The Houston Outlaws have a fairly unique perspective on the Overwatch League. From the team’s inception, Outlaws General Manager Matt “Flame” Rodriguez set out to build a team that valued personality, marketability, and synergy – which have gained them both a ravenous fanbase, and no small supply of haters.
With such strong personalities at the fore, the Outlaws struck me as the perfect team with which to discuss my new favorite subject – trash-talking. Love ’em or hate ’em, you can definitely expect some spice from the boys in black and green… Strap in and read on for some specifics.
Are we gonna see some trash talk from the Outlaws this season?
Flame: I hope so. I think there’s a lot more teams now to trash talk. The problem is, though, it’s gonna take a lot of confidence from these newer teams. I think people were afraid to do it last year – it got out of hand in a few situations, obviously, and some people took it way too far. I think if you even look at the caster showmatch from last year – the casters were jokingly trash-talking, but like… Monte’s never really joking when he’s trash-talking. There’s always a bit of truth. But the point is, people were excited for that. The caster showmatch honestly had more hype than some of the stage finals. That’s not even a joke.
It’s true that the trash talk definitely brings more to the games, but it’s hard, because I think last season was also awkward. Because if you trash-talk someone on Sunday, you might see them in the hallway on Monday. Now we don’t really have that problem. I think the fact that we’re not all in the same building actually opens up a little more potential.
Do you think it’ll open up more when you all geolocate?
Flame: Oh, definitely. At that point it’s like, oh, I’m across the state or I’m across the country. What’s this guy gonna do?
I was trying to see if ZachaREEE was gonna be the one to really amp it up at some point, but I don’t think he’ll be the one.
Jake: I don’t think he will either, no.
Danteh: No, but Munchkin’s a good person to amp it up. Or Sinatraa, I would say.
I asked Sinatraa, actually, and he said, “I’m keeping my mouth shut, because every time I open my mouth everybody yells at me.”
Rawkus: He also said he wanted to stop after the World Cup, too. He’s done with that, I’m pretty sure.
So Who’s Gonna Throw The First Punch?
Rawkus: Super? Super’s kind of stupid, so he’ll probably say something.
Danteh: Oh, that’d be funny.
Jake: Well, Super understands that trash-talk is trash-talk. You don’t hate the people you’re trash-talking; you don’t actually think they’re bad players. In my opinion, if you’re trash-talking someone, it’s a level of respect, because you wanna get in their head – you care about them. If you don’t even know who a player is, that’s the ultimate disrespect.
Danteh: Yeah, I feel like with any of the Season 1 players, you can trash talk them without feeling bad. Then you know it’s not serious, it’s just playful.
Jake: I definitely wouldn’t trash talk a new player, because I have a relative position of power, I’ve been in the league for a year, so more people know who I am. If I were to talk down on a new player, it wouldn’t be cool.
Yeah, you’re Jake Overwatch!
Flame: “I am Jake Overwatch, and you will respect my Rip-tire!”
Jake: But exactly, it would be stupid. I agree with Danteh. As a player with experience in the league, we should be more open to getting trash-talked. I want to tell these teams to bring it on, that’s what I say. Bring it on, Dafran, let’s go. Bring on the teabags.
Danteh: I love teabagging. Whenever someone teabags me, I just laugh.
Danteh: Some players get noticeably mad in game.
Sinatraa did say he’s not gonna trash talk, but he is gonna teabag everybody. Striker said he’ll be doing the same.
Jake: I knew teabagging effected Striker, that’s why I did it to him multiple times in games. I knew it bothered him, and he kept playing bad after I did it, so I just kept doing it.
[The entire table discusses the benefits of teabagging for a few seconds before continuing.]
Ref! Ref, They’re Being Mean!
Rawkus: Last season, they banned talking in game chat.
Jake: We would trash talk in game chat, yeah. Or not trash talk, I should say – we would just mess with people. The player we thought was actually bad, we would praise, and then we wouldn’t praise anyone else. Like, ‘you’re so good, One Player.’ We would only talk to that player, and not talk to anyone else. Then teams complained, and they asked for a rule change, because they’re little… (mumbles)
Flame: It was like the softest thing in the world, too. It’s like walking past someone on the sideline at a football game, you throw the shoulder, you walk up real close and start whispering in their helmet and stuff.
