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Houston Outlaws: Stage 2 Week 4 Preview

The Houston Outlaws have been experiencing a tough stage 2, so far. While they have looked above average on defense, their attacks have been rather lackluster. It seems that something needs to change in the upcoming week or Houston will get left behind. See how they may fare against their upcoming opponents as they head back to Texas for the Dallas Fuel Ultimate Weekend.

Recap

Philadelphia Fusion 4-0

Overwatch League 2019 Season Stage 2 photo:Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment

Houston suffered a tough loss against the former Overwatch League finalists, the Philadelphia Fusion. Despite an impressive start on Busan, Houston couldn’t get the ball rolling past the first section of the map and suffered defeat twice in overtime. Things began to fall apart for the team from Texas as they would head into the Temple of Anubis. The Outlaws managed to push the map into round three after capping both points in overtime. However, Philly’s attack proved to be too much and Houston fell again after an easy point capture.

Philly brought all of their momentum from their first two map victories into Eichenwalde and Watchpoint: Gibraltar. The Fusion would take a 2-0 victory on Eichenwalde and a 3-0 victory on Gibraltar. Houston did show that they can play some stellar defense as they held Eichenwalde’s final point with great coordination. In addition, they wouldn’t make it easy for the Fusion to take the final point on Gibraltar, holding them back to the final seconds before overtime kicked in.

Player of the Game

Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin continues to shine on control maps such as Busan. Whether he is playing his signature Widowmaker or playing Soldier: 76, one can guarantee that he is an integral piece of the puzzle for Houston’s success. Despite his lack of play time on other styles of maps, Linkzr’s presence makes maps more exciting.

Shanghai Dragons 3-0

Shanghai Dragons vs Houston Outlaws
Courtesy of Overwatch League

Houston continued to falter during Week 3 as they would face the Shanghai Dragons. The Outlaws were steamrolled by Shanghai’s DPS heavy team composition on Oasis. They wouldn’t manage to gain any moment and were defeated both times with a 0% capture percentage. However, things began to look up as the Outlaws managed to full hold the Dragons on Temple of Anubis. Despite being stopped, Shanghai would return on defense taking their momentum from Map 1 and managed to “fuller” hold Houston and end the map with a tie.

The Outlaws continued to show their great defense on both Blizzard World and Junker town, however, their attacks couldn’t seem to connect and would fall short again. Houston managed to hold Shanghai to one point on Blizzard World, despite having a rough start. However, they couldn’t follow through on attack and fell to the Dragons once again.

Preview

Seoul Dynasty (7-6)

The Outlaws kick off the Dallas Fuel Ultimate Weekend with a match against the king killers, the Seoul Dynasty. The Dynasty are coming off a massive win 4-0 win against the Dallas Fuel.  In addition to their impressive win against Dallas, they had a huge upset against the New York Excelsior during the Stage 1 playoffs. They are led by their captain and veteran support, Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu. Furthermore, Seoul’s aggressive and unrelenting playstyle could cause many problems for the Outlaw’s.

Despite the cards being stacked against the Outlaws, Houston are playing in their home state of Texas, meaning that fan support and not wanting to disappoint could lead to the Outlaws victory. Furthermore, Houston’s defense needs to stay consistent and they need to switch up their game plan by playing more DPS heroes such as having Danteh play Sombra while the rest of the team continues to play the 2 tank, 3 support team composition.

Prediction 3-1 Seoul

Dallas Fuel (6-9)

Overwatch League
Courtesy Overwatch League

Rivalries always make for great games and the Houston Outlaws face their in-state rivals for one of the most exciting matches of the weekend. Despite their loss against the Seoul Dynasty, Dallas’ main tank Minseok “OGE” Son has been on fire with his stellar Reinhardt play. Furthermore, Dylan “aKm” Bignet could cause Houston some major problems with his above-average, if not great Zarya play. This match is a must watch.

If Houston wants maintain their winning record against their in-state rivals, they will need to switch up their play style and make some changes to their starting roster. The Outlaws should fight fire with fire and start Zarya specialist, Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen to keep aKm under control. In addition, if Houston can continue to play Sombra-Goats with Danteh at the helm, Houston could manage to take victory in Texas.

Prediction 3-2 Houston

Player to watch

All of Houston’s wins during Stage 1 were predicated upon Danteh’s outstanding Sombra play. Houston needs to shake up their current starting roster and continue to play Sombra-Goats. Danteh continues to be the star of his team, changing team fights, left and right with his stellar EMP’s.

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All Player Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League

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