Thank You, Overwatch
Hope you're all doing well during these times. This announcement may come off as a surprise to some of you (or maybe not haha). Today is officially the end of my Overwatch career. While I'm excited for my future, today is incredibly bittersweet for me. This decision wasn't taken lightly. I've lost so much sleep over this because of all the amazing people I've met and the memories we've made. In the end, I have to do what my heart is telling me and I'll never forget the last four amazing years of my life.
It's been so surreal to call the game I was passionate about my job for the past four years. Starting with FaZe Clan signing me in 2016 and then the Overwatch League came along. I was so damn happy to sit down and show what I could do for the Houston Outlaws. This team has the best logo, color, and city and I can't believe I got to represent it for three amazing years. From the very start the vision was to have localized teams in each city and it felt amazing to represent ours by winning at our own homestand. Finally performing in front of a crowd of Houston fans was something I really wanted to achieve and I'm so happy I was able to do so.
The highlight of my time in Overwatch was definitely representing USA in the Overwatch World Cup for three consecutive years. The ups and downs of the journey to bring the gold medal home were probably some of the hardest. I started in 2017 with Sinatraa, Jake, FCTFCTN, Coolmatt, and Adam. It was my first year playing on a team of full American players and we had a level of teamwork that others didn't understand yet. The whole experience opened my eyes to a new level of passion in competing. Persevering through two years of crushing losses only pushed me to work harder and be better.
I know it sounds silly, but the 2019 year felt like my redemption story. I was chosen again with Super, Space, Corey, Sinatraa, KSF, and moth. We had a different vibe I've never felt before and I've never seen so much growth in character and teamwork. After three years of South Korea dominating, we worked our asses off and the U.S. became the World Champions for the first time in history. It was an absolute crazy weight lifted off of all our shoulders and I've never been happier in my life. There's no way that I could have left Overwatch without that gold medal.
As for what’s next? Valorant. I grew up playing fps games like CSGO and Valorant hit me differently. When I realized how it had a similar style of CSGO aiming mixed in with ability usage, I instantly felt comfortable. I’ll be streaming it (and Overwatch, of course) at www.twitch.tv/itsrawkus. Some more exciting news about my future will be coming soon and I can’t wait to share my journey with you all.
Thank you to all the people who made my career possible:
To my mom: I’ve always admired how much you’ve gave for your children my sister and I, and I sincerely appreciate you, the amount of self sacrifice and effort you put into making our lives better has made us who we are today, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you OBVIOUSLY but I wouldn’t be able to pursue my passions if not for you and always trying to enable me to be better, love you mom and thank you for always supporting me.
To my dad: I really miss you, there’s been so many times these past 2 years where I wish I could pickup the phone and call you, there’s still times today where when I do my daily walk where I have the muscle memory ingrained in my brain to scroll to my contact and hit call dad but then realize I can’t.
I’m only this competitive because of you, you’ve always been better than me at everything, it’s motivated me to be better than you at something and that one thing was video games, you are my idol, my rock and I will never stop pursuing my dreams because I know how upset that would truly make you and how much you’ve sacrificed in order for me to pursue a better life. I know how much you wanted me to succeed and I’ll always dedicate myself for the rest of my life to making you proud that you raised someone who believes in himself and who will never give up.
To my fans and community: I've been through a lot of grief and struggle in losing my dad and hard losses in my career. Without you guys and your support, I don't think I would have been able to push myself through it. You guys have been there for me from the start and through my hardships. I'll never forget my first time signing a USA jersey in Santa Monica World Cup group stages in 2017. From that one time to seeing many green rawkus jerseys at the Blizzard arena and our homestand.. It'll never stop giving me feels. I’ll never forget looking up from my monitor on stage into the crowd and seeing all the incredible rawkus and thicc signs. I can't believe I've been so lucky to have had this journey in esports with some of the best fans ever. I hope you guys will continue to support me in my next steps.
