Pelican: 'I honestly think we are going to bully the Spark. It’s going to be very one-sided'
It’s the last day of Overwatch League season 6, and, the Houston Outlaws are still here, fighting for the trophy.
Winning, what might have been the last Battle for Texas against the Dallas Fuel has given them confidence and coming from the lower bracket, it arguably has also given them an easier time during the semi-finals, facing the Hangzhou Spark on even grounds.
During the post-match conference after their victory against the Fuel, Oh "Pelican" Se-hyun and Kim "Shu" Jin-seo showed themselves confident of the task ahead of them.
“I honestly think we are just going to bully them. It’s going to be very one-sided,” Pelican predicted for their match against the Spark, citing playstyle similarities.
Winning the Battle of Texas
Due to the uncertain nature of the future of the Overwatch League, the competition has taken on the character of a league-wide Battle Royale, with every team dropping out potentially being shadowrealmed forever.
This put this particular Battle for Texas in a different light. The Fuel had mixed results during the season but as the meta gave them a break, and their star player Choi "Hanbin" Han-been got on heroes with which he had more impact on the outcome of the game, the team’s results recovered.
The APAC region had been deemed inferior to the North American region all season, however, Hangzhou Spark’s run on the other side of the bracket posed serious question marks to that assumption, at least in this meta.
Unfortunately for the Fuel, the team would be outclassed by the Outlaws, showing few glimmers of hope such as on the new push map Esperança.
During one particular play, Flex DPS player Pelican got too cocky as a team fight come down to the wire and he found himself in a 2v1 situation against Hanbin, who promptly exploited the Outlaws’ overconfidence.
“To be honest, I thought I would win but after I died, I realised I should’ve just gone to point,” Pelican said under the judging side eye of teammate Shu.
Other than Genji, Pelican remained on Echo for a sizeable portion of the match. One peculiar decision was his use of the ultimate Duplicate, during which he consistently chose Hanbin’s Junker Queen and often got instantly blasted out of.
“Out of all the characters I can copy, it really feels like Queen is the best target. She at least has the most HP and she still can create space for my team. It’s a pretty good copy,” argued Pelican.
Firm handshakes to the Spark
During both matches against the Boston Uprising and the Atlanta Reign, the Outlaws’ semi-final opponent Hangzhou