What you do is, you get up from your chair, you walk over to Bdosin’s chair, and just say… “You’re beautiful.”
Rawkus: Jake’s actually dropped question marks in game, too.
Jake: Yeah, if I somebody really messes up and I dominate them off of it. Like, Birdring flashed me on McCree and then couldn’t kill me, and I used my Tac Visor and killed him, so I put a question mark in chat. Because I knew one hundred percent that I would be tilted if I couldn’t get a kill off a flashbang. I would be so mad, because it’s a critical error. Especially when you miss another four times after.
Rawkus: Especially when it’s a player like Birdring.
Jake: I knew, one hundred percent, he would be done for the match if I did that to him. So, of course I’ll do that to him. It makes the matches so much better if you do that.
Poking and Prodding
Jake: I think a lot of the time, if you can notice conflicts within teams, you can press on those conflicts. You might know that one player is a tilter, and you can try and tilt them so they’ll mess with their whole team by tilting.
Danteh: Or something that you know is something that they’re insecure about. Like, on the team as a whole. Maybe there’s some drama going on that you know about, and then you can be like, ‘oh, who’s playing Zarya this week, huh?’
Jake: We should step up our trash talk. The more I talk about this – we should just heat it up. We should start the fire. I’m actually gonna get a little more toxic this season. I’m a naturally toxic player, you should have seen my stream a long time ago.
Danteh: “Hey, Moth, why isn’t Architect in on support?”
Rawkus: No, no one can ever shit-talk Moth.
Jake: Moth’s too good of a guy.
Danteh: Yeah, you go after Moth and he’ll apologize to you. He makes you feel bad.
Rawkus: He’ll be like, ‘sorry, what did I do to you?’
Danteh: Bro, you could punch Moth and he’d be like, ‘I’m sorry…’ He’d ask if you were okay!
Jake: He’d say something like, ‘What’s going on in your life, are you stressed out right now?’ He’s gonna help you, man. I’m only gonna trash talk a player that’s fun to trash talk. It has to be a player who gets in the dirt with me, alright? I’m not gonna drag somebody down.
Danteh: You gotta get somebody who’s ready to rumble.
Jake: Exactly, you don’t wanna target someone who’s not interested.
Danteh: Midway through a Philly match, maybe, ‘please wake up, Carpe, please! Oh my god, please!’ Sleep dart – ‘please wake up!’
The Biggest Fish to Fry
Rawkus: I was actually gonna mention, the only person I actively trash-talk is Carpe, because I used to play with him. I understand that he tilts really easily. So I’ll mess with him, easily.
I asked you that question last year, and you said “I don’t know, I don’t know if I know anything about him that’ll give me an edge.” Now you’re saying “I’ll trash talk him! I know he can’t take it!”
Rawkus: Well, I realized that after playing them for the first time. I think every single time we ever played against them, he didn’t do anything. I kind of realized Stage 2 that we were tilting him. It completely shuts down his play, and then his team’s stuck.
Jake: Really, every team’s gonna have one player who’s more vulnerable than others, more emotional than others.
Flame: You’re only as strong as your weakest link.
Rawkus: The problem with Carpe is that he’s known as probably the best DPS in the game. Imagine when you don’t have a good game? It messes with you.
Jake: And he doesn’t just expect to have a good game, he expects to have a great game.
Flame: I don’t wanna say he’s won games by himself, but he’s won games by himself.
Jake: He has won games by himself, in a way that very few other players have. It puts more pressure on his shoulders, and that’s something that you can use against him.
Rawkus: He probably has the most pressure out of any DPS player this season, considering there are really good DPS players coming in.
Jake: Plus, he didn’t really have a great game in the finals. EQO was definitely shining brighter than him, which is exactly the opposite of what we’d seen all season long. So I think, probably, he feels that pressure. I mean, EQO had been playing well all season, but it felt like Carpe was the definitive star. Then in the finals, it felt to me like EQO was the definitive star of the DPS duo, he was the one opening things up. For Carpe, I bet that’s something that lives large in his mind. It’s gonna be interesting to see how that plays out.
[Thanks to the Outlaws for discussing the finer points of talking trash with us! Good luck this season!]
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