After a disappointing week 1, it’s clear that the Houston Outlaws have a lot to work on. Despite this, Houston fans shouldn’t completely give up on the season – the weekend did have its bright moments such as with Danteh’s extraordinary Sombra play and Coolmatt’s display with D.Va on Hollywood against Boston.
However, this week’s upcoming matches may be the Outlaw’s most difficult for the entire Stage.
Toronto Defiant (1-0)
Houston fell short in an extremely close 5 game match. The first two maps displayed the Outlaws’ ability to adapt quickly and succeed on flex picks. Houston had an hard fought and extremely close game with Toronto on Nepal.
They did, however, manage to pull out a win on the map with by taking both shrine and sanctum both ending with 100% to 99% capture percentage. Dante “Danteh” Cruz’s Sombra was the star of the show after a massive EMP on Shrine. Similarly, Numbani ended very close with Houston winning 5-4. Toronto showed some of their inexperience by failing to touch the point and essentially gifting Houston their map victory.
However, the next three maps were not so kind the the Outlaws. Houston failed to capture a single checkpoint on Volskaya Industries, due to a misplayed reaper strategy. Route 66 continues to be the Outlaws’ curse, however, they did manage some highlight plays like Muma’s massive Earthshatter. Busan looked very promising for Houston early on with Linkzr having an incredible first stage on Widowmaker. However, they would eventually fall for a reverse sweep loss.
Player of the Game
It’s clear that Danteh’s signing has already paid off the the Outlaws. His flashy play on Sombra leads to Houston making great plays that usually resulted in point flips or great payload pushes or stops. He continued to shine with Sombra against the Defiant and the Uprising, showing why some believe that he is the best Sombra player in all of the Overwatch League.
Boston Uprising (1-1)
Again, Houston fell short in a 5 game series against the Boston Uprising. However, Houston again looked dominant on Nepal with a 2-0 win. The Uprising were only able to flip the point once the whole map. In addition, the Outlaws’ Danteh and Muma didn’t die once during the entire map.
While Houston did lose on both Hollywood and Volskaya industries, Matt “Coolmatt” Lorio played well on D.Va on Hollywood with multiple double and triple kills. On Illios, Houston was unable to to keep up with Boston’s goats comp and eventually fell to Boston with a 1-2 loss. However, Muma’s Orisa play shined with his incredible boops and showed that this team excels with their off-meta picks.
Player of the Game
Despite the losses, Coolmatt showed that he can be a dominant D.Va player. Similar to Danteh’s play on Sombra, his incredible D.Va Bombs led to Houston flipping the point or payload pushes/stops. If Houston continues to play triple tank-triple support, Coolmatt and Muma’s outstanding tank play will be key for their success.
Hangzhou Spark (2-0)
Whether its their impeccable marketing team, their fun colors, or the fact that they’re just plain good, the Hangzhou Spark are one the most popular teams in all of the Overwatch League. Even during the off-season, some dubbed this team to be the “strongest expansion team.” Houston will be fighting an uphill battle against a team that also utilizes creative flex and off-meta picks.
This game could play out to be one of the most entertaining games of week with multiple hero switches and constant adaptation by both teams. Houston will need to watch out for the Spark’s off-tank, Seong-Wook “Ria” Park, who had some spectacular D.Va bombs this last week.
Houston will need to have some great counter off-tank play from Coolmatt to stand a chance against the Chinese team. In addition, if Danteh can get the chance to play Sombra and become a nucance through hacks and EMP’s Houston may be able to come out with a win.
Result: 3-2 Hangzhou Spark
Team Fun Fact
Hangzhou has four players who played on X6-Gaming, the Season 1 Korean contenders champions. Furthermore, three of their players, played together on Seven, another Korean contenders team, that recently merged with X6-Gaming.
New York Excelsior (2-0)
The New York Excelsior dominated the Washington Justice in one of the fastest matches of the Overwatch League this season and had a great showing against the Boston Uprising. Individually, they have some of the most talented players in the Overwatch League including Season 1 MVP, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang. As a team, they’re even more scary, with extremely coordinated team play and flexible team compositions that just seem to work no matter what you throw at them.
The NYXL are one of the best teams in the league and will prove to be a massive challenge for the Houston Outlaws. Keeping New York on their toes with constant adaptation and great flex play will be the only way the Outlaws to come out with a win.
Result: 3-1 NYXL
Player to Watch
As previously stated, flex play will be crucial for a Outlaws victory. If Danteh can shine on Sombra and build a team composition around him, the Outlaw may have a fighting chance against New York. Furthermore, Houston will have to use their impressive DPS line to make forward-thinking Hero picks like Linkzr on Widowmaker and Jake on Junkrat for a style that favors their individual talent.
Featured image courtesy of the Houston Outlaws
“From Our Haus to Yours.”