Over the course of the inaugural season of Overwatch League, main tank players rose out of obscurity and made names for themselves. The Houston Outlaws' own Austin "Muma" Wilmot started attracting attention last year during his days with the free agent team FNRGFE. Muma's skills and efforts were since good enough to earn him a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team, as well as Team USA in the Overwatch World Cup.
Muma's ride to the top is due in no small part to the support of Aaron "Aero" Atkins, current Head Coach of the Dallas Fuel and Team USA, and former coach of Immortals, Fusion University, and, of course, FNRGFE. The two have an excellent professional and personal relationship since well before Overwatch League started, and now they're reunited for the Overwatch World Cup.
"Aero and I have a long history," said Muma. "He had a big part in developing me as a player. Before I met Aero, I didn't think I was capable of being an OWL-tier player, but he really helped elevate me, and I'm really thankful for that. It's really cool to be back with him again."
Muma joins Outlaws teammate Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty on Team USA, creating a strong healer-tank battery that will help them advance out of the group stage. Muma and Rawkus will enjoy the support of several players of the San Francisco Shock, along with one of the best off-tanks in the world: Indy "SPACE" Halpern of the Los Angeles Valiant. The synergy between these players runs deep.
"SPACE and I have been friends for quite awhile, so I'm pretty thankful that he's my off-tank," Muma explains. "There's no one else I'd rather have [in that position] other than CoolMatt. I'm friendly with all the Shock players. We live the same apartment complex, actually. So I'd say that Shock players are probably closest to me in terms of friends outside of the Outlaws."
One Shock player in particular will play a vital role in Muma's success at the Overwatch World Cup. Matthew "Super" DeLisi has been one of professional Overwatch's best main tanks going back to last Spring. His aggressiveness and precision are difficult to match, giving Muma plenty of competition as well as valuable information to build off of. Muma confidently said that Super is the next best tank in the US, making him the ideal player to split play time with. The two have exchanged POV videos in order to learn from each others' styles.
Team USA is developing into a dangerous, cohesive unit that can become an international powerhouse. With Muma leading the way on the frontline along with flashy, unorthodox DPS plays from Jay "Sinatraa" Won and Joao Pedro "Hydration" Veloso de Goes Telles, opposing teams have a lot to figure out. However, it wouldn't be the Overwatch World Cup without teammates playing against each other.
Houston Outlaws support player, Christopher "Bani" Benell, is on the starting lineup for Team Canada. They are Team USA's biggest rivals in the group stage, and their roster is stacked with players like the DPS combo of Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Brady "Agilities" Girardi. Even though bragging rights and national pride are on the line, Muma is most interested in giving his friend a hard time.
"[Attacking Bani] is actually the main plan and what I'm most excited for," Muma said with a smile. "I'm really happy to play against a teammate since I've never really gotten to do that before, so playing against him will be really fun. I have months and months of VODs to see how he plays, and I already have a pretty good understanding of how he plays, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to take him out."
End of the Line
All jokes aside, Muma has a little under two weeks left to prepare for the US leg of the Overwatch World Cup, which starts on September 7. Though he is hard at work preparing to represent his country, he did have a couple of relaxing days off at the inaugural All-Star Weekend. Muma participated in the Mystery Heroes competition on Saturday, helping the Atlantic Division win off the back of a lucky double-Brigitte composition that proved difficult to kill. He also played in the traditional matches on Sunday, giving fans a brief look at his Symmetra and Junkrat skills.
2018 has been a dream for Muma. From playing for the Outlaws to making the cut for Team USA, his journey is as ideal as it gets for professional Overwatch players. As we transition to the off-season, the Ohio native continues to embody the positivity and professionalism that Overwatch League strives to achieve on a daily basis.