The Overwatch League (OWL) team Houston Outlaws have parted ways with Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty, who announced his retirement from professional Overwatch esports this Saturday.
Rawkus announced his departure from Overwatch on Saturday with a lengthy Twitlonger post where he revealed he would be following the footsteps of numerous former Overwatch players by pursuing a career in VALORANT, having spent the last three years as the main support for the Outlaws.
“Today is officially the end of my Overwatch career. While I’m excited for my future, today is incredibly bittersweet for me,” said Rawkus.
“This decision wasn’t taken lightly. I’ve lost so much sleep over this because of all the amazing people I’ve met and the memories we’ve made. In the end, I have to do what my heart is telling me and I’ll never forget the last four amazing years of my life.”
Rawkus began his journey in professional esports in July 2016 when he joined Ohno, where he played alongside Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell. In August the same year, both players were picked up by FaZe Clan’s Overwatch team, which Rawkus led to a top-eight finish at the Overwatch Open and silver medals from Major League Gaming Vegas 2016 and Overwatch Contenders 2017 Season 1: North America.
Rawkus’ career reached new heights in October 2017 when he was signed by the newly formed Houston Outlaws for the inaugural season of the OWL. Even though Houston finished only seventh in the inaugural season and 16th in OWL Season 2, Rawkus managed to leave a permanent mark in the esports scene by leading the United States national team to the 2019 Overwatch World Cup title after quarter-finals appearances in 2017 and 2018.
Most recently, Rawkus was seen helping Houston Outlaws finish ninth-12th at the Overwatch League 2020 May Melee and fifth-eighth at the Overwatch League 2020 Summer Showdown, which marked his last appearance in the professional Overwatch scene.
The 26-year-old American is just one of three inaugural members to leave the Outlaws roster this year, following the retirement of Matt “coolmatt” Iorio in January and the departure of Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen in July.
Rawkus has yet to reveal whether he will join a professional VALORANT esports roster, but he hinted in his Twitlonger post that some more exciting news about his future would be unveiled soon.
Meanwhile, you can find Rawkus on his Twitch channel (www.twitch.tv/itsrawkus), where he will be streaming VALORANT and Overwatch.