At the #16 spot on our list is once again a team who played during OWL Season 1: Houston Outlaws. Despite mixed results in the inaugural season, the team is back for Season 2 with little to no change in its lineup: Danteh is the only addition to the now close-knit team. Let’s take a more in-depth look to the strengths and weaknesses of Houston Outlaws before their first match against Toronto Defiant on February 15th.
The main strength of Houston Outlaws is the cohesion of its team. During Season 1, the players showed a great ability to communicate and play as a cohesive group, which may be a real benefit in this Season 2 where most teams are new or underwent massive changes in their roster.
The team did not change much between Season 1 and Season 2. Mendokusaii and Clockwork left the main stage to join Houston Outlaws’ staff, and Danteh, from San Francisco Shock, joins the rank as a DPS player. His expertise on Tracer and Sombra will complement LiNkzer and JAKE, who pop off respectively on Widowmaker and Junkrat. Houston Outlaws can also count on ArHaN as a DPS player, even though he barely played in Season 1 and did not yet seem to compete against the level of expertise of LiNkzer and JAKE. The main weakness of Houston Outlaws in the Inaugural Season was their lack of Tracer when the meta was apparently in her favor. With Danteh joining to fill this role, the DPS hero pool should be more flexible, allowing the team to adjust to more situation to overcome their opponents.
The tank line of Houston Outlaws remains the same as for Season 1, with SPREE, coolmatt, and Muma. The three players have different hero pools, allowing them to adapt to almost any situation while remaining consistent. SPREE is one of the best Zarya players from the League and should be able to have lots of play time considering that Zarya is a must-pick in most team compositions. Muma shall also be present on most games, as the main tank of the Houston Outlaws. Last but not least, coolmatt is an excellent addition to this tank line, as the American player is more flexible in his hero pool, and made some great D.Va plays for Team USA during the World Cup.
To keep this whole team alive and kicking, Boink, Bani, and Rawkus form the support lineup.
Boink and Bani both play Lucio and Mercy, while Rawkus specializes in Zenyatta and Ana. Their experience from OWL Season 1 should help them create good healing combos, even though their performance is yet to be tested against the new lineups of this upcoming Season.
While Houston Outlaws benefits from a good experience of the League and great team cohesion, the various changes in the other teams and overall improvements of lineups might be a challenge for them. They can provide great performances if the meta is in their favor, but they have yet to prove themselves when it comes to a more flexible hero pool to counter their opponents’ team composition