New York Excelsior 4-0 Houston Outlaws
“NYXL is winning more than Houston is losing,” says caster Wolf “Wolf” Schröder about New York’s performance against the Outlaws. New York looked unchecked throughout the entire series, cleanly picking apart Houston in just about every engage. While the two teams looked competitive on Nepal, later maps highlighted New York’s complete dominance as they took win after win.
Nepal – Excelsior 2-0 Outlaws
While New York managed to get the first take on Village, the Outlaws secured a quick kill onto Seong-hyun “JJoNak” Bang for a swift retake. The point continued to flip back and forth amidst neck-and-neck team fights. New York ultimately eked out a win, taking the map 100-99.
Sanctum started similarly, with NYXL taking the point for a few seconds before the Outlaws flipped it back. Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim built a quick primal rage to pick apart the Outlaws and allow New York to definitively re-secure the objective. The point continued to flip back and forth, with both teams looking pretty even until New York’s defense solidified. While eliminations continued to come from both sides as New York reached 99% capture, NYXL managed to force Houston off the point and take the map 2-0.
Hollywood – Excelsior 3-0 Outlaws
New York’s offense was measured and precise, slowly rotating around the point until they could secure an early kill on Jacob “JAKE” Lyon. From there, Houston’s defense quickly fell, and NYXL entered streets phase aggressively. New York relentlessly punished Houston’s positioning errors, finishing the map almost without the payload stopping. Mano and Tae-hong “MekO” Kim pulled off a 4-man shatter-bomb combo to secure the point with 3:24 still on the clock.
New York read Houston like a book on defense. The Outlaws tried to brute-force their GOATS compositions on attack but were repeatedly outplayed. They looked helpless compared to their performance running DPS compositions on Nepal. New York consistently shut down Houston’s attempts at taking the point, taking the map 3-0 without ceding a single tick to Houston.
Temple of Anubis – Excelsior 2-0 Outlaws
After a swift point A take, NYXL entered point B with almost seven minutes on the clock and six ultimates banked. Houston couldn’t prevent the oncoming snowball, and gave up point B with 5:51 in the time bank for NYXL.
Mano continued to bring the heat on the Excelsior’s defense. He repeatedly denied Houston space, got early picks, and bolstered the New York defense. Just as on Hollywood, Houston struggled to engage with New York, even when the two teams were even on ultimates. New York shut down the Houston offense without giving up point A, taking the map 2-0.
Route 66 – Excelsior 2-1 Outlaws
Route 66 started off as a steamroll for the Excelsior offense. Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong and JJoNak reliably initiated fights and secured first kills for New York to rapidly take points A and B. Houston came into their own on point C, however, and denied New York map completion.
New York opened up their defense by running Orisa, Widowmaker, and Bastion to make use of point A’s wide sightlines. Houston responded with a unique composition of their own, running Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty on Roadhog to quickly pick off New York’s supports once they were forced onto low ground. Houston continued to make progress escorting the cart, but New York adapted well to Houston’s tactics as they approached point B. NYXL banked six ultimates for Houston’s final push, and successfully held them before the checkpoint to take the map 2-1.
New York looked utterly dominant against Houston today. Even without flashy plays, New York managed to outclass Houston with raw mechanics and game sense alone. If New York can continue the impressive performance they’ve demonstrated so far, they pose a significant threat to every team in the league. Expect to see New York continue to lead the pack throughout the rest of stage 1.
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