In the city of Houston Texas, sports are a way of life. No matter where you go, you will always see somebody representing their teams with names on the back of their jerseys. Names like Harden, Altuve, and Watt may be household names, but in the past year another team has taken over Houston and the state of Texas in general.
With the mainstream recognition of Esports and the creation of the Overwatch League, a new team has risen in the form of the Houston Outlaws. The Outlaws have already taken over the state of Texas with official watch parties taking place in locations such as The Cannon, Grindhouse Esports Cafe, and even SXSW. This past weekend at RTX, we got to sit down with Daniel “Boink” Pence and Lucas “Mendokusaii” Håkansson to learn their many inspirations and what they recommend you do to become Overwatch League material.
Gaming Conviction: If you could delete one hero who would it be?
Mendo: If Boink’s playing than Lucio. Lucio can be great if Boink’s playing it. Honestly it’s really hard to say. It’s definitely not Lucio. That is by far the best hero in the game.
To answer your question I guess I would have to say Mercy. Even though she got nerfed she is still super strong and that’s the problem. She’s almost overbearing, but she got nerfed again and I haven’t gotten to play around with it very much. So it’s hard to say overall. Maybe Tracer. She can be annoying, but it’s still a good design.
Boink: Now that you mention it, I would have to say Sombra. Her hack is way to strong. Especially if you are a Lucio player.
GC: Why do you think Lucio is the best character in the game?
Mendo: Well much like Sonic, he’s gotta go fast. He’s very versatile and can do a lot of things.
GC: Do you love booting people off the map?
Boink: That is the best part. It feels good every time. A lot of people don’t make that distinction where they go “Oh it feels good” but no it feels good every time you do it for years and years.
GC: Who are some of your favorite OWL players NOT on the Houston Outlaws?
Boink: Saebyeolbe is really cool. So are all the other members of NYXL.
GC: Who is one player that you personally look up to?
Boink: I would say Custa. I think he gets credit in different ways, but I think that overall he is an all-around player. He’s done a lot of different things and he is a really good player overall. He gets a lot of credit in other areas, but there is some that he should get more credit in.
Mendo: When I was in Korea, he was the only Tracer that just shit on me. It never stopped! In my mind he is the best Tracer player in the world.
GC: What inspired your username?
Boink: Old TF2. I played TF2 before. That’s where I came from. I think I was in eight grade when I made it and it just stuck.
Mendo: I’m just a huge anime fan and the meaning of my nickname is the Japanese word for Troublesome and Bothersome. Lazy people use it all the time and I’m very lazy.
GC: What inspired you to be the particular role you are?
Boink: I pretty much played everything, but most of the time my role was needed. A lot of people didn’t play support back in the day and there was more supports needed. So I just eventually transitioned to that because I called a lot from my previous role as an off-tank.
Mendo: Same for me. Back in closed beta I had this mix-and-match team and my teammates wanted to put me on DPS, but I would have to flex depending on what patch it was, and the meta. So I would just play whatever the team wanted me to play. For the longest time that was just Tracer.
GC: If there was one Ultimate in the game you could have in real life what would it be?
Boink: I’ve never really given it much thought. Going through the list I would have to say Mercy since she can fly.
Mendo: I mean I guess you could also be Zenyatta and experience tranquility, but I would also have to agree with Mercy.
GC: What are some tips you would give to improve your aim in Overwatch?
Boink: Focus on yourself and not your teammates. A lot of people when they play Ranked they say “Oh I would have won if one of my other five teammates did better.” The only thing that matters is improving yourself and what you do for a game. So always look at the big picture as far as what you are doing and stuff like that. Focus on yourself more than anyone else. The second you try and look at other people or blame other people, even if it is true it doesn’t help you at all.
Mendo: He pretty much nailed it. Keep your mind set.
GC: If you had to live with one of your team members on the Outlaws who would it be?
Boink: It’s hard to say because a lot of them have girlfriends. So like I don’t want to force someone to live with me when they have a girlfriend. I try to be the least awkward and most out-of-the-way person possible. If I had to be with someone every day I would say coolmatt because by far he is the funniest person. He would always make it funny. I mean, he’s had a girlfriend who he has lived with for a long time. I’m not forcing that on anybody.
Mendo: I mean I would say the same thing only with Muma, but he has a boyfriend. And because me and Muma flirt that would also be really awkward.
GC: How do you overcome the language barrier between you and other players?
Boink: You make keywords beforehand. You can’t make complex things when they don’t understand the language that well. What you have to do is decide things beforehand. Like certain ways to say certain things. Then you work off of that. Build a foundation of certain keywords and then when you come to a point where you didn’t know how to explain something or they were lost in something, you explain it and add it to the foundation to help build it up.