To Blizzard: Thank you for creating an amazing game and environment in Overwatch and the league. I grew up playing WoW most of my teenage and adult life so when Overwatch was announced, I had a lot of faith in it and man I was right. You guys gave me the opportunity to compete, make a name for myself, and meet so many awesome people.
Coolmatt: Didn’t know you much before WC&OWL but when my father passed away I remember you Jake coming to pick me up from the airport on my way back and being there for me unconditionally when you didn’t have to, you were such a good friend even before that and it took me until that time to realize it, also you bought me a drone? A fucking drone LOL, it made me happy in a time where I truly didnt think I could feel happiness anymore thank you for being such an amazing teammate but a better friend someone I could always rely on. You’re an incredibly hard worker and so many people who have had the chance to meet and work with you appreciate that.
Jake: I seriously don’t think I’ve ever met someone more hard working and passionate about what they did, really anything you put your mind to, you went overboard with and accomplished, you wanted to be the very best and I admired that, I looked up to your work ethic and how you presented yourself, we did have a lot of good times together, from World Cups, to appearing live on the Today Show and meeting some incredible people together, now you’re a caster and you’re by far the best fucking caster in the bizz, keep on doing what you’re doing, you’re crushing it.
Linkzr: bro I actually am so happy I met ya, not only are you finlands gift to esports you are such a good damn person, you always believed in me, I could tell you anything, I wanted to get to know you more and more and I think the hardest thing about leaving is not being able to play with you anymore, your passion for improving was always so admirable you are the best widow yet you want to get better? Like how do u do that but you find ways, I will miss you a lot buddy, hopefully we meet again somewhere in our careers but if we don’t I know I will always be able to msg my friend and you be there like nothing has changed <3
Danteh: besides you being a little silly sometimes, you’ve been absolutely one of my best friends and closest friends, you’re such a good person seriously you’d do anything for anyone. during our struggle in season 2 you constantly hyped me up which made me feel so confident in myself when others were not so confident in us, you believed in me and I’ll always remember that.
Honestly you’re TOO good for this game man you’re an ace at every role you play and how you apply yourself to learn new heroes and grind makes you an absolute stud, you’re the best teammate anyone could ask for, i’ll actually miss playing with you so fkn much man :((
Blase: I didn’t know you well at all before you joined us but man I felt like we meshed and connected so fast, I felt like I knew you for years you’re seriously such a good person and friend and a lot of people don’t know how damn talented you are and I want to see you absolutely dominate everyone, people have seen what you’re capable on doom, but a lot of people don’t know you’re the best hanzo in the world and you have a lot of other heroes in your pool you are absolutely insane at.
Hydration: idk ur kinda funny? Ok ur rly funny, I literally can see it in ur eyes when ur trying to think of a joke LOL but besides that, I actually think you’re by far the most flexible player in OWL and it’s not like u can just play other roles its that u can play other roles and be considered one of the best while doing so, from being known as one of the nastiest projectile players to being a tank player now? What are u gonna do next? Only thing left is to play support and I’m not gonna let you embarrass me and take my job next…. Side note eat some fkn veggies bro meat is not the only thing in the world
FCTFCTN!!!: russ brotha I’m so glad I met you, we played for awhile before OWL and even sometime during OWL (Wished it was more) but in the end you became one of my closet and oldest friends I’m glad we started our careers together we might of not ended it together but I know we will be friends for along time and now you’re a coach? Keep doing you, you will succeed at anything you put your mind to, you’re a genius buddy.
Muma: I’ll be honest I didn’t expect you to be as flashy of a player when I first was going to play with you, I didn’t know much and man I was wrong, you’re probably one of the most individually skilled players at tank in this game people will come to see and realize it if they already haven’t. On the side of all that the way you handle yourself as a player I’ve always admired, it’s hard to always be so calm and composed and keep a level head, thats a strength you cant teach.
Spree: Man it’s been a wild ride hasn’t it? From being on FaZe to now season 3 of OWL, you’ve always been a really down to earth guy and a hard worker and great teammate, I’m gonna miss the strongest (literally strongest) player in OWL, keep killing it out there brotha <3.
