Atlanta Reign (4-3) vs (3-4) Houston Outlaws
Atlanta Reign 3-1 Houston Outlaws
With stage playoff hopes for both teams on the line, the Outlaws and Reign both came out looking to prove that they deserved the spot. Although Houston made a strong showing, Atlanta was able to contain them and win the day.
Ilios – Reign 2-1 Outlaws
Houston started strong on Ilios handily taking the first round. The Reign seemed to initially struggle against Danteh‘s Sombra, but quickly found their groove. With trademark aggression, including high value proactive Transcendences from Kodak, Atlanta was able to fight back against the Sombra disruptions and secure the second and third rounds and take the map and go up 1-0.
King’s Row – Reign 1-2 Outlaws
Atlanta started King’s Row on attack and immediately had trouble finding a way onto point A. Even with decent early pushes, Danteh‘s Sombra continued to hamstring the Reign’s attempts to push the point. Eventually, thanks to a huge Grav from dafran, Atlanta was able to capture the point and start the push down the alleys of King’s Row. The Outlaws refused to back down, however, and thanks to their tenacity they were able to stop the Reign just before point B.
On defense, Atlanta initially held point A for a decent amount of time, but were no match for the inevitable EMP. Even still, Atlanta started to find good pacing and were looking to hold the Outlaws. Unfortunately, in what could have easily ended up being the final full push, Muma was able to find a 6 person shatter. This wiped the Reign and allowed the Outlaws to push to the goal, beating Atlanta on King’s Row and tying it up 1-1.
Horizon Lunar Colony – Reign 1-0 Outlaws
The Reign did not take too kindly to losing King’s Row, and they came out looking to show the Outlaws that it was a fluke. Atlanta full held point A using their Orisa/Bastion composition by completely shutting down Houston’s off-meta comp that seemed to be an attempt to emulate the Chengdu Hunters’ performance. They found little value in the comp, however, and Atlanta moved to attack in a great position to take the map.
With some initial struggles on offense, including losing ErsTer early on Brigitte, the Reign stayed methodical. They pushed in slowly and forced the Outlaws to come to them on point, and off of huge Moira kills from Dogman, Atlanta were able to take point A with plenty of time left on the clock. The Reign went up 2-1 over the Outlaws, putting them one map away from the stage playoffs.
Rialto – Reign 3-2 Outlaws
In the final map of the day, the Reign looked like they had figured the Outlaws out. While they still lost fights due to EMP combos, it seemed as if that was the only way Houston could stop them. On offense, even with a few lost fights, the Reign managed to push the payload all the way to the end with about a minute remaining.
The Outlaws were not ready to give up yet, however, as they managed to match most of the Reign’s performance and march the payload most of the way across the map. As the payload grew close to point C with over three minutes remaining on the clock, Atlanta kicked into high gear. They repeatedly shut down the Outlaws over and over, preventing them from matching their own full push.
As the time ticked down, a final push from Houston looked to be exactly what they needed to finish the point. Atlanta was ready, however, avoiding, negating, and handling stacked Outlaw ultimates. The kill feed was flooded with Houston players’ names and Atlanta held strong to end the day 3-1 and secure their playoff spot.
With this win, Atlanta has secured a spot in the stage playoffs, and will be competing against a collection of the strongest teams in the league. With teams they’ve beaten, teams they’ve lost to, and teams they have yet to play all potential opponents, the Reign can’t afford to take a break from practice. They have shown themselves to be one of the strongest teams in the league at clutch times, but are still very much fallible.
For now, though, they can celebrate a decisive victory over a team putting it all on the line in a high stress and high reward situation. The Atlanta Reign will be back next week as they head to Victory Road to take on the best.
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