It may be Halloween, but for the Houston Outlaws’ official cosplayer Jordyn McCoy, cosplaying is more than just dress up. It’s about rallying the community and supporting the Outlaws no matter where they are. It may seem like a dream come true to represent the Outlaws all around the nation – and it is, says McCoy – but it all started in Texas with a lot of hard work and dedication. McCoy is the first ever official contracted cosplayer in esports, a position the Outlaws created entirely for her when they saw her impact in the esports community back in Austin.
How did you get involved with the Houston Outlaws?
When I learned that Texas was going to have teams in the Overwatch League, someone had tweeted that they wanted to get together at an arcade or rent out a space to watch the team together with other esports fans. I was the first person to respond. I wanted to make a Facebook group for it, organize events. So we got a little community going in Austin, known as the Lonestar Vanguard. We got noticed by the Outlaws marketing department and they started inviting us to events. We would volunteer to help out at events like DreamHack, energizing the fans at their booth. We became known as the first official support group in the Overwatch League.
So the Lonestar Vanguard really helped create a stronger Overwatch League scene in Austin. What made you feel so passionate about getting involved so early on?
I think being able to watch the games in an audience setting. I had gone to a preseason show for the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena. From seeing it live, with people just like you nerding out about the same game, I knew I wanted to do that every week. Not just one time in California.
What was it about the Outlaws that excited you, besides being located in Texas?
I liked the players on the team. Most of them came from the same Contenders team from the year before. They also played on Team USA in the previous World Cup. So all the players I liked were on the team. And the Outlaws are about being different and unique.
How did the Outlaws start noticing you?
When I went to the preseason show I saw that they had uniforms in-game. I was already a D.Va cosplayer at the time, but I wanted to do the Outlaws D.Va. I had the costume ready by the second or third game in the season. I wore it to watch parties and to events they invited us to. From there, they just knew me and knew I was dedicated to the team and helped foster this community. So they brought me on board as a content creator.
Being such a big fan of the Outlaws, it must have been amazing getting to meet the team.
They had a signing the weekend I went to the preseason game. That’s where I first met them. They’ve also come to Texas for a few events.
How did they react to your Outlaw D.Va cosplay?
In cosplay, since it’s a relatively small community, sometimes I feel people may treat me differently [when in costume]. But they’re the chillest people I’ve ever met. I had dinner with them. They’re just so cool and nice. They gave me compliments on the cosplay and they followed me back on social media.
What do you do as the Outlaws’ official mascot?
On top of streaming and other content creation, I’m basically a mascot. I usually just promote the team. Any time they have an event I’m there in costume. I was at the Grand Finals in an Outlaws Brigitte costume. I got to go to New York for that, even though the Outlaws weren’t playing.
Since the Outlaws weren’t playing, what was your goal in being there?
You’re representing the game, being actively involved in the community. it shows that people from all different subcultures of gaming are committed and dedicated to these teams and the game. It shows dedication, like fan art.
What got you interested in Overwatch?
A lot of my friends were playing it. I love multiplayer games so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I instantly fell in love with D.Va. I love the tank role because I’m really good at protecting my friends and the point. And she’s adorable. I have a lot of D.Va cosplays because she’s my favorite character.
What do you like about her?
I love being able to relate to D.Va. She’s a teenage professional gamer and she’s a total memer, too. I can really relate to her character. When you cosplay, you want to pick someone that you’re passionate about. You want the motivation to complete the costume, to wear it out in public all day, for hours on end. You want to have conversations with people about the character.
So you make your own costumes. Are you working on any right now?
I’m working on two costumes right now. There’s one I really want to bring to BlizzCon, an Outlaws Genji. It will be a full set of armor I did entirely by myself. It’s a new skill for me, but I have always wanted to learn. There’s a person on Twitter who made their own Overwatch League mascot fan art for Los Angeles Valiant, Valla. She also made one for the Outlaws, a cowgirl named Ophelia. She gave me permission to cosplay her at BlizzCon, too. We might meet up there and take some photos.
Why do you think other esports fans should get involved with Overwatch?
The Overwatch League is expanding. And ESPN now has the rights to stream the games, so there will be esports on TV now. This is going to be everywhere. I think it’s just a good game in general, because of the live-action strategy and teamwork. It’s interesting for people of all ages and different walks of gaming. It just combines everything I love about gaming. Interesting characters. Working together. And it brings in so many fans. It’s representative of what gaming culture should be.