Why I Became a Fan of a Losing Team
They say that becoming a fan of a team that wins, and then moving on once they start losing means you’re a fair weather fan, but what happens when you become a fan of a team that’s already losing? How about a team that sits one spot from the bottom of the standing? A team that was riddled with personality and infrastructure issues? I don’t think there’s a word for it because it happens so rarely, and if it does nobody discloses it, yet alone be proud of it. I’m pretty confident that I’m an outlier because despite the fact that the team I became a fan of coming into Season 2 of the Overwatch League was previously riddled with (and may still be, this is yet to be seen), I’m still very proudly sporting their gear and telling friends that I follow them. Despite a lackluster start, and poor communication during Season 1 to their initial fans, I’m also most likely one of the few coming into the season as a new fan. I’m a Florida Mayhem fan, and I’m going to try my best to tell you how I became one..
It started with a branding series that myself and the Project Esports Podcast did, and at this point I’ve played Overwatch but really didn’t follow the League. We basically unpacked each team of the League – meaning their colours, logos, brand, everything – and picked them apart. We tried to find things wrong, things right, and things they could do for themselves in the future to improve or build on. It was an incredibly fun series to do, and made me appreciate a lot of teams and what they were going for. Then, we got to the Florida Mayhem. To start I’m a sucker for black and yellow, long before Wiz Khalifa made a profit off of it. Once we started analyzing them I became hooked on this boomy yellow, black and crimson colour scheme they had going on. Dylan, one of the co-hosts, hated it and tore them to shreds. So as a joke for the next segment I bought a bunch of Mayhem gear – mainly just to troll the guy – and donned it much to his disdain. It didn’t cost me much (thank you Overwatch store sale), so I didn’t really mind dropping some money as a joke.
Shortly after this video though, it started becoming not a joke. I found myself wearing my Florida hat more and more. Started following their social media pages, it just kind of happened. Of course this happened while the off season was on the go so I really couldn’t get a pro-play fix to watch the Mayhem, but Overwatch Contenders was on the go and what did the Mayhem have? An academy team. An academy team sporting these throwback pink, blue and black colours. Immediately I jump in to watch a team that came out of nowhere sucking me into their brand, and what happens? Their academy team was about as bad as their OWL team, and I really didn’t care. I was just stoked to watch the Mayhem and have hope to watch them snag a round off of another team.
Finally, the moment where I became conscious that I was hooked on the team and any content they put out, was when I realized I had a favourite player. As mentioned previously, I missed the boat on watching their OWL team, so my favourite player quickly became Apply. To me, he really stood out on the academy roster as this beacon of occasional outplays and constantly performing amongst his teammates. As Contenders progressed it really only got worse, ending second to last, much like OWL team. Once again, it didn’t matter. I found out Apply had made main roster and was this niche two-way player, so it only got me more excited for this season.
Mayhem have made a massive roster change, both management and coaching. They’ve become more or less a new Mayhem, with very few parts remaining of their original line up, and hopefully the newest iteration performs better than the last. Much like the other teams I’m a fan of, I’ll be happy just watching them play, win or lose.
Bring the Mayhem, boys.