In their last match up of the regular season, the Houston Outlaws battled for their spot in the playoffs against the Atlanta Reign. In an intense four map series, the Outlaws put up a good fight but were ultimately unable to come out on top.
ILIOS: OUTLAWS 1-2 REIGN
On Lighthouse, the Outlaws quickly raced to the high ground and were able to pick off critical players before taking control of the point from the Reign at 12%. On the second push, Dante “Danteh” Cruz landed a huge EMP and was able to help maintain their defense. However, when Danteh was caught out of position the Outlaws were forced to push back, being held for another team fight. The Outlaws were able to hold the point into overtime before it flipped, with the Reign holding until overtime. The Outlaws were ultimately able to recapture the point and take the round.
On Well, the Outlaws were able to secure a clean team kill on their first push. Both teams seemed to focus on getting those flashy environmental kills in, Austin “Muma” Wilmot and Petja “Masaa” Kantanen on both sides securing huge environmental plays each push.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 17, 2019
In overtime, the Reign managed to flip the point and push it through to their own overtime. With Danteh in the backline touching the point, the Outlaws were only able to contest for so long before the clock ran out and Reign took the round.
The Reign managed to take the point first on Ruins, pushing forward and holding at the Outlaws’ choke. However, with Danteh landing critical EMPs and hacks, the Reign were forced to pull back. The Outlaws managed to push Atlanta all the way back into their spawn and held them there for about 75% of point capture time before the Reign recaptured and held the point through overtime. Picking off each of the Outlaws until the timer ticked down, the Reign earned their first map in the series.
KINGS ROW: OUTLAWS 2-1 REIGN
With strong synergy on defense, the Outlaws were able to keep a handle on their control of the first point for a while. The team was able to pick out the Reign’s main tanks and dismantle them from that one pick. However, the Reign were able to wipe the Outlaws and gain the first point. After another few close fights, the Outlaws regained control of the payload before the Reign were able to push it all the way through the second point and hold.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 17, 2019
On their first few offensive pushes, the Outlaws looked disorganized and messy. Key players got picked off early and the team was forced to pull back and disengage with each push. Danteh was able to land another key EMP, however, letting the Outlaws get an opportunity to get the first point. The Outlaws pulled back for a moment to allow Danteh to get another EMP, which won Houston another fight and helped them push the payload through to just a few meters before the end point, at which point the Reign were able to push them back. With the Outlaws securing a final fight, they were able to push through the final point and earn themselves a map.
HORIZON: OUTLAWS 0-1 REIGN
On attack, with Muma on Wrecking Ball, the Outlaws were able to bait the Reign into diverting attention
away from the point and gain capture percentage. The team wasn’t able to go very far, however. With Daniel “Dafran” Francesca running Bastion, the Reign was able to mow down the Outlaws with almost every push. Houston was unable to capture the first point, ending the round with only two ticks of capture percentage.
The Outlaws, running three DPS into a GOATs comp on defense, were unable to hold or even contest for very long against the Reign. The Reign won the first point, going largely uncontested once they finally stepped foot on it.
RIALTO: OUTLAWS 2-3 REIGN
The Outlaws attempted to defend the first point after the first turn, but the team was playing far too passively for their tactic to hold up. The team was thankfully able to win a team fight and halt the payload for only a few moments before the Reign pushed back. Muma was consistently targeted and picked out, which won the Reign team fight after team fight. However, the Outlaws were able to finally push back and halt the Payload just after the second point and hold it for a moment with the help of Danteh’s strong Sombra plays. The Reign pushed the Payload through to just before the final point when the Outlaws were able to get themselves together again and hold them back for even just a moment. But with Jake “Jake” Lyon getting taken down early, the Outlaws couldn’t hold for very long and the Reign were able to complete the map.
On their attack, the Outlaws pushed through up to just before the first point largely uncontested before the Reign started to push back. Danteh quickly denied this push with another strong EMP and the Outlaws were able to push to nearly the second point before being stopped once more. This cycle continued for a while — the Outlaws lost control of the point until Danteh returned with another EMP and regained control. The Outlaws seemed to rely very heavily on Danteh’s Sombra, which made the final few fights very difficult. With only ten seconds left, the Reign secured a team kill and win both the map and the series.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 18, 2019
The Houston Outlaws were unable to really clean up the mistakes that have been present all stage long. Looking towards stage two, it’s important that the Outlaws take a long look at their performance this stage and figure out what was and wasn’t working. Additionally, their reliance on Danteh — while mostly successful — makes them predictable and easy to slow. Houston desperately needs to regroup and figure out how to come back in stage two fresh-faced and reborn.
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