Houston Outlaws forced out of neighborhood due to complaints - Dexerto
Overwatch

Houston Outlaws forced out of neighborhood due to complaints

Published: 10/Jan/2020 4:50 Updated: 10/Jan/2020 10:02

by Brad Norton

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The Houston Outlaws have had a rough start to the year after being forced out of their brand new gaming facility in Texas, before their preseason Overwatch League training ever truly commenced.

Luck has certainly not been on the side of the Houston Outlaws of late. Just weeks after a controversial jersey design was banned from an American school, the roster has been forced out of their brand new training facility based in Texas.

Having just moved into a 5900 sq. ft house in The Woodlands, the Outlaws intended to utilize this new space as a training yard for the revitalized 12-man roster heading into 2020. Before practice could begin, however, the team has been forced out of their new digs due to complaints put forth by the local community.

Twitter: OutlawsThe Houston Outlaws finished the inaugural Overwatch League season in seventh place overall and placed 16th in the 2019 season.

As many of the 20 Overwatch League teams gear up for the 2020 season ahead – a new kind of season that will see rosters frequently flying around the world to compete in home and away matchups – a number of lineups are moving into new training facilities in their respective hometowns. 

Following suit with a roster reinvigorated by their new ownership group, the Outlaws locked their sights on a large property in the heart of Texas. The training yard was designed for the entire season, and players and coaches were preparing to try out the new facility.

On January 9, however, it was reported locals had put a stop to any intentions from the Overwatch team. In a public meeting held the same day, it was concluded the organization was in violation of “a host of covenant restrictions.”

“Boomers: 1, Outlaws: 0” General Manager Matt Rodriguez joked upon sharing the local news story with the greater Overwatch community. “We’ll be moving training facilities in the coming weeks. Unnecessary and stressful.”

With well over a dozen individuals set to use the property, neighbors were allegedly worried about potential hassles that might bring to the quiet locale. The issues supposedly stemmed from concerns around “traffic, noise, and property values.” 

“Neighbors wanted us out so bad they sent TV reporters to the front door to harass our employees today. We’re just trynna game. Unfortunate,” Rodriguez said, now having to change locations just weeks out from the start of the season.

Washington Justice manager Analynn Dang added to the pile, jokingly asking if the “traffic” concern was due to “Postmates/UberEats” orders of chipotle from Houston DPS players João Pedro ‘Hydration’ Goes and Dante ‘Danteh’ Cruz.

“I think they just made stuff up. We hadn’t even used the house for practice yet,” the Outlaws manager replied in jest, highlighting how the team had been kicked out before any real work was even put in.

Reflecting on the sudden relocation of his team, Rodriguez outlined how the “silver lining” of the situation is that no players or staff had moved in yet, so no one had to go homeless while a new location was locked in place. “There’s a solid chance the org is just cursed, but not really much I can do about that,” he joked.

The 2020 OWL season kicks off on February 9 in Dallas. The Outlaws will be competing against Florida in their first match on February 16, in Philadelphia.

Overwatch

Blizzard changes Overwatch Priority Pass again to stop system abuse

Published: 16/Jan/2021 2:04

by Andrew Amos

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Blizzard has implemented more changes to their Overwatch Priority Pass program to stop players from abusing the system to get their preferred role more often.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch has been a successful addition so far. Giving players the option to jump the queue for high-traffic roles by sacrificing a few games has helped tackle the game’s long queue times.

However, it hasn’t been without its flaws. Game quality has been pulled into question, with people playing off-role for these passes. Also, people have been abusing the current system to just stack passes quickly by intentionally losing.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Priority Passes have been a hit with Overwatch players, but it’s not perfect.

Blizzard are looking to crack down on the latter issue with their latest changes to Priority Pass on January 15.

“Our data indicates that the Priority Pass is functioning as intended, generally providing shorter queue times for those who use them. The goal of the Priority Pass is to improve player experience and get players into matches quicker,” community manager Josh Nash told players.

“In the same vein, we don’t want this feature to have a negative impact on the quality of matches for yourself or others. We want to do our part to discourage players from intentionally losing and ruining matches for the sake of earning priority passes.”

If you lose a match while playing for passes, you’ll only gain one pass instead of two. This will stop players from just inting their games for the ticket.

Blizzard are also refunding passes to players if they queued up for a role using Priority Pass, but then had to wait longer than the estimated time for it.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Blizzard
These changes mean you won’t burn through your passes as quickly.

These changes are active immediately, so you can make use of them straight away. Blizzard are continuing to tweak the system as time goes on, and are “ looking into how we can better communicate when you are rewarded passes after playing a match.”