Overwatch League play continued as the Houston Outlaws attempted to find their footing against an impressive San Francisco Shock. The Shock wanted to keep pace with the Vancouver Titans atop the Pacific Division, but would Houston stand in their way? Here’s a look at the Houston Outlaws vs. San Francisco Shock from Week 2, Stage 3.
The Starting Lineups
Map 1: Houston 2-1 Over San Francisco on Nepal
Houston opened with a 3-3 Sombra flex, while the Shock showed a traditional GOATS composition. Houston took an early advantage thanks to an Ana Sleep Dart from Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty during a Graviton Surge, leading to mass San Francisco casualties early on. The Shock couldn’t get on the same page during the first round of Nepal, getting staggered and losing their main tank too early at the start of team fights. Houston easily took the first point, 100 to 0.
Shrine opened with Houston taking to a 3-3 and Austin “Muma” Wilmot on Wrecking Ball, while the Shock showed the same, but with Winston. SF held the point early, all without using their Ultimates. Matthew “Super” Delisi pushed things further by winning a late team fight purely with Winston and a well-timed Primal Rage. The Shock took the point and evened things up at 1-1, with both teams showing brilliance and atrophy.
Houston decided that the Doomfist meta is here, switching to a Sombra/Doomfist/Ana composition that the team has shown in previous weeks. Muma’s early aggression as Reinhardt didn’t pay off, being drawn off the point and killed by a gaggle of Shock players. The Outlaws’ early strategy of hitting Hyobin “Choihyobin” Choi with a Sleep Dart to eliminate the threat of D.Va kept the Shock off balance, leading to multiple control shifts. A late Self-Destruct from the Shock led to taking the point back and sending Houston hurtling backward without their support. Dante “Danteh” Cruz proved to be invaluable yet again on Sombra, landing a meaty EMP that hacked five Shock players and led to two full team kills. Houston took the point and won the Map 2-1.
Map 2: San Francisco 1-0 Over Houston on Horizon
Back at Lunar Horizon, Houston showed a plethora of DPS on attack with a Sbomra/Widow/Wrecking Ball/Pharah/Soldier/Mercy composition. The Outlaws kept shuffling pieces as they were forced back by the Shock, swapping in Doomfist and Hanzo after an early failed push. Despite multiple aggressive attempts, the Shock were too ingrained on the point and repelled every strike from Houston. Despite showing something new, Houston’s quirky attempts weren’t enough to beat the Shock’s trademark 3-3 Baptiste composition, leading to an easy defense for San Francisco.
The Outlaws showed a Bunker composition with Jake “Jake” Lyon on Junkrat to open their defense, having gotten three notches on their attack attempt. The DPS combination of Sombra, Windowmaker, and Junkrat forced the Shock to spend more time dodging attack than pushing forward. Things fell apart for Houston though once Danteh’s Sombra went down, as the rest of the team followed. The Shock captured the point and took the Map 1-0, tying up the series at 1-1 going into half-time.
Map 3: San Fran 3-0 Over Houston on Eichenwald
Houston substituted Danteh for Matt “CoolMatt” Iorio, signaling a move to a pure 3-3 composition. San Francisco showed the exact same composition, a move in their favor as the Shock are second best in the league when it comes to winning mirror matches. The first point rolled over quickly, as Houston lost said mirror match and the Shock pushed forward hard off a combination of ultimate attacks.
Both teams stored massive amounts of ultimate attacks but a number of bad breaks hurt the Outlaws. By the second objective, the Shock was ahead in eliminations 17-1 over Houston. San Francisco’s domination continued to the end of the Map, and despite the close respawn point that gave the Outlaws an advantage it was clear the Shock would not be stopped.
Houston opened their attack with no momentum, allowing Jay “Sinatraa” Won to build insane amounts of meter and get off two Graviton Surges in as many minutes. Sinatraa” had 8.7 Graviton Surge kills per 10 minutes on this Map. The Outlaws were disorganized and sloppy, with the Shock pummeling Houston, landing a team kill, and taking the Map 3-0. San Francisco led the series 2-1.
Map 4: Houston 1-0 Over San Francisco on Havana
CoolMatt went out and Danteh came back in for Houston. The Outlaws moved to a GOATS composition with Sombra flex, while the attacking Shock kept to the pure GOATS composition. An early Sombra EMP by Dante led to a Quad Kill and allowed the Outlaws to stagger their opponents. An ill-timed Zenyatta Transcendence by Rawkus enabled the Shock to follow up on the mistake and finally gain some progress on the payload. However, Danteh reared his head yet against and landed a critical EMP on the Shock, pushing the point to overtime. Sinatraa dropped early, allowing Houston to push the Shock off the point and hold San Francisco to zero points. After two poor Maps it seemed the Outlaws were turning things around.
Rawkus switched to Ana, with Danteh staying on Sombra, which was good because the Shock still failed to have a defense against EMP. Danteh landed yet another major EMP, hitting the supports and allowing Houston to move forward. Jiri “Linkzr” Masalin popped off after another set of key hacks, getting three eliminations as Zarya. Looking like a completely different team, Houston moved the payload, took the point and won the map. With the series tied 2-2, Houston went into overtime for the second week in a row.
Map 5: Houston 2-0 Over San Francisco on Ilios
Houston is 5-13 on Map 5 attempts. Jake opened Ilios with an amazing Concussive Blast, which would be a theme throughout the first half of the point. Houston jumped to a quick 93-0 lead on the back of multiple Pharah kills by Jake before the Shock caught up and turned the point. Super’s Winston played aggressively, allowing San Francisco to find some space, but not before Jake landed a triple elimination Barrage and helped the Outlaws secure the first point.
Lighthouse began with Houston landing a massive EMP/Earthshatter combo, with Muma cleaning up the point and the Outlaws taking an early lead. The Shock attempted to take the point off a Graviton Surge combo but failed after a well-timed Nano Boost by Rawkus onto Muma. Houston’s supports fell shortly after, with San Francisco taking the lead back and Houston sitting at 86 percent capture.
The Shock continued to have no answers for Danteh’s EMP, with the Outlaws landing another gigantic EMP/Earthshatter combination. Houston did the improbable and wins the point, the map and the series.
Conclusion — Houston 3-2 Over San Francisco
Houston showed that the flashes of brilliance against New York last week weren’t a fluke and put a loss on the Stage 2 champions. The crowd could have used a nap after that series.
The Outlaws will return to play Friday night against the Boston Uprising, at 10:30 p.m. est.
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