This has been a week of sadness for both teams. The Outlaws still feel the sting of defeat after dropping Map Five to their rivals. The Shock’s pain is more mourning – Jay “Sinatraa” Won announced his retirement this week and will not be returning to the team. While he did not see that much time on-stage this season, it is still an incredible blow to lose the reigning League MVP. This week will show haw much this has unsettled the players, and how they are able to adapt.
The hero pools for the week exclude Wrecking Ball, McCree, Widowmaker, and Mercy. This will be a defining factor for the meta, as well as roster selection.
Shock (5-2) vs Houston Outlaws (4-7)
Saturday May 2 at 7:00 P.M. EST / 4:00 P.M. PST
The Outlaws suffered a heartbreaking defeat last week in the Battle for Texas. Coming down to the third stage of Map Five, they were unable to squeak out a victory against their rivals, the Dallas Fuel. Yet there was a lot of promise in their play. For a team that is the butt of many jokes to come one team-fight from beating the surging Fuel is no joke itself. There were many standout plays, but just as many that didn’t quite work out.
This matchup is heavily dependent on the compositions the teams choose to play. Austin “Muma” Wilmont plays Winston very well, but has not performed as well on Reinhardt. If the meta leans towards Reinhardt-based Tank lines, the Shock and Matthew “Super” DeLisi will have a clear edge. However, if Winston is taking the majority of main-tank playtime, the matchup will be far closer.
Prediction: Shock win 3-1
Matchup to Watch: Moth vs Jecse
Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee has been a standout new pickup for the Outlaws this season. His Lucio play wows fans, lights up the killfeed, and carries maps like last week on Eichenwalde. Despite the team being in the bottom half of the standings, Jecse does everything he can to clutch out victories. He plays without fear, and this confidence could be exactly what the Outlaws need to pull off the upset.
Grant “Moth” Espe is the silent engine of the Shock. Seeming meek and mild-mannered, he is the force pushing the team to new heights. Whether racking up environmental kills like on Lijiang Tower or landing impeccable Sound Barriers, Moth is everywhere all at once. This week should be the battle to see which Lucio carries harder, and will be a delight to watch.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).