Outlaws Go For Koreans and a Mixed Roster

New-New Ownership

After many akm blades of no announcement from the Outlaws while every other team was announcing their rosters, we finally got some major announcements for the team.

A couple weeks ago, we talked about how Neil Zieben was supposed to buy the Outlaws but never did. It was suspiciously never finalized and not addressed. That says something about the state of Overwatch by itself, but I already talked about that in another article.

Renegades investors (Beasley Media Group) bought the spot for an undisclosed amount. I wish we knew how much they paid compared to the expansion teams last year. With the events from last year, the traveling this year, and the recent Blizzard PR issue with their relation to China, it would be really interesting to find out just how much the price for the spot fell or rose.

I finally think the ups and downs of ownership is over. We heard the team was in financial troubles. Then the parent company got sold! That parent company had a team already and had to sell the spot again. Then Neil Zieben was going to buy the spot! Then he never went through with it. Now the team is a part of the Renegades family (how fitting)!

Renegades just let their CS:GO roster… go. This means they have some free money to work with. We all have said this many times, but I finally think that things may start to look up for the Outlaws. I can say that confidently this time because they hit us with some more shocking news.

Roster Additions

First, there was never an announcement saying that Danteh was staying. People were starting to worry as he is a good player and the team just signed new DPS. Flame reportedly said on a live stream that Danteh was re-signed almost immediately. That’s great news!

Then BAM! Rapel to the Outlaws?!?! Yeah, that’s happening. Which everyone wasn’t expecting because the Outlaws were known not to make moves and Rapel is a Korean player. How is his English? They just got rid of a Korean coach. He might feel weird being the only Korean on the tea… BAM! MekO is an Outlaw!

Everyone’s thoughts are a little crazy. Is this good? Is this bad? Well let’s break it down.

Breakdown of the Moves

The Outlaws needed to add to their tank line. Did they do that? Yes. MekO was part of the NYXL that had a dominant inaugural season. Is he an addition to the tank line? Yes. Is he a main tank? Not really. He’s known for his D.va play. This sounds like someone else on the team, Coolmatt. They already brought on Hydration and Blasé. Between the two of them, Jake, Coolmatt, and Spree, they would have the off-tank role covered. The signing of MekO almost makes Coolmatt and Spree non-essential. I’m not saying I don’t love my Spree memes, but from a business standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense to keep one or both of them. They are both signed, which is good for anyone that wants them to stick around.

Rapel didn’t see as much play time on the Titans as fans would have hoped, however, he brings a lot to the table. First, he still played, practiced, and learned from the team. He might be able to replicate the practice culture that the Outlaws need to stay focused. Second, he also played on the old Element Mystic roster who did fairly well in their events. He’s also another good support player as, if Lucio isn’t meta, Boink might struggle. Even though he is traditionally a flex support, I think he is a good addition and an overall buff to the team.

Harsha’s Impact

The biggest concern with both of them is not the double barrier meta, but the language barrier. We saw how little impact Arhan had, which is assumed to be because of the language barrier. How is the team going to get past it this time? Harsha! Harsha has experience with Korean players. His biggest job right now is to make sure that the cultures mix well as well as the communication between the team. If the teams like the Shock can pull off a mixed roster, why can’t the Outlaws?

It looks like that might be the end of player signings for the rest of the off-season though. They currently already have 12 players on the team. Also, it’s not clear who, if any, is getting the boot. So, unless there is a last minute out-of-left-field announcement like the Rapel announcement, the roster is about set. The only additions to look forward to now are any staff signings.

Seth “Sez” Ezbicki is a writer for Watchpoint: Lobby.

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