Professional esports team “Dallas Fuel” is donning its blue flame and making noise around the metroplex as the newest eSports champions.
The Dallas Fuel’s game of choice is Overwatch 2, a first-person shooter video game that includes player-vs-player modes in a shared environment. The game and the team have gotten so popular that even Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic once jokingly tweeted about playing for the team.
While the team consists of eight members, only five can play simultaneously. The Dallas Fuel has had many incarnations, but general manager Matthew Taylor, who is in charge of the team roster, scouting new talent, and the team’s contracts, told WFAA that he is pleased with the current roster of players.
Dallas Fuel’s star is 20-year-old Kim Yeong-Han, aka SP9RK1E (pronounced “sparkle”).
The other players on the team are Kim Dong-Ha (Doha); Choi Han-been (Hanbin); Kwon Joon (Fielder); Euiseok Lee (Fearless); Han Hyeon-seok (ChiYo); Kim Tae-Hoon (Edison); and Kang Min-seo (guriyo).
The Overwatch League’s minimum wage for players is about $56,000, but the average salary is around $100,000, which doesn’t include the cost of the two-bedroom Victory Park apartments provided by the team.
In addition to two other prominent metroplex sports teams known to play at the American Airlines Center, the squad also practices in a Victory Park suite. The Dallas Fuel is one of twenty teams in the Overwatch 2 professional competition.
“When you compare esports to any traditional sport, it’s quite different because we get to face and scrimmage against so many different teams instead of just working on our own mechanics,” Fuel’s coach, “Rush,” said.
To enhance their skills, players play against Rush, making his position quite different from a typical sports coach.
“They are very aware that I’m not going to go easy on them, so I’d say I’m a very stern, like a blunt type,” he said.
The team spends several hours practicing each day while consuming snacks and energy drinks, but they also bond over activities outside the practice suite. The team has made several trips to Six Flags Over Texas and has acquired a taste for Texas barbeque from Tender Smokehouse.
“I think it’s important to have that camaraderie and understanding with each other, and these guys are already kind of a family, and we have a big core right now that we’re really happy with,” Taylor said.
The team just took the top spot in the Summer Showdown, winning $75,000. Before that, they finished third in the 2021 end-of-season playoff series and won the mid-season tournament.
The Dallas Fuel hopes to keep up their winning streak with their next game on September 22 against the Washington Justice.