A budding esports rivalry will get a Texas-sized jolt of energy this May as the Houston Outlaws and the Dallas Fuel, two professional esports teams competing in the Overwatch League, collaborate to launch a first-of-its-kind esports skills and team competition series on television stations throughout Texas. The Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung will feature three weeks of Houston v. Dallas challenges to determine who are the best esports players in Texas and crown either the Houston Outlaws or the Dallas Fuel as the top Overwatch team in the state.
TEGNA Inc., which owns television stations in 12 top markets in Texas covering 87 percent of the state, including KHOU-TV 11 in Houston and WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas, and will broadcast a weekly docuseries of original episodes chronicling the competition. Viewers will go behind-the-scenes with the Houston Outlaws and the Dallas Fuel to see what life is like as a professional esports player or coach competing at the highest level in a global sports league. Television features will explore how esports continues to reach new fans during this time.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Dallas Fuel and TEGNA’s Texas stations to bring fresh sports competition and entertainment back to our fans and TV viewers,” said Beasley Esports Chief Operating Officer Lori Burgess. “Video gaming is hotter than ever and professional esports is taking center stage this month in Texas with the inaugural Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung. New fans can expect a battle worthy of champions.”
Launched in 2018 and now in its third season, the Overwatch League is the first global esports league with city-based franchise teams, emulating traditional sports organizations. The Houston Outlaws and the Dallas Fuel are founding organizations in the league. Teams rosters compete in Overwatch, a six-on-six team-based action game. Today, the Overwatch League has 20 teams across the world, with players competing for an annual championship worth $1.5 million.
The Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws each hosted successful Overwatch League home weekend live events in February and March, respectively, where thousands of fans packed arenas to watch live esports competition. As the sports world reacted to COVID-19, esports leagues and teams quickly pivoted to bring competition and gaming entertainment online, with Overwatch League matches streaming exclusively on YouTube.
“Texas is truly a hotbed for esports. Dallas was the first esports team to host a home match and now we’re teaming up with Houston for another esports first: launching a multi-platform, statewide challenge series,” said Mike Rufail, owner and CEO at Envy Gaming, Inc., the organization that owns the Dallas Fuel. “It’s only fitting that Texas would take esports rivalries to the next level.”
With the Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung, the two professional Texas esports teams will extend their rivalry in what is a first among any Overwatch League teams in 2020, reaching fans craving sports and gaming content on a linear television broadcast. Skills challenges and team matches will also be streamed on the Houston Outlaws YouTube channel and the Dallas Fuel YouTube channel.
Overwatch League professional broadcasters Jake Lyon and Mitch “Uber” Leslie will serve as commentators for all challenges and the penultimate best-of-seven Houston Outlaws v. Dallas Fuel match.
Sponsors that have signed on to support the Dallas and Houston series include Samsung, H-E-B, Favor, Jack Link’s, Zenni and Acer’s Predator gaming line.
Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung – What to Watch on TV
Lone Star Showdown television coverage will feature all-access interviews with top esports players, coaches and team owners as they break down the rivalry, unique weekly challenges, final competition, and the powerful stories shaping esports today.
TEGNA’s television stations, including KHOU-TV 11 in Houston and WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas, as well as stations in Austin, Waco and San Antonio, among others, will air the three-part docuseries highlighting the exclusive features and human-interest stories, while also providing highlights of weekly challenges. Each episode will be one hour. For a full list of TEGNA stations airing the Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung, check your local TV listings.
“Sports, especially televised team sports, are a welcome distraction during times of uncertainty. At their best, sports can help bring communities together and provide a sense of belonging and unity,” said Ed Busby, Senior Vice President of Strategy, TEGNA. “We are excited to bring the Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung into the homes of all Texans, and excited about the potential of esports to attract new and younger viewers across all our stations and platforms.”
Saturday, May 9 at 12-1 p.m. CST
Saturday, May 16 at 12-1 p.m. CST
Saturday, May 23 at 12-1 p.m. CST
Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung – Competition Format
Lone Star Showdown competition will take place across three weeks in May, consisting of two competition phases. In both week one and week two, competition will feature best-of-five 1-on-1 skills challenges and best-of-five 3-on-3 elimination games in fast-paced, high-energy battles between players on each team.
Upping the stakes is the fact that week one and week two challenge winners (total of four) gain the strategic advantage of selecting one map to be played in the week three team match.
Week three culminates in a championship-style match between the Houston Outlaws and the Dallas Fuel, using standard Overwatch League rules and 6-on-6 game play in a best-of-seven series.
Week One Competition Details
1-on-1 skills challenge (best-of-five)
- Game 1 (Black Forest) – Danteh v. Decay – Tracer duel
- Game 2 (Ecopoint) – Muma v. Gamsu – Reinhardt duel
- Game 3 (Necropolis) – Blase v. Doha – Doomfist duel
- Game 4 (Black Forest) – Rapel v. Crimzo – Zenyatta duel
- Game 5 (Castillo) – Linkzr v. Zachareee – McCree duel
3-on-3 elimination challenge (best-of-five)
- Each team fields 1 DPS player, 1 tank player, 1 support player
Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung – What to Watch on Stream
In week one and week two, skills challenges will be streamed on the Houston Outlaws YouTube channel and the Dallas Fuel YouTube channel. In week three, the best-of-seven Houston Outlaws v. Dallas Fuel championship match with be streamed on both teams’ YouTube channels. Streams begin each Monday at 12 p.m. CST.
Stream Week 1
Monday, May 4 at 12-2 p.m. CST
1-on-1 skills challenges
3-on-3 elimination challenge
Stream Week 2
Monday, May 11 at 12-2 p.m. CST
1-on-1 skills challenges
3-on-3 elimination challenge
Stream Week 3
Monday, May 18 at 12-3:30 p.m. CST
Lone Star Showdown championship match
About Houston Outlaws
The Houston Outlaws are a professional Overwatch Team that is part of Beasley Esports — a division of Beasley Media Group, LLC; a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., which operates 64 stations (46 FM and 18 AM) in 15 large and mid-size markets in the United States. As a company, we are committed to creating high-quality cross-platform content for consumers; catering to esports and video game fans and fanatics. Beasley Esports brands include the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws, CheckpointXP, CheckpointXP on Campus, and Team Renegades. www.Outlaws.gg
About the Dallas Fuel
Dallas Fuel is one of 20 teams competing in the Overwatch League. The Dallas Fuel is owned and operated by Dallas-based esports organization Envy Gaming, Inc., one of the largest and most winning esports groups in the world. The internationally diverse Dallas Fuel roster consists of the best talent from around the globe. The Dallas Fuel is the first team in Overwatch League history to host a home match in its home market. For more information on the Dallas Fuel, follow the team on Twitter @DallasFuel.