Bani: You’re pretty damn smart like actually really smart, and you have a lot of passion for the game itself you worked really hard to be where you are and I hope you keep doing more and more amazing things going forward!!
Boink: You’re a dork, like you make the most dad jokes out of anyone I know, and it always makes people laugh, I really do appreciate you and everything you’ve done for me and my life when I was struggling, seriously relied on you for so many and you never complained, thank you for being honestly just a really good person and always a good teammate I could rely on brother.
Clockwork: you are so god damn sarcastic literally about any subject and it’s always funny, you’re a logical person a good person and truly I think out of any player i’ve met you have the best aim overall in any game you play, its kinda unhuman like after watchin your streams more and more and playing various games with you, you still are fucking cracked.
Jecse: I wish I had more time to play with you, your attitude, positivity and dedication to our team& the game is something so appreciated by everyone, you are the best IGL and everyone trusts and believes in you, Love you my dong saeng <3
Meko: you’re actually so good at the game, really it’s crazy how good of a player you are and to top that off you’re really funny and down to earth, thank you for always giving it your all and being so nice to me, i will miss you a lot friend.
Rapel: I will be honest, I was not happy when I found out you were first signed, I was really upset, I worked really hard and felt I was proving myself more and more and when you were brought on it made me feel like I was being replaced but you motivated me a lot to be a better player, you were so nice to me and I realized playing full time wasn’t the most important thing we shared our playtime and grew as players, you’re a great support and you can be the very best support in the game I believe in you!!
Flame: thank you for giving me this opportunity to represent Houston, you could have signed anyone but you had faith in me and believed in me and I will forever be grateful, you have such a good heart and you were such a good person to me, (even though I caused u a lot of headaches LOL) and ontop of that you worked as nearly a solo staff member for an ENTIRE organization, in season 2 how did you manage to do that? Seriously there was a lot of work to be done after season 2 but you did a lot and made a lot of good changes and the outlaws would not be the same if you weren’t you started it all for me, thank you for everything.
Tairong: thank you for teaching me a lot of important lessons to becoming a professional and a better player, there was definitely a lot of things i needed to learn as a player and you taught me a lot of lessons and i appreciate you a lot, hope you’ve been well <3
Harsha&Dream: we haven’t worked together for that long of a time, and this year hasn’t been what we had envisioned but it hasn’t stopped you both from working super hard and believing in the team as a whole, you guys have the passion and you work so damn hard, show everyone a turnaround, everyone thats on the team knows how close we’ve been to being a great team, we can turn this stuff around before playoffs I believe in it, and I know you both do too!!
Beasley: Thank you tremendously for everything you have done for the Outlaws, from acquiring the team in season 3 you’ve went above and beyond all expectations from any ownership group and also have had such a good relationship with everyone involved.
Lori, Thank you for all you have done for our team, you’re an amazing person in management, you’re such a smart, dedicated and creative person I wish you were a part of our team since the beginning, thank you for all you have done for me, I wish you and the Outlaws nothing but success!
Analynn: I remember you told me when we first met that the (outlaws boys) were so nice and polite and u were suprised because people would like bash on us and say bad things about us how we were assholes and not good people, but I think that was mostly due to us winning and kinda putting on a show for it while doing so.
thank you for being such a good friend to me, i could actually trust you with anything and know you wouldn't tell a soul, you're an incredible person everyone who has known you knows that and im glad i met you
You were a part of team USA both years, first Social media manager but honestly also the General manager, and then officially year 2 General Manager of USA but you didn't let our friendship get in the way in making any decisions, i would try to get some info out of you but you wouldnt say anything you wouldnt tell me or anyone anything and in the end I think that's so damn impressive honestly i couldnt have done that, your work is incredible your professionalism is unmatched, we both know you're only going UP from here!
Aero: from the first time you selected me I wasn’t sure I’d be even given an opportunity to tryout, but the second I received the msg I made sure I gave it my all everytime in every tryout and scrim, I wanted to make sure you knew you didn’t make the wrong decision, we dominated Canada first and showed we were a team to be afraid of, we ended up embarrassing ourselves with the loss to UK but we didn’t let that get to us. You were selected again, and you picked me believed in me again and this time we did it, we won, I remember I told you we finally did it we’re champions and it just felt like a huge weight was lifted off our shoulders, i feel we felt really similar with the past year and how bad we showed up and to prove it in such dominating fashion definitely put that all behind us, you’re the head coach of the Fuel, last 2 years, you’re a great coach and people definitely believe in you, you won a championship, I’m sure you can bring another one back.
Junkbuck: thank you for giving me so much feedback, I feel like I wasn’t improving at a rate I personally wanted to in year 1 and 2 of OWL but when I was finally able to be coached by you, you gave me so much good feedback on how I was playing and you made me look at the game in a completely different way, it’s easily understandable now why you were able to coach the Shock to a championship, you are really so smart and talented, thank you a lot junkbuck.
Sinatraa: I remember first time we met, I was confused because you were portrayed as like a toxic kid but fuck you were by far the best teammate I’ve ever had like for real, you worked so hard put everything you had into the game and u took over that shit, u don’t play OWL anymore but you just won a tourney in Valorant? Yeah not surprised you have what it takes to win in anything you do you’re truly a champion and an amazing competitor.
Space: We never really talked but knew of eachother from ranked, and I the first time we played together was the last day of season 4, you were rank 3? And I was rank like 9 or some shit and we proceeded to lose literally every game for 2 hours straight and lost 200 sr LMAO, but shit that didn’t stop us from playing again, when you were picked for team USA in the 2nd year, I got to play with the best tank in America, honestly I think you’re the best flex tank in OW and it’s not even close, not only do you pickup on heroes so fast and you become the best at them you have a way of communicating to your team and setting them up for success which really no one else has and you constantly make people on your team look so good, they want to work harder when your on their team. we were roomates every year for WC and Ima miss hangin with you my NY brotha, love ya Indy keep killing it and maybe someday we will play together again, who knows?
Moth!!!: You are seriously the worlds best main support, you won OWL and World Cup, and still you are playing as like you have something to prove? You’re an incredible player, you are literally tilt proof, you never get mad you always keep your composure, incredibly enough I was able to play with you both years, you made me look so damn good out there everytime thank you for that, I hope you find a lot of success in your future.
Corey: How is one player so cracked? Like individually as a player you are by far the most mechanically skilled, and to top that you’re fkn SMART like really smart, so it just adds to the package, I’m really happy I met you and had the chance to play with you this past World Cup, glad we brought it back together!
KSF: yoo not many ppl don’t know how good u are, but like individually as a dps player I didn’t really know how many heroes u could play and dominate at, like u didnt have much chance to show urself off in WC but when you had the chance you saved us from losing a map on eichenwalde vs UK, you clutched it up 1v3 as tracer and hit a NASTY stick you’re SO good, I wanna see you pop off more and more and show people whats up, also ur by far the best at the best at the meme game, we all see ur tweets daily.
Zacharee: man I really felt bad cause you’re so young so fucking talented and I don’t feel like you were setup with the right structure to prove yourself outside WC. I’m sad you retired but you’re an absolute stud in Valorant, I saw you in that last tourney you played, keep being a nutty player and prove how god damn good you are I’m excited to see where it takes you!
Adam: I knew you from WoW you were that paladin everyone knew of, seriously so weird from going to playing WoW to playing OW with you and in the World Cup too, we should of had it that year but the past is the past, you’re on to bigger and better things, I know we always hang out lots everytime a new expansion is out so I’ll be seeing you in Shadowlands in a few months <3
If you guys have made it this far, you’ll see just the surface of how many great people I’ve gotten to know and interact with. There are so many more incredible people and I’m never going to forget any of you, even if your name wasn’t mentioned here.
I’ve loved this game and it’s community for so many years. Always have always will.