Overwatch League Round-up: Boston lose momentum, Houston finally pick up much needed wins
The Overwatch League’s mid table has begun to shake out indefinitely and the passing of the GOATS meta has been indicative of some major changes for teams that weren’t too fond of the meta. Over the course of Stage Three, teams like Boston Uprising and Atlanta Reign have seemingly lost the plot as they’ve been unable to secure wins so far. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hangzhou Spark, Houston Outlaws and Los Angeles Valiant have all resurged to prominence after stringing together some much needed wins to improve their chances at Stage Playoffs. With the final weeks of Stage Three among us, the top eight have finally started to branch out in an effort to secure their spot, but can they actually manage to upset the top four squads when it matters most?
Avoiding the drop
After a string of disappointing results last week, Boston Uprising’s Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth was visibly upset after the game and the frustration was palpable for the team. Boston Uprising have made history time and time again by being one of the better functioning rosters with less of a budget, but their form in Stage Three has been completely alien to anything their team has tried to develop thus far. The teamwork and synergy that saw Boston cruise to Stage Playoffs before has been sidetracked with continuous mistakes and miscommunications that have cost them precious matches this stage. While they still remain competitive in some games, its obvious that the secret formula for Boston has been altered and they will be in panic mode during Stage Four if their results don’t turn around soon.
Atlanta Reign has also suffered from a similar run of form. Although Atlanta’s problems are much easier to diagnose than Boston’s, the blueprint for bringing this team back to life is yet to be determined as Atlanta Reign are simply missing impact players that can bring them back to prominence. The addition of babybay still needs time to gel before Atlanta Reign get firing on all cylinders, and they will need to come back in a major way if they hope to make the Grand Playoffs at the end of regular season play.
Changing the narrative
Houston Outlaws were one of the biggest teams to not live up to expectations after their steady rise to playoff stardom at the end of last year. The first half of 2019 was abysmal for their confidence, but in Stage Three, the Outlaws finally have some semblance of consistency and they are starting to rack up wins with authority because of it. After continuous role swaps and spending a lot of time figuring out the right mix of players, it seems like Houston may have finally found their stride right as other teams have seemingly taken their foot off the gas.
Is this effort enough to bring them all the way back from the dead? Time will tell. But for now, we can rejoice in the fact that Texas has not one, but two teams that are willing to leave it all on the line. The teamwork atmosphere at Houston has undoubtedly improved and there is a good chance they can finally develop some coherence within the league standings if they continue down this road.