For the first time in over a year,
the Dallas Fuel played in their hometown stadium for their excited fans. Fueled by the hype, Dallas crushed the Houston Outlaws in a near-perfect victory in the Battle for Texas.
Dallas v. Houston
The two Overwatch League teams duked it out for a spot in the Overwatch Summer Showdown. With the victory over Houston, Dallas has secured its spot in the Showdown. Dallas quickly won the first Control Map, but Houston managed to force a draw during the Assault Map. Dallas came back with a fury by taking both Escort maps, resulting in a 3-0 victory.
Each round was an exciting display of Dallas’ skill. However, Houston still put up a great fight, giving us an incredibly fun showdown to watch. Sp9k1e of the Dallas Fuel provided some incredible Tracer and Symmetra plays, being an incredible team supporter while also snatching up eliminations left and right. Houston’s Danteh also had great plays with his Mei, using effective Blizzard control throughout!
“It was the first [in-person] match in such a long time. I felt such a thrill and it was really fun!” Sp9k1e commented after the match.
Of course, every player gave it their all. This was their first in-person event in a long time.
“Online matches tend to not be as enjoyable and this [in-person match] definitely gave motivation to the players,” said Rush after the match.
The players are not the only ones who felt the hype; fans of the Dallas Fuel were so hyped to be back in the stadium too. Our dedicated reporter, Stingray, was on the scene to ask the fans how being back to cheer on Dallas felt. “Now that a lot of us are vaccinated, we’re just happy to get back together in-person, hang out with and cheer on the team in front of a hometown crowd,” said Bryan “NPC” Shanafelt, who is part of Fahrenheit 214.
Fahrenheit 214 is a supporters club of the Dallas Fuel. To celebrate coming back to the stadium, they set up a tailgating party for all Dallas fans to hang out and share some food with other passionate fans. Dr. MV, a Dallas fan, stated that “a lot has changed… but now that we are back, I’m glad the spirit is still there.” While esports continued to grow through online-only events, in-person events will continue that growth by bringing the community together.
That spirit and community carried the Dallas Fuel through to victory. Throughout the match, the roar of the crowd followed Dallas’ incredible plays. Many are longtime fans, including Gabriel Munoz and his son who have “been waiting for a year to do this.” They have been watching Dallas online, but were excited to cheer them on in-person.
Everyone felt there was a difference between in-person and online matches. By being in-person, the fans’ spirit fueled the team and the team provided awesome matches for the fans to continue the hype.
However, there was one thing that was different: the Dallas Fuel played alone on the stage while the Houston Outlaws faced them from another location.
“It just felt super empty and weird and a little awkward at first, but once we went into the match it was like the party started,” Fearless said when asked about being the only team on stage.
It didn’t deter the team or the fans. Once the players stepped out on stage dancing and holding Reinhardt’s hammer, the party was on.
As esports come back to in-person events, everyone can feel the love and passion for the competition in one room again. It is an exciting time, but will still take some time to fully transition back to what everyone is used to.
Hopefully everyone will be able to attend and compete in-person soon. For now as we continue to transition, make sure you spend time being with the people who give you hype and do the things that give you hype.