Huge news came out from the Overwatch League this past weekend. One of its prominent figures decided to hang up his keyboard and mouse as Houston Outlaws DPS Jacob "Jake" Lyon announced his retirement via Twitter. Jake was a great public representative for the league when it came to mainstream appearances such as The Today Show. Additionally, he's been a popular leader for the Houston Outlaws for the past two seasons. If you are new to the Overwatch esports scene starting from Overwatch League Season 1, then you may not know Jake made his name known before the Overwatch League started.
A Leader in the Making
Jake's big break in Overwatch catalyzed when he joined Luminosity Gaming EVIL (LG Evil for short) in 2017. Along with known figures in the scene like Connor "Avast" Prince and Matthew "super" DeLisi, they became one of the top teams in North America. Jake's accomplishments landed him a roster spot with Team USA in the 2017 Overwatch World Cup, where he made his name throughout the world following an excellent performance on heroes like Soldier: 76 and Junkrat. After the 2017 Overwatch World Cup, fans looked forward to seeing Jake in the following year of the Overwatch League inaugural season.
A Pillar in the Overwatch League
In the Overwatch League, Jake signed with the Houston Outlaws where he would stay until the end of his playing career. He teamed up with familiar faces from Team USA such as Matt "coolmatt" Iorio and Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty. Their biggest accomplishment was finishing third place in Stage 1 of the inaugural season behind a stacked roster with the London Spitfire and New York Excelsior. Their success in Stage 1 garnered a plethora of fans that stood behind their Outlaws through thick and thin from then to now.
Throughout the past two seasons of the Overwatch League, Jake has been a mainstream figure for the league, representing Houston Outlaws during postgame interviews and appearing in national television on The Today Show. People familiar and unfamiliar with esports praised Jake's appearance for his professionalism in explaining the hype behind esports, Overwatch League, and the rigors behind being a pro player.
Where the Future Lies
Other than media appearances, Jake was dubbed as one of the "faces" of the Overwatch League according to fans. In a recent AMA for the Overwatch League during the 2019 season, fans gained insight from Jake when it comes to pursuing an esports career to keeping a positive mindset. Throughout Jake's time as a player, fans looked up to him as an inspiration for optimism and persistence to reach any goal to their heart's content. When he decided to venture into casting, fans continued to show their support.
Jake made his casting debut during Contenders and the 2018 Overwatch World Cup, where his performance improved as the Overwatch World Cup progressed. Most recently, his casting performance in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup vastly improved, focusing on his extensive knowledge of the game mixed with more of his personality. Fans and analysts saw potential in Jake after his playing days to cast games. Now that he announced his retirement, one possible endeavor he can commit to is casting. However, there are other possibilities.
Another possibility is being a manager or coach. Jake has shown his leadership and passion many times in the past. Several teams including Houston Outlaws can look into signing Jake as managerial staff to help get their mental and overall game in check. Undoubtedly, Jake can fulfill that spot as he can empathize with being a former player himself. Whatever Jake decides to do in the near future, there is no doubt that he is not leaving the Overwatch scene anytime soon. He will continue to make an impact on whether it is for an Overwatch League team, the analytic and casting desk, or representing the Overwatch League when it comes to mainstream appearances.
Header photo by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Follow me on Twitter @itsjustchris for more coverage on Overwatch League and various games.
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