ESPORTS REPORT

This week in Houston eSports: Updates on Clutch Gaming and the Houston Outlaws

Clutch Gaming had a good week. Twitter

Overall, last week was a very successful week for Houston-based eSports teams. Clutch Gaming went 2-0, improving their record to 4-4 on the season, and the Outlaws also went 2-0 on the week, improving their record to 7-3. The Outlaws strong record also qualified them into the playoff as the No. 2 seed to become champions of Stage 1 of the Overwatch League. Unfortunately, they lost to the eventual Stage 1 champions London Spitfire by a score of 3-1.

Clutch Gaming (4-4; Tied for 4th Place)

This week Clutch Gaming had their best week yet with victories over Team Solo Mid and Optic Gaming. Against TSM, Clutch Gaming fell behind very early after a disastrous level one team fight left them down 2-0 on kills and facing a huge lead for the TSM bottom lane. After that, the team played very patiently, eventually taking the lead thanks to Apollo getting steals on his Ezreal on both a dragon attempt and more importantly, on Baron. CG eventually won a late game team fight and pushed in for the win. Against Optic Gaming, CG also faced an early deficit, but with the scaling and stronger team composition, it was only a matter of time before Clutch Gaming fought back, won a series of skirmishes and a big team fight, leading to a solid team win. Overall, Clutch Gaming looked much improved this week in terms of their tenacity and team play. Hopefully this gives them some momentum moving forward as they try to climb up the standings.

Predictions (3-1)

This week Clutch Gaming takes on Flyquest on Saturday and TSM on Sunday. I predict they will defeat Flyquest, looking fairly dominant, but lose to TSM as they get revenge for the win that Clutch stole from them last week. Clutch finishes the week at 5-5 with 8 games remaining in the Spring Split regular season.

Houston Outlaws (7-3)

Second place in their Division and overall, but current third seed for end of year playoffs due to divisional structure.

The Houston Outlaws had another great week with a 3-1 victory over the London Spitfire and a hard fought 3-2 victory over the Boston Uprising. Linkzr, Coolmatt, Jake, Muma and Rawkus continue to perform very strongly as a team and have a lot of upside regarding the long term outlook of this team. After finishing Stage 1 with a 7-3 record, they earned a spot in the playoffs for the end of Stage championship. The Spitfire got their revenge in the 2nd versus 3rd semifinal match with a dominating 3-1 performance after the Outlaws won the first map. The Spitfire would then go on to reverse sweep the New York Excelsior to win Stage 1.

Predictions (4-0)

There are no Overwatch matches this week. Overwatch league will resume with Stage 2 beginning Wednesday the 21st. I’ll post predictions for their matches against the Spirfire and Uprising next week.

Bonus Coverage

There is a group of individuals that have competitive speed runs through ROMS of classic video games, often with some sort of randomization artificially added into the game. These runs include such classics as Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Megaman X and more. Check them out on their twitch channel: Speedgaming.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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