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This Week in Houston eSports – Houston Outlaws and Clutch Gaming

This Week in Houston eSports – Houston Outlaws and Clutch Gaming
It's a big week for the Outlaws. Twitter

Last week was a mixed bag for the Houston based franchises. Clutch Gaming went 0-2 against both 100 Thieves and Cloud 9. The Outlaws went 1-1 for the week, defeating San Francisco 3-1, but losing to Seoul 3-2. In addition to the standard weekly updates, this week’s article also explains the competition structure in both sports.

League of Legends

The League of Legends season (Season 8) is divided into Spring and Summer Splits, each containing a best of one double round robin where the teams play 18 games per split. The top six teams in each split make the playoffs. Based on the standings after playoffs, teams earn circuit points that lead to three of the ten teams qualifying for the World Championships against top teams from around the world. (The summer split winner, highest remaining circuit points holder, and the team that wins a gauntlet style event based on the amount of circuit points held by the remaining teams) Riot Games also announced earlier this week that the Spring Split finals for League of Legends will be held in Miami.

Clutch Gaming (2-4) Tied for 7th Place

Despite this week’s 0-2 record, there are some positives and reason for optimism moving forward. Against 100 Thieves, Solo played a very strong game on Jayce with a 1/0/5 KDA (kills, deaths, assists) stat line. The team also had a gold and kill lead before losing a late game team fight that allowed 100 Thieves to push into the nexus and win the game before CG’s players respawned. Cloud 9 maintained a consistent lead over Clutch Gaming, but Febiven’s 5/1/2 KDA was certainly a bright spot for the team. Despite the loss, the whole team played well and made things interesting with some strong late game plays.

Predictions (1-1 for the season)

This week, Clutch Gaming takes on Team Solo Mid (Saturday at 4 PM) and Optic Gaming (Sunday at approx.. 8 PM)

Things will click into place for Clutch Gaming this week with a hard fought victory over TSM and a clean win over Optic Gaming, leaving the team with a 4-4 record as they near the halfway point of the Spring Split.

Overwatch League

The Overwatch League consists of four Stages of five weeks each, with a total of 20 series played at two matches per week. At the end of each Stage, the top three teams from the Stage participate in a miniature playoffs to determine the Stage winner. At the end of all four stages, the top team in each division along with the next four highest ranked teams regardless of division will participate in the playoffs to determine the winning team for the inaugural season.

Houston Outlaws (5-3) 4th Place Overall

Last week resulted in a 1-1 record for the week and a reason for optimism for Outlaws fans to expect a very strong season and playoff contention at the end of the season. Star DPS player, LiNkzr did not play last week due to illness with Clockwork filling in quite well. Tank player coolmatt was having a very strong week as well. After beating San Francisco 3-1, the Outlaws fought admirably against the Seoul Dynasty, eventually losing the series 3-2 on the fifth map tiebreaker.

Predictions (2-0 for the season)

This week, the Outlaws begin with a crucial series against the 7-1 London Spitfire on Thursday at approximately 8 PM and play against the 5-3 Boston Uprising on Saturday around 3 PM. Both series are must win if the Outlaws want to have a shot to play in the championship series for the first Stage. The Outlaws showed that they are prepared to play well under pressure and LiNkzr returns from illness to have a very strong week, finishing Stage One with a 7-3 record. If things fall their way in the other matches, they will have a chance at finishing in the top three for the Stage. Either way, they will be well positioned to have a strong start to Stage Two.

 

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Yordan Alvarez is hitting fifth for the American League. Composite Getty Image.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game against Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Burnes is 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA in his first season with the Orioles, who acquired him from Milwaukee just before spring training. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes is an All-Star for the fourth straight season. He will become the fifth Orioles pitcher to start an All-Star Game, the first since Steve Stone in 1980.

Skenes, who made his major league debut on May 11, is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings. The 11 starts for the 21-year-old right-hander will be the fewest for an All-Star and he will become the fifth rookie starter after Dave Stenhouse (1962), Mark Fidrych (1976), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

NL manager Torey Lovullo announced last week he was starting Skenes.

AL manager Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas said Monday he has Steven Kwan of Cleveland hitting leadoff and playing left field, followed by Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson, New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto and center fielder Aaron Judge, Houston designed hitter Yordan Alvarez, Guardians shortstop José Ramírez, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

Ketel Marte bats first and plays second base for the NL, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Milwaukee catcher William Contreras, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm, Dodgers center fielder Teoscar Hernández and San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

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