Houston continues to improve with a 3-3 record, inching closer to stage playoffs. Despite a sloppy game against the LA Valiant, the Outlaws are starting to look better. Houston needs a win against the Atlanta reign on Sunday, and a number of other things to occur, to clinch a play off berth. This win will not come easily, but Houston fans will be on the edge of their seat all weekend.
LA Valiant (0-6)
Despite the Valiant’s poor record, Los Angeles’ roster isn’t short on talent. Houston needed to come out in full force very early with a DPS heavy team composition to take care of the Valiant’s support line led by Zenyatta master, Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim. The Outlaws did just that with Jacob “Jake” Lyon, Jiri “Linkzr” Masalin, and Dante “Danteh” Cruz playing Sombra, Widowmaker, and Tracer respectively. Houston edged out the Valiant on Busan with wins on sanctuary and downtown.
Despite their success in the first map, Linkzr and Danteh were subbed out by Matt “coolmatt” Iorio and Alexandre “spree” Vanhomwegen. LA’s final push onto point C showed their willingness to put up a fight even with the final seconds ticking down where they would take the final point. The Valiant seemed to have all of the answers to Houston’s strategies. All of Houston’s pushes came from massive earthshatters from Austin “muma” Wilmont and coolmatt. Despite their efforts, Houston would only manage to take two points on Numbani.
Houston and the Valiant would have a hard fought battle on Volskaya industries that would result in a tie. Despite having only 1 minute during round 3, Houston would manage to take point A and put up a hard fight on point B. Furthermore, LA’s time advantage during round 4 would only result in taking a point A as well, due to Houston’s stellar defense.
Last but not least, Houston broke their curse and won on Route 66. Houston had an inspired push past checkpoint A and B, nearly taking checkpoint C. It looked like all was lost and Houston gifted the Valiant their first victory. However, Houston’s defense was nothing short of inspiring. The Outlaws destroyed any momentum that the Valiant could muster and stopped them before they could even take checkpoint A.
Player of the Game
It’s clear week to week that Danteh is the future for the Houston Outlaws. All of their wins have been built off his success and skill on Sombra. Izayaki proved this by specifically devising a strategy that would keep him away from Danteh’s EMPs. Danteh needs to have another incredible match for Houston to pull out a win against the impressive Atlanta Reign.
Atlanta Reign (3-2)
The Atlanta Reign are an extremely dangerous team. Their creativity and just general mastery of Meta heroes have propelled them to two shut out victories and impressive highlight plays. Zarya specialist Daniel “dafran” Francesca and Joon “Erster” Jeong are the rocks that the Atlanta reign have built their success upon. In addition, Erster has an extremely deep hero pool that includes Jake’s signature hero, Junkrat.
Houston’s success will be predicated upon better ult economy and much better communication. Danteh’s scouting as Sombra will be crucial for Houston to pull out a win. Furthermore, Houston’s tank line needs to be solid to find any success during this match.
Prediction: 3-2 Atlanta
Player(s) to watch
Not only will Danteh need to find success as Sombra, but Spree needs to show up ready to put up a fight against Atlanta’s dafran. As said above, Muma will also need to dip into his hero pool on Illios and make some incredible environmental kills with his Orisa or Wrecking Ball. If the Outlaws manage to put all of these pieces together and start strong, they could piece together a victory.