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Esports Overwatch

Houston Outlaws Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Houston Outlaws managed to keep their playoff hopes alive with their 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Fusion at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, on Thursday night. While Houston remains a long shot to win Overwatch League Stage 4, the Outlaws did manage to inch their way closer to a playoff berth with the win against the Fusion.

While other squads like the New York Excelsior or the Boston Uprising may generate most of the interest in esports betting groups from around the country, Houston is at least keeping the door open to a potential Cinderella run in the playoffs. As of this writing, the Outlaws are a distant +2000 to win Stage 4.

2018-03-21 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Even so, the Outlaws are doing all they can to claw their way into a potential playoff berth. Houston’s star player, Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin was the driving force in the win against Philadelphia despite having a tough time getting through Widowmaker duels against Philly’s DPS Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok.

Masalin did well to keep the Fusion off-kilter by flexing to Brigitte on Lijiang Tower. Matthew “coolmatt” Lorio was also instrumental in Houston’s win thanks to playing an aggressive D.va style. He continually dove into the Philly back line and would snipe the Fusion’s support players.

The Outlaws are still up against it as far as a playoff appearance goes, but a run of good form is coming at just the right time. The Fusion are still slightly ahead of the Outlaws in the season standings, despite Houston holding a +18 map differential, compared to a +11 mark for Philadelphia. Houston is at 22-17, while Philadelphia sits at 23-16 after the loss. The Outlaws are 6-3 with a map record of 20-1-15 in Stage 4.

The Fusion looked like a lock to qualify for the playoffs, but they have fallen on tough times of late. They almost look nothing like the same squad that was on the verge of winning the Stage 2 grand finals. Philly’s main tank, Kim “Sado” Su-min got himself into trouble with his overly aggressive playing style both offensively and defensively against the Outlaws playing as Winston.

Sado kept leaping into the Outlaws’ back line before being promptly collapsed on and killed too deep for his teammates to resurrect him. Carpe was Philadelphia’s only hope, but he couldn’t do it all himself once he became the primary target of the Outlaws.

With the Excelsior losing last night it will make today’s first match a must watch.

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