Since it started four weeks ago, Stage 3 of the Overwatch League has been a rollercoaster of surprises. One standout moment was when the Los Angeles Valiant finally gave the Vancouver Titans their first loss of the entire season. Formerly 0-7 in Stage 2, the Valiant have been on an upward rise to recovery from their prior poor performance. Also shocking fans are the Houston Outlaws who, like the Valiant, also sat at 0-7 in the second stage. Their rise to the top in Stage 3 has been a slow yet rewarding one.
Road to the playoffs
The Outlaws began their third stage by facing off against the New York Excelsior, who have played consistently well. When they fought against the Outlaws, casters predicted them to take the match due to the opposing team’s previous record. However, the team in green came out with a vengeance and took the formidable NYXL to all five maps. While it was a close one, NYXL still took the win with the final score of 3-2.
Despite the loss, the Outlaws showed obvious signs of improvement. In week two, they played against the San Francisco Shock. The latter were predicted to win not only because of the Outlaws’ previous record but also because they were the reigning champions from Stage 2. The two teams clashed and fought hard. Once again, it went to all five maps. In the end, though, the Outlaws claimed this victory and celebrated the big win with hugs on stage.
The next match was against the Boston Uprising, which was a convincing and clean 4-0 win. After that, the Outlaws played Paris Eternal. They won the match 3-1 before facing the Florida Mayhem, who, in a surprising turn of events, defeated the Outlaws with a score of 3-1.
The final match would be against the Toronto Defiant, who are currently 0-6 in this stage. Luckily, the Outlaws were successful after a hard-fought match and the previously 0-7 team are now in the playoffs. There they face off against the likes of some Overwatch League giants such as NYXL and the Vancouver Titans once again.
Houston moving forward
Will the Houston Outlaws be able to keep their streak going? Or will the pressure of the playoffs get in their heads? Stage 3 playoffs will begin on July 11. There, the stage’s top eight teams will go head-to-head for the title of champion and a piece of the $500,000 prize pool. Matches and times will be announced at a later date on the league’s social media and official website.