Welcome to Part 3 of our Dallas Fuel Ultimate Weekend Primer! Last time, we covered the London Spitfire, the Seoul Dynasty, and the Paris Eternal. Now, it’s time to cover the final two taking part in the Texas-based event: the Houston Outlaws and the Los Angeles Valiant. You can also catch up with the previous two primers using the links below!
Let's start off with the other Texan team that dresses in green: the Houston Outlaws. Fans from Texas will be excited to watch their matchup against the home team, the Dallas Fuel, in the Battle for Texas at the end of the weekend.
Unfortunately, the Houston Outlaws aren’t doing too well in this season of the Overwatch League. They’re stuck down at 17th place in the league standings with a match record of 3-7, which isn’t great. None of the players have particularly been showing great moments, providing only flashes of greatness throughout the season so far. Not only this, but fans are wondering why players such as Bani and ArHan haven’t played, except for the accidental substitution of Bani on Ilios during a match and the match against the Shanghai Dragons for ArHan. So far, the only teams they’ve managed to beat are the Florida Mayhem, Los Angeles Valiant and the Hangzhou Spark, of which all three teams have struggled this season.
Can the Outlaws wrangle Some Hope?
Some of their losses have been close though, taking both the Toronto Defiant and the Boston Uprising to five maps during their games. Regardless, they couldn’t muster the energy to take home the win in the end. Main tank Muma has been much quieter than he was last season, and DPS player Jake has also been absent, which is surprising since he was very much a leader for the team last year, where the Outlaws narrowly missed out on the season playoffs. If the Houston Outlaws want to be able to beat the Fuel and the Seoul Dynasty, they’ll need to stop being so stubborn with their player rotations and allow more flexibility into their roster for the games.
Los Angeles Valiant
The last of the eight teams in attendance are the Los Angeles Valiant, which has so far surprised fans in the most negative of ways. The Valiant have only beaten two teams this season, the Atlanta Reign in a five-map series, and the 19th place Washington Justice, who only have one win this season. The Valiant currently sit above the Justice in 18th place with a 2-9 match record and, considering they made it into the semi-finals of the season playoffs last year, this is a huge let down.
The California State of Mind Makes No Sense
For some reason, the Valiant decided to bench their leader, Custa, because he understood the game too well, and the other players couldn’t understand it on his level. Confusing right? Why would you bench the vocal leader of the team for the sole reason of ‘he’s too smart’? None of it makes sense. It also doesn’t make sense why you would substitute your main support for your main tank to play Lucio either, but at this rate, anything is possible with the Los Angeles Valiant. They’ve recently parted ways with their head coach, Moon, and are yet to replace him. Instead, Packing10 is taking his place as Interim Head Coach. It's most likely that the roster and staff shakeups for the team and the crushing losses haven’t been good for the players in terms of morale and producing results.
The talent is there for the Valiant though, which is possibly the most frustrating part about their situation. Custa helped lead the team into an almost perfect stage last season, and Space has become one of the better D.va’s in the league. Agilities has been known for a long time for his DPS skills, and Fate was key to helping South Korea win the Overwatch World Cup last year. With enough time and a solid understanding of what is happening, the Valiant can produce better results than they are right now, but until that changes, they better buckle up in preparation for the ultimate weekend.
Images VIA: Robert Paul & Blizzard Entertainment