This week in Houston eSports: Updates on Clutch Gaming and the Outlaws
While Overwatch League was on a break between stages, Clutch Gaming took an enormous step forward with another 2-0 week including a dominant performance against reigning NALCS champions Team Solo Mid. The Outlaws signed tank player FCTFCTN (Russell Campbell) and now boast having most of the players that represented America in the Overwatch World Cup on their roster.
Clutch Gaming (6-4; Tied for 3rd Place)
This week Clutch Gaming continued to improve with strong performances against both Flyquest and TSM. In their game against Flyquest, the game was very even for around the first 20 minutes before a strong team fight victory led to an advantage for CG that they snowballed into a victory with a 10-2 kill advantage and only losing two towers the entire match. Sunday’s victory over TSM was even more impressive when Clutch won a team fight around 15 minutes and used that lead to methodically control the map and easily win the game, ultimately giving up only one kill and losing just one tower. The wins propelled Clutch Gaming into a tie with Liquid for 3rd Place. CG looks like a solid playoff contender and the team continues to outperform their preseason expectations, especially Solo in the top lane. Febiven continues to perform at an elite level against the stronger mid lane matchups in the NALCS versus the players he opposed in Europe.
This week Clutch takes on Counter Logic Gaming and Cloud 9. Clutch should be able to defeat CLG, who are on a four game losing streak. Cloud 9 will be a much tougher team to beat, and Clutch are predicted to be defeated by the current second place team, leaving their record at a respectable 7-5 with six games remaining in the Spring Split.
Houston Outlaws (7-3) Second Place
The Outlaws big news this week was adding depth at the tank position, and now eleven of their twelve roster slots are filled. The Outlaws enter Stage Two with high expectations of remaining not just near the top, but taking over the top spot, buoyed by their +17 plus/minus when factoring in individual maps won within matches. The other important piece of information is that Stage two will be played on a new patch and the “Mercy Meta” where Mercy was basically required as one of the support players at all times is now over after significant nerfs to the hero. It will be interesting to see how the support meta evolves and if this has any impact on other aspects of team composition.
This week the Outlaws face rematches from their week 5 schedule. They begin with the first match of the day on Thursday against the London Spitfire who they have now played against for two of their last three matches. (1-1) The Outlaws have a great shot at getting their revenge so I’m going to predict a very closely fought 3-2 victory. Their second game of the week is against the Boston Mayhem around 5 PM on Saturday. After winning an incredibly close five game series two weeks ago, the Outlaws will have a more convincing 3-1 victory over a very talented Mayhem lineup. The 2-0 week leaves the Outlaws at 9-3 overall and a +20 map score.