Content creation is a tough business and in the age of gaming and esports, it’s paramount. It’s not enough to just play games on stream or show up for the match. Brands have to constantly be looking for ways to engage their fanbase. For esports organizations, it’s become common to sign on personalities outside of the players themselves to serve as brand ambassadors. This lets you players focus on training, scrims, and playing the game.
The Outlaws Most Wanted
These past few months the Houston Outlaws wanted to try something different when it came to finding its content creators. As 2020 was winding down, the Outlaws started a challenge, though to call it that undersells the whole premise. The Outlaws Most Wanted Content Creator Challenge was, especially for the contestants, a marathon. It was the American Idol of esports and gaming.
It’s a great way to approach finding new talent for your brand as well. While there may be wisdom in signing a pre-established content creator and hoping their fans will make the transition to being your fans as well. By looking closer to home and giving smaller content creators the chance to live out their dream, you’re not just hiring a new brand ambassador. You’re uplifting the next big star for your audience.
“We are very much an organization that wants to identify and mentor emerging talent that we believe can entertain and inject a ton of fun into all that we are planning this year. We think our four winners definitely anteed-up and deserve this once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of our organization!” said Lori Burgess, Chief Operating Officer for Beasley Esports and the Houston Outlaws.
The search for the next generation of Outlaws started out simple enough. The Houston-based Overwatch team asked their fans, their future content creators, and streamers, “Why do you deserve to be an Outlaws content creator?” From all the submissions, it was narrowed down to 25 eager individuals, all of who bled green, to vie for that top spot.
Over these past few months, these content creators were all provided with sponsored challenges, from HEB unbagging videos to Zenni PSA’s, they were given specific parameters to create engaging content for fans. Slowly, they were judged and whittled down to the top eight.
Originally, the final stream to select the top four to receive a contract with the Houston Outlaws as official content creators was supposed to happen at the end of February. But the snowstorm that hit Texas put the whole thing on pause until March 4th.
The Houston Outlaws held a 4-hour long stream where these final eight presented their content to a panel of judges. The videos were weighed and scored and then the contestants had to go through a nerve-wracking interview process about their content before winners were crowned.
The Newest Members of the Outlaws Family
Lorenzo “LordEnzo” Rodriguez, was the first place winner of the Outlaws competition, which means the reins to the bragging rights are all his. It’s well deserved too as he was up against some fierce competition.
“What led me to do content creation and streaming was I wanted to show my authentic self and have Latino representation in the Overwatch (and esports) community. I really was hoping there was someone that looked like me that I could look up to and make me feel of value in the industry,” Rodriguez explained to us in an email. While playing Overwatch semi-professionally, Rodriguez said he wanted a career path that would allow his personality to shine and to connect with audiences while also creating content and competing. It seems that the Outlaws Most Wanted challenge was exactly what he needed.
Rodriguez admitted he felt like he had to work twice as hard during the competition. Knowing he was up against Twitch Partners, former Overwatch League pros and other established content creators made the anticipation between rounds tough.
We asked Rodriguez what the Outlaws means to him and he said it came down to one word. “Hope. When every organization and job position gave me a ‘no’ to join their staff, I truly believe all the doors closed led into this moment, to the Outlaws, that everything happens for a reason. I could not be happier to have my home here with the Outlaws Nation.”
Jenna “AlusiveFirefly” Lovanh started streaming in late 2019 and quickly found a passion and love for content creation. Growing up she looked up to some of the earlier YouTube content creators like Jenna Marbles and Markiplier.
Jenna says, “I wanted to create content of my own one day that showcased my personality and creativity.” Since falling in love with streaming, she’s strived to deliver an experience where she just gets to ‘unapologetically myself.’
Like some of the other contestants in the Outlaws Most Wanted Challenge, Jenna admits it wasn’t easy. The American Idol-esque design of having to perform and complete specific types of content pushed her to grow and to see what kinds of new and interesting things she could do with her content.
In an email, Jenna admits, “I have never done things like vlogging and mukbangs before, so it was a true test of melding my spin on those concepts while also having fun!”
When asked what gaming and Overwatch meant to her Jenna said, “Gaming has been such a staple in my life. I started gaming at a young age and it has always been one of my favorite hobbies. I would not be where I am as a streamer right now without gaming and specifically Overwatch.”
Ryan “AceOFSpades” Berg, is a name that some may already know in the Overwatch space. He had decided early on that Overwatch was the game he wanted to pursue a professional career in. During his own journey through the Path to the Pros, he discovered he had a knack for main tanking and content creation.
Through his streaming (with an impressive 40k Twitch following) he built up his cred by making guides on YouTube and reviewing VODs. “Then it kinda just morphed from there into making all sorts of content on Twitch & YouTube and trying to grow myself as a Content Creator. It really made me realize how much work goes into making videos and creating content,” Berg said in an email.
Despite that confirmation about how challenging content creation can be, the most difficult part of the Outlaws competition for Berg was the live broadcast. “Thinking of new ideas for the videos was tough, but you can make them whenever and have as many takes as possible till you get it the way you want. The live interviews will always catch you off guard because you don’t know what’s coming.”
Weylin “BustADuck” Chen knew from early on that content creation was what he wanted to do. He told us about how he would watch YouTube videos as a kid on his parent’s laptop every day. How fascinated he was with the idea that people could do whatever they wanted in front of a camera and post it to the internet for people to see.
When asked about the most challenging part of the Most Wanted competition, Chen said it was the variety of challenges they had to go through.
“Each challenge was extremely different from the next and required a different set of skills and knowledge. I had to make a vlog for one week, then a TikTok for the next. It was pretty hectic going from one challenge to another. At times, I wondered if I was making the best type of content or even the right type of content for each challenge,” Chen admits in an email.
But perhaps growing up watching all those YouTube videos prepared him for this moment. Chen now gets to join the Houston Outlaws as one of their content creators and contribute to the growing Overwatch scene. A community that he see’s as a home.
“Unlike other games I’ve played, I found a place for me in the Overwatch community filled with artists, cosplayers, content creators, and so many talented and unique personalities. The Overwatch community has become a home to me, and I’m glad to be living here.”
The Future of the Outlaws
With four brand new content creators on their team, with diverse backgrounds and varying personalities and strengths, the Outlaws Nation is in for a new world of content.
If you’d like to see the Outlaws Most Wanted Content Creator challenge finale in its entirely, you can that at their YouTube channel.
Otherwise, make sure to follow the Most Wanted winners themselves on Twitter and at each of their Twitch Streams listed below.
CheckpointXP and the Houston Outlaws are both owned by the same parent company, The Beasley Media Group.
Feature Image courtesy of the Houston Outlaws.