The Houston and the Valiant had a close match with a back and fourth map wins, even tying on Volskaya Industries. However, Houston continues to look more and more impressive after each win. In addition, the Outlaws showed their understanding for the meta and are beginning look better playing the 3 tank and 3 support team composition.
Busan 2-1 Houston Outlaws
The Houston Outlaw began Busan with a DPS heavy team composition with Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin on Widowmaker, Jacob “Jake” Lyon on Sombra , and Dante “Danteh” Cruz on Tracer. Houston started to gain traction after a rocky start, off the back of massive picks from Linkzr and stellar Wrecking Ball plays from Austin “Muma” Wilmont. Despite the great effort from Houston, Valiant took MEKA base after an extremely close stage.
Unlike MEKA base, Houston took a win on Sanctuary with another stellar performance from Linkzr and Muma. Danteh would continue to impress as he would dominate with Tracer with a massive pulse bomb on the Valiant’s Zarya played by Young-seo “KariV” Park.
The Outlaws would eventually take the map on Downtown. Jake switched from Sombra to Brigitte to provide support for his team. Houston would then make the call for Danteh to switch onto Sombra which led to the team’s victory. Danteh continued to impress as Sombra and turned fights around with massive EMP’s.
Numbani 3-2 Valiant
Los Angeles would put up a close fight against the Outlaws after the map loss on Busan. Houston would defend point A after multiple well fought team fights. Despite their stellar defense, Houston would lose point A and point B. Finally, during Valiant’s attack on the final point, Houston would eliminate most of the Valiant in a team fight in their final seconds. However, LA would rally and take all three points. During Houston’s attack, Matt “coolmatt” Iorio and Muma had huge tank plays. Coolmatt sent a massive D.Va bomb during their push on point B that eliminated 2 of the Valiant’s players including LA’s Reinhardt. Muma dominated with his huge earthshatters and generally impressive play that left the Valiant in shambles. Despite their impressive plays, Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim’s Zenyatta picked apart Houston and destroyed any momentum the Outlaws could muster.
Volskaya Industries 3-3 Tie
Houston brought back Danteh to continue his domination on Sombra for Volskaya industries. Danteh absolutely destroyed the LA Valiant with a massive EMP on point A that eventually led to a team kill. However, the Valiant would rally back and also score a team kill to take point A. Izayaki began to look out for Danteh and his deadly EMPs, distancing himself from his team or popping his ultimate early to provide healing for the rest of his team, which led to his their victory in round 1.
During Houston’s attack the Valiant would take the Outlaws into overtime on point A. Despite the time and man disadvantage, Muma, Danteh, and Jake kept fans on the edge of their seats as they clutched the point and eventually, the round, from the jaws of defeat.
During round 3, Houston took point A in an efficient attack. The Valiant eventually stopped the Outlaws from taking any ticks from Point B due to Izayaki’s incredible Zenyatta strategy and play. The Valiant began their attack with an 2+ minute time advantage, but were not able to capitalize and continued to lose in team fights on point B. After many hard fought battles and strong pushes by both teams, the map would end in a tie.
Route 66 2-0 Houston
Reporters stated that Houston’s curse was Route 66. However, the Outlaws proved everyone wrong by pulling out a massive win and an impressive defensive hold to win the match and the map. Danteh continued to prove his worth as he would have a big EMP that led to Houston taking point A with ease. However, the Valiant defended point B well scoring another team kill. Despite that, Houston wouldn’t give up and took point B, but quickly fell during the push onto the final point. While all looked loss because of Houston’s short push, the Valiant lost any momentum they could muster and lost team fight after team fight. The Outlaws didn’t budge and the Valiant couldn’t even manage to take a single point during their attack.
Houston proves time and time again that they can improve and adjust to the meta. Houston’s star players not only look like stars who play well individually, but they are beginning to look like a cohesive team. It’s clear their communication and strategies have greatly improved. If Houston can continue this win streak, they could get into playoffs.