Houston Outlaws’ Danteh: “Hopefully, by the time we see Tracer again, I’ll be insane.”

Originally posted at

On the third week of the Overwatch League, Dante “Danteh” Cruz came into the interview all smiles following a one-sided 3-0 shootout against the Florida Mayhem. For this outlaw, his smile meant a lot because their previous match was an 0-4 against NYXL.

In our interview with Danteh, he opened up about how he mentally recovered from the 0-4 against NYXL, how he fit in with his new teammates and predict the Stage 2 meta.

The last time we saw the Outlaws on stage was against NYXL where the team got 0-4’d. For any player, it sucks to get 0-4’d. How do you mentally recover from an 0-4 going into your next match?

Normally, the day of the match, we just think that we threw away the match. We don’t ever want to do that — a 4-0 ruins your map score too. It’s never fun, as long as you bounce back next time around. You can’t dwell on it for days after. I think to dwell on it on the day of the loss is fine because it’s like a wake-up call. Otherwise, it’s a waste of your time.

What do you all do to get over any losses?

Everyone did their own things, well, sort of. Spree, Jake, and I got ice cream and dinner after. That’s what we do to get over it.

Since I’m Spree’s roommate, we hang out a lot. As for Jake, he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Most of the team is older and have girlfriends, they all like to spend time with them when they get a chance to. It’s a little hard sometimes since everyone has their own plans. Normally, it’s between us three.

It sounds like you, Spree, and Jake are best friends. How is it like hanging out with Spree and Jake outside of playing Overwatch?

They’re all awesome. Spree is like, really dumb like me. We say really stupid stuff and it’s really funny. That’s why I loved being roommates with Super [from San Francisco] because he says a lot of dumb stuff too. Jake is a really nice and kind guy. He’s always helping, not just me and Spree out, but the others as well. He’s just an overall awesome dude.

What’s the best thing that Jake has done for you or your teammates?

I think the first week he didn’t really play. He was still giving 100% effort like coming to scrims early. One day, I had to do content like the T-Mobile announcement video, and he got me food since I didn’t have time before scrims. My shoot was early in the morning. By the time it ended, I was really hungry. So Jake went out to get food for me and it was really kind. It’s always nice to have people like that.

Not to say I didn’t have anyone like that in my old team, San Francisco Shock. Every one of my Shock teammates was really nice as well, but since we had Korean players like Choihyobin and Architect, it’s hard to express gratitude. Otherwise, when I spoke to them in and out of the game, they were really humble. Nomy and Dhak were nice too — they had that Spanish-Mexican blood. Moth also was probably my favorite teammate ever.

Do you still hang out with your Shock teammates?

When I find the time, like the same off day, I would just go to their house. Last time I visited, Super and I were on stream and VOD reviewing together. It was on stream so Super was reviewing our NYXL match and I was reviewing their Vancouver match. It was really funny because we were trash talking each other and constantly joking since we both lost. It made for good content.

Also, it was Architect’s birthday on that same day. We didn’t do much. Harsha and I got him presents and we just hung out

I want to talk about the trade from San Francisco to Houston. When did you find out about the trade?

A couple of weeks ago, I think. It was a while ago, so I can’t really remember. Our manager and coach told me about it so it wasn’t out of the blue. The way our coach described it was like, “I want to see you become a star player and I think you can do that on Houston. I’m sure you’ll get a ton of playtime to showcase your skills.”

The way it went down was that Houston really wanted me and San Francisco really wanted Smurf. So it just made sense. It was the perfect trade for both teams. It’s not like Shock and I had a bad relationship.

Since you arrived in Houston, how did the rest of the team help you fit into their culture?

One of the players that were really welcoming was Jake. He was the first to ask if I wanted to go out to get food. I think food is the easiest way to bond.

Every team has their own playstyle. How did you fit into their playstyle in the game?

We were pretty on and off during scrims. We started scrimming in November to get a feel for everything. I fit pretty well into their playstyle because of my hero pool. I have a unique hero pool compared to LiNkzr and Jake. I play all the flankers as opposed to them. Also, I can flex to other heroes like Zarya, Pharah, and Hanzo. It overlaps a bit but we can flex between the three of us. It feels really nice to fill a gap.

However, the meta right now is just going GOATS. I haven’t flexed much at all because of that. The only time I flexed was when I played Zarya — I even played D.Va and Sombra today. It was fun to make use of Sombra in this meta. She’s like good but not really. She’s just a niche pick.

Last week, I got to play Tracer on Busan, and that was fun. I still practice Tracer every day, like warm-up and practice throwing Pulse Bombs. Hopefully, by the time we see Tracer again, I’ll be insane. Stage 2 looks promising.

Speaking of Stage 2, with a new patch and Baptiste coming out, how do you think the meta will change?

There’s a lot of balance changes. Lucio, Zarya, and Zen are getting nerfed. Those are the three core heroes in GOATS. Brigitte has been nerfed a bunch. D.Va has been nerfed as well. Basically, everything but Reinhardt. GOATS will definitely be a lot weaker now. 

With the new hero, it might make Orisa comps and slow comps like Zen/Mercy a lot stronger. It might introduce new counters. It’s hard to say what counters Baptiste right now since he just came out on PTR, but I’m sure there will be unique heroes that you might see. For example, Torb — I don’t think he’ll counter him. However, something like Torb that we never see will probably be a common pick.

Thanks for your time after the match. Wish you and the Outlaws best of luck this season. Is there anything you would like to say to all the Outlaws’ fans cheering for you and your team?

Thank you guys if you’ve supported me since my Shock days or just Outlaws fans. You can all reach me on @danteh on Twitter and @dankteh on Instagram.