Tegna’s Texas Stations To Air Esports Competition
A budding esports rivalry will get a Texas-sized jolt of energy this month as the Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws, two professional esports teams competing in the Overwatch League, collaborate to launch a first-of-its-kind esports skills and team competition series on television stations throughout Texas.
The Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung will feature three weeks of Dallas vs. Houston challenges to determine who are the best esports players in Texas and crown either the Dallas Fuel or Houston Outlaws as the top Overwatch team in the state.
Tegna Inc., which owns television stations in 12 top markets in Texas covering 87% of the state, including WFAA Dallas and KHOU Houston, will broadcast a weekly docuseries of original episodes chronicling the competition.
Viewers will go behind-the-scenes with the Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws to see what life is like as a professional esports player or coach competing at the highest level in a global sports league. Television features will explore how esports continues to reach new fans during this time.
“Texas is truly a hotbed for esports. Dallas was the first esports team to host a home match and now we’re teaming up with Houston for another esports first: launching a multi-platform, statewide challenge series,” said Mike Rufail, owner and CEO at Envy Gaming, the organization that owns the Dallas Fuel. “It’s only fitting that Texas would take esports rivalries to the next level.”
Launched in 2018 and now in its third season, the Overwatch League is the first global esports league with city-based franchise teams, emulating traditional sports organizations. The Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws are founding organizations in the league. Teams rosters compete in Overwatch, a six-on-six team-based action game. Today, the Overwatch League has 20 teams across the world, with players competing for an annual championship worth $1.5 million.
The Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws each hosted successful Overwatch League home weekend live events in February and March, respectively, where thousands of fans packed arenas to watch live esports competition. As the sports world reacted to COVID-19, esports leagues and teams quickly pivoted to bring competition and gaming entertainment online, with Overwatch League matches streaming exclusively on YouTube.
Lone Star Showdown television coverage will feature all-access interviews with top esports players, coaches and team owners as they break down the rivalry, unique weekly challenges, final competition, and the powerful stories shaping esports today.
“Sports, especially televised team sports, are a welcome distraction during times of uncertainty. At their best, sports can help bring communities together and provide a sense of belonging and unity,” said Ed Busby, Tegna SVP of strategy. “We are excited to bring the Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung into the homes of all Texans, and excited about the potential of esports to attract new and younger viewers across all our stations and platforms.”