OWL’s Dallas Homestand is Bringing People Together, and it Hasn’t Even Started Yet

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OWL’s Dallas Homestand is Bringing People Together, and it Hasn’t Even Started Yet

Overwatch's Dallas Homestand is just minutes away from starting, but fans are already having the time of their lives.

“I can’t believe I drove all the way here and made friends already,” said a young woman wearing a Houston Outlaws jersey. I had seen her earlier, walking alone towards the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas for Overwatch League’s inaugural Homestand.

Now, however, she wasn’t alone. She was surrounded by people wearing a rainbow of colors: Dallas Blue, Spark Pink, Dynasty Black. Overwatch isn’t just a game to these fans – it’s a literal way of life. The can chat about it, theorize about it together, complain about GOATS together. It’s more of a family than a fanbase.

Right now, the casters are beginning to introduce the teams of the first match – the Paris Eternal and the London Spitfire. While I’ve seen a few Spitfire jerseys here and there, it’s clear that the Homestand is in the heart of Texas. The Outlaws and the Fuel rule the roost here, and there’s even been some friendly banter. I heard an event worker remark to a fellow employee that “Dallas is gonna [sic] crush the Outlaws,” after directing and Outlaw-clad fan to the correct entrance.

Some Long Lines, but Worth the Wait

The Overwatch League Dallas Homestand has seemingly avoided the security pitfalls of other esports events. The Allen Event Center is crawling with security, and, with metal detectors at each entrance, the venue seems well secured. While the extra security is making lines a little long to enter the arena, Blizzard and the Dallas Fuel clearly have security as a top concern.

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The added security and long lines haven’t stifled the fan experience, however. Across the event center, fans are mingling with each other, taking pictures with Reinhardt and Orisa, and generally having a good time.Edited Rein Orisa

I’ve seen the young woman in the Outlaws jersey a few more times as I’ve moved around the arena, and she’s still with her new pack of friends. We’ll see if they stick together after the Battle for Texas, but, for now, it looks like the Overwatch Dallas Homestand has brought people together, instead of pitting them against each other in the name of sports.

Nick Johnson
Nick "Lesona" Johnson is an esports journalist with a focus on CS:GO and the OWL. His interest for esports started with CS:S and grew into a career as both an esports writer and an avid fan, giving him a unique perspective on both the casual and professional scenes. Twitter: @Lesona_