YOU’RE TALKING PLAYOFFS?! Yes we are talking playoffs. Arriving to the final day of stage 1, there are HUGE playoff implications. For the Houston Outlaws, a win and they’re in. The Boston Uprising must win by more than 2 maps and they move on. If Boston only wins by 1 map, then the Los Angeles Valiant sneak into the playoffs. Once again, the implications are HUGE.
Stage: Stage 1 week 5
Match: Houston Outlaws vs Boston Uprising
Map 1: Eichenwald
The match begins with Houston coming out on attack, and they came out swinging. Jake and Linkzr immediately begin to get frags in front of them and the numbers advantage quickly switches to Houston and the first point is captured. The Houston pressure never slows down as the Tracer from Jake is just a constant headache for Boston as the payload cruises through. It stops for a second right before taking the second point but Coolmatt and Muma are creating too much space for Linkzr who is getting frags left and right. The Houston payload continues its smooth route up until the very last 40 meters of the final point. Dreamkazper is able to clutch it out for Boston as always and creates the defensive front for Boston. They are able to completely hold the Houston push and thanks to a double kill by Note, Boston is able regroup and hold Houston to only two points.
Boston coming out on the attack looking to keep the momentum. Their initial push is stuffed by Houston as they are not able to cross the choke point. After a quick regroup, Striker is able to get a crucial pick which leads to the Boston capture of the first point. After a slight hold, the payload begins a constant push. What we didn’t see from the Dreamkazper pharah in the first round, we saw on attack. Along with striker, the Boston dps duo began to shine as the payload cruises through for the second point and halfway to a map 1 victory. After another hold, Boston regroups and begins the push. Houston answered in a huge way, with Linkzr completely shutting down Dreamkazper not once but twice of the Mercy resurrection. Jake and Muma shut it down with a rip tire and are able to take map 1 in exciting fashion.
Map 2: Temple of Anubis
We go to a crucial second map for Boston’s playoff hopes. Houston comes out still as aggressive as the first map and overwhelm the Boston defense. After an easy first point capture, the Houston attack is slowed down thanks to the efforts of striker and Dreamkazper. This hold is able to create the defensive front that Boston needed in order to hold the point. Houston’s pushes are never whole as Boston is always able to get the elimination that tilts the team fights in their favor. With the play of the round, Gamsu is able to use primal rage to eliminate two and then finish off two more with Tesla cannon to stop an aggressive Houston push. This may be the motivation that Boston needed as they are able to hold the point and Houston to only one point Anubis.
Boston began their attack with only victory on their mind. Their first push is their successful one as the window for their attack opened up thanks to Dreamkazper flank as Genji. Gamsu finishes off the rest of the team and Boston takes the first point. They continue the rush onto the second point and Boston is literally able to steal away the second point and map as Gamsu is able to use the Winston ultimate in order to push off the entire Houston team off the point. Boston takes the map 2, as the match between these two heats up.
Map 3: Illios
We begin the map on Ruins, and are treated to the Widow duel between Linkzr and Dreamkazper. The first round goes to Dreamkazper as he’s able to take out Linkzr, but he doesn’t stop there, he continues his dominance. Boston gets the initial capture of the point and doesn’t look back. Houston is not able to crack the Boston defense and held scoreless as Boston takes round 1 with zero issues.
We go to our second destination in Lighthouse. Houston comes out strong this round and is able to get the initial capture of the point. The effort from Houston almost feels wasted, as Boston is able to quickly regroup and take the point from Houston in a fairly easy manner. The Boston hold on defense was able to shake off any push from Houston. The stronghold of the point can be thanked to outstanding Tracer play from Striker. The Boston hold is too much for Houston who are never able to take the point back and lose map 3 to Boston 0-2.
Map 4: Dorado
We come to the crucial fourth map for Boston. They need a win on this map for the playoff. Houston needs this win to keep their hopes alive. They come out on attack and Linkzr immediately takes out Striker and the payload begins it’s push. As it turns to the choke, Boston begins its hold. Striker is able to disturb the Houston backline for quite some time. Ultimately Houston takes the second point behind Linkzr and Coolmatts offensive efforts. The payload is able to cruise through most of the second point until it’s held right before the second point. It’s not held long as Houston’s tanks are able to create enough chaos for the Jakerat to get the frags needed for the payload to capture the second point. As Houston pushes the payload through toward the third point, Boston goes into desperation mode. They know they can’t lose this point, and are able to overcome an aggressive Houston push and hold the attack to only two points.
With the playoff on their mind, Boston comes out on what they hope will be their last attack. In hopes to confuse Houston, the pirate ship comes out as Boston begins with the Bastion composition. The payload is able to begin its push rather easy as Houston has no answer for the Boston attack as they take the first point. Dreamkazper begins to haunt the backline as Roadhog, giving the Boston payload plenty of room for it to push through towards the second point. Houston is able to stop the payload and forced Boston to change up its composition and regroup. The Houston defense is able to take off two minutes from Boston’s timer but are ultimately overwhelmed by the Boston dive and lose the second point. Boston begins its push towards the third and final point. The defense from Houston is able to hold the payload at the choke and force the clock go to overtime. Boston begins to collapse to the point but the Houston defense shuts downs any dive that came their way as they take map 4 and eliminate Boston’s playoff hopes.
Map 5: Lijian
After four INSANE maps, we come to a crucial map 5. Houston needs this win to go to the playoff. Both teams come out on the attack, but it’s Houston who stuffs the Boston push. Muma and Coolmatt are able to lead the way for the Houston capture. After a quick regroup, led behind Striker, Boston is able to turn the point around. With another strong offensive showing from Coolmatt, Houston takes back the point and begin its hold. With even ultimates coming to the 99 percentile, Boston wins the crucial team fight to take back the point. Houston regroups knowing one fight wins the round, with Coolmatts graviton surge they are able to finish off the Boston attack. The point flips for the final time as Houston takes round 1. We go to round 2, after a lengthy first scuffle between the two teams, Boston takes he initial capture. The Boston defense begins to show some signs of life. Striker is able to disrupt the back line of Houston causing a lot of chaos. Boston is able to hold the point until the 99th percentile before Houston flips it for the first time. Houston is able to hold off an impressive Boston dive which nearly takes the point back to Boston. Boston’s second push begins with Dreamkazper reflecting s Mccree ultimate to eliminate Linkzr. The Boston dive breaks through the Houston defense and takes the point and round 2 sending it to the round 3 tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker round on the tiebreaker map, both teams are giving it their all. The map begins and the Boston dive takes advantage of an out of place Jake, and then eliminate the Houston supports which lead to an initial point capture. The Outlaws regroup and Jake and Linkzr clear the way for the point flip. Houston is able to hold this point until the 99th percentile. The final Boston push comes and behind a double kill from Striker, the point is flipped to Boston. It’ll turn to be to little as the Houston Outlaws are led behind Jake to one last flip of the point and a crucial map 5 victory. Houston is headed to the playoffs.
Match score: 3-2 Houston Outlaws win
Nothing but respect to the tank duo of Coolmatt and Muma, but the mvp of this match is Captain America himself, Jake. When the situation called for Jake to step up, he jumped. On the tiebreaker map he came out huge for Houston.
Match rating: 10/10
In what many expected to be an instant classic, we got more than expected. Both teams showed us world class Overwatch play. This match is one that any fan of the league or even the game alone should watch. Houston overcame an early rough start to the season, which led to a miraculous playoff run, which had to be capped off by a miraculous match.