It’s no secret that the Houston Outlaws have had an eventful season so far. Incredible games against teams from both ends of the power rankings along with an interesting mix of both veteran and rookie talent have solidified their matches as some of the ones to watch this year. This is true even if they’re no longer the top dog in NA. Even so, the Outlaws are likely using the break after the May Melee to prepare for a future standoff against the Dallas Fuel, one that stands to determine who the best team in the region truly is. So, in true western fashion, here’s a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of the Outlaws’ first few weeks.
The best thing to come out of the Outlaws’ season so far has to be their match against the previous year’s champions, the San Francisco Shock. Despite a convincing win against the Dallas Fuel the Friday before, fans of the League who had undervalued the Outlaws up to this point predicted that the match would be a relatively cut and dry victory for SF’s home team.
However, a nail-biting six map game that saw the Outlaws beat back last year’s champions destroyed these expectations, as the Shock fell just short of winning the final map. The reintroduction of fan-favorite Jacob “Jake” Lyon to a player position also served to bolster the congenial nature of the match, leading many to call this game the season’s best one yet.
After their game against the San Francisco Shock, the Outlaws would ride a wave that would carry them all the way to the last match of the May Melee qualifiers. Houston, no longer the underdogs, would take matches off of the Paris Eternal and the London Spitfire in dominant performances. So much so that it would put them on the very top of the power rankings.
However, the Dallas Fuel, who the Outlaws had beat 3-2 just a few weeks prior, destroyed Houston in an unexpected sweep. This was the Outlaws’ first loss of the season, and though it was devastating to many Outlaws fans, it wasn’t totally unexpected. The Fuel had swept the title-holding San Francisco Shock earlier that day, and would go on to win the entire May Melee tournament in convincing fashion.
A decisive 3-0 end to a winning streak that put one on the very top of your league’s power rankings would be bad enough for most teams, ut the effects of this defeat would be especially ugly for the Outlaws. This single loss against the Dallas Fuel would cause them to lose any chance of competing in the May Melee, a badge of honor for any Overwatch League team that earned the right to compete, as well as what amounted to a highly sought-after trip to Hawaii.
All in all, the Houston Outlaws’ first month of the season has been an extremely interesting one. It has been full of intense games and upsets that have made them a treat to watch. Though they’re no longer on the top of the power rankings, but they’re not the underdogs either. Their matches leading up to the June Joust are sure to be as entertaining, intense and full of upsets as ever.
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