At the end of January, Overwatch League team the Houston Outlaws revealed their season two roster and, with it, a new slogan: “#TexasHard.” They hoped fans would wield this hashtag with sincerity and heart, evidently having forgotten that they were on the internet, where that has literally never happened. Today, they changed it.
The top (non-pinned) comment on the roster and slogan reveal video reads, “Texas Hard? ...fellas.” Inevitably, many people have used the hashtag to say that they’re #TexasHard for big plays, or that, for example, DPS player Jiri “Linkzr” Masalin’s Widowmaker makes them #TexasHard.
Shortly after the Outlaws debuted the slogan, they released another video explaining its meaning. It came, they said, from an in-game call they use to coordinate strategies and press an advantage.
“‘Texas’ was just a call we made up, where if you say ‘Texas,’ it just means everybody come to the point right now,” said DPS player Jacob “Jake” Lyon. It’s useful, his teammates added, because there’s no other context in Overwatch in which somebody would say that. If Outlaws players hear “Texas” in their voice comms, they’re all clear on what it means.
OK, so far, so good. That makes sense. But why, well, all the rest of it? Jake went on to say that in one game, he told his teammates to “Texas hard” because he was “very convinced” everybody needed to get on the point. “We are 100 percent gonna win this if we all just stand on point,” he said.
The team turned it into a slogan, according to assistant general manager Adam “Mesr” De La Torre, because it’s a rallying cry. They want fans to have a slogan that helps them come together.
Which is technically what they got, albeit probably not in the way they wanted. The Houston Outlaws are my favorite OWL team. They’re from my home state of Texas, their players skew older, they’re eternal underdogs, and they turned Junkrat—a lovable self-destructing doofus—into the centerpiece of their team composition last season. They’re a little weird, a little off-kilter, and sometimes a little awkward. I guess what I’m saying is, they’re exactly the kind of team that would turn #TexasHard into a slogan.
It all came to a head yesterday when the Hangzhou Spark began promoting their upcoming match with the Outlaws. Hangzhou’s hashtag is #Bang, which—when strategically #TexasHard-ed alongside #TexasHard—creates #Bang #TexasHard.
At that point, even the Outlaws’ general manager, Matt “Flame” Rodriguez, got in on the joke. “Who else is pumped for the #TexasHard #Bang,” he said on Twitter.
Today, three weeks after they first tried to turn #TexasHard into a thing, the Outlaws admitted defeat with an image of a new hashtag, #AnteUp, kicking #TexasHard down a staircase. Naturally, people replied to this change with memes, but also sincere thanks. Well, sincere-ish.
“Finally, I can put this into my description and not worry that my followers think I have boner,” said one fan.