Los Angeles Valiant (0-7) vs Houston Outlaws (3-3)
The day started with a chance for redemption! The LA Valiant vs Houston Outlaws was a match that, to most, could be described as a little chaotic. With team fights seeming to never end, and choices that caused a lot of spectators to scratch their heads, this game set the tone for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the Valiant couldn’t pull out a last minute win, earning them the bottom place among the Overwatch League rankings.
Busan Los Angeles 1-2 Houston
As the game started, the Valiant took control at the MEKA base. Despite a strong first fight, Houston ended up flipping the point and maintaining a stronghold for it. However, big plays from Indy “SPACE” Halpern gave the Valiant a chance to fight back, and until the very end, they held their ground. The Valiant ended up taking the first round with ease.
However, at the sanctuary, the Valiant couldn’t answer the Outlaws, and their anti-GOATs comp. Unable to handle the pressure of Dante “Danteh” Cruz and Jacob “JAKE” Lyon playing aggressively, the Valiant fell to the Outlaws, pushing the game to a map three.
In downtown Busan, the Valiant displayed a dominant performance during the entirety of the round. Managing to push Houston back at their spawn choke, the Valiant showed signs of winning the first round. However, a sneaky back cap from Danteh on Sombra gave the Outlaws a fighting chance. The Valiant were unable to rally back together in order to take the point back. Unfortunately, their lack of attention to the point cost them the game. They ended up losing, 1-2.
Numbani Los Angeles 3-2 Houston
Despite a rough start on their initial attacks, the Valiant managed to pull out a strong showing against the Outlaws. After a loss that should’ve swung in their favor, the Valiant seemed to regroup and rock forward. A first cap point was made possible, due to exemplary play from Young-seo “KariV” Park on Zarya. From there, despite a brief stall around the corner, the Valiant managed to push through towards a second point cap.
The last bend of the map, which is arguably the hardest part to push through, showed some troubles for LA. In overtime, things seemed lost at a 2 point cap. However, Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim showed up once more, proving he’s one of the best new additions to the team. With a triple kill, he managed to shut down the Outlaws. The Valiant were then free to finish the map.
The Outlaws were quick to clap back once it was their turn to attack. SPACE, Brady “Agilities” Girardi, and Izayaki tried their best to hold Houston at the first point, but the Outlaws were too powerful to stop. Continued plays from Austin “Muma” Wilmot and Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen gave them the second point as well, ensuring that the Valiant had to hold them until the very end.
As the overtime meter ticked away, each team proved their relentless spirit. Both teams stockpiled their ultimates, making them on even ground. The Valiant were the ones to attack first, however the kills didn’t trickle through until Agilities managed to take down Jake. From there, Pan-seung “Fate” Koo dismantled the rest of the team. The Valiant ended up winning the map, 3-2.
Volskaya Los Angeles 3-3 Houston
Coming off of a map win, the Valiant were given a chance to turn their record around. Though the push started off slow, LA managed to capitalize on Houston’s disorganization. Taking the first point, they were ready to steamroll through a second point cap.
Despite some initial stumbles along the way, SPACE constantly shutting down Danteh helped to give the Valiant some ground to fight on. Another graviton from Fate, combined with some kills from Dae-kuk “KuKi” Kim, sealed the deal. The Valiant nabbed their second point cap with time to spare.
When the roles were reversed, things were looking well for the Valiant. For their entire attack, Los Angeles was able to keep the Outlaws at bay. However, once more, they couldn’t stop the Sombra specialist. Danteh skirted around the point, getting hacks and kills at just the right time.
In overtime, the Outlaws managed to cap the first point, giving them a fighting chance in this series. With their time bank ticking down, it took a successful team fight and a massive EMP from Danteh for the Outlaws to succeed. With three seconds left, the Outlaws managed to snag a second point capture.
Since their time bank was much smaller, the Outlaws had their chance to attack first. Against the odds, they managed to take the first point with an easy fight. Consistently, Danteh showed why he’s one of the best Sombra players. However, with under 30 seconds, they couldn’t manage to gain anything from the second point.
With more time, all the Valiant had to do was rush the first point, and snowball it into a first tick capture, earning them the map. KuKi did his best with KariV to ensure that the first point went smoothly. However, with respawn advantage and stronger team fights, the Outlaws managed to keep them at bay. Unfortunately, despite three minutes on the clock, the Valiant were unable to get what they needed. The map ended in a draw.
Route 66 Los Angeles 0-2 Houston
The Outlaws had one more chance to push a win through. Attacking first, they managed to pull out some clutch plays at the last minute. The Valiant had good defense throughout the entire playtime, though the overtime meter seemed to have spook then. Danteh consistently pushed through with EMPs, allowing SPREE and Muma to take the rest of the Valiant off the map.
Regardless of how aggressively they were playing, the Outlaws managed to burst through both the first and second point. The third point looked attainable as well, though KarIV and Izayaki had finally decided they had enough. Keeping them just at the gate, the Valiant shut down a completed map for the Outlaws.
With high hopes, the Valiant had their chance to complete the map, and get their first win of the season. However, the Outlaws showed up. With massive plays from SPREE and Daniel “Boink” Pence, the Outlaws were committed to earning another win. It seemed hopeful for a moment, but the power of Houston was too much for them to handle. Just shy of the first point, the Valiant were held. They ended up losing the map, 0-2 and the series.
It’s hard to look back at this game and see the same LA Valiant from last season. Though they showed promise, especially on Busan and Volskaya, the team as a whole wasn’t connected. Constantly, they left the point, leaving it wide open for the sneaky Danteh to take it back. Too many people were scattered onto one person, and their play was inconsistent throughout the entire series. Going through the entire first stage without a single win is only a testament to how far they have to go. With some practice, better communication, and hard work, they can bounce back in stage two.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Overwatch League.
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