteh was included in a trade between San Francisco to the Houston Outlaws following the Inaugural Season of OWL. With this trade, Danteh became the only player addition for the 2019 Season for the Houston Outlaws. Many saw this as Houston being too passive in the trade window, to which they would be partially right. The reason in the end was due to Optic Gaming, the owner of the Outlaws, losing money. They eventually lost ownership of the Overwatch team after selling to Immortals. However, for Danteh and the Outlaws, they trudged along despite this.

The Outlaws saw more success in stage three. So much so that they upset the stage two champions, and Danteh’s old team, the San Francisco Shock. Houston would then go to impress in stage three and earn a berth in the stage three playoffs! While they didn’t go far in playoffs, the fact they qualified was impressive. Considering the season’s first-half and the org crumbling. Stage four was a very different story as Danteh and the Outlaws ended with a mere 1-6 stage record. Danteh’s second season in OWL and the first with Houston could be considered a wreck. However, for Danteh, it was another proving ground where he showed that he belonged on this Outlaws team and in the Overwatch League.

Looking forward

For the 2020 Season, Danteh remains with the Houston Outlaws as their flex dps player. However, Houston Outlaws acquired Hydration from the Gladiators over the off-season. This means Danteh will have to rise above his fellow Outlaw if he wants to see the stage again. I’m sure Danteh can find his footing as he’s had quite the experienced career. Here’s hoping Danteh and the Outlaws bounce back in the 2020 Season.

The Outlaw’s first match will be against the Florida Mayhem in Philadelphia on February 15th at 3:00 pm central time. 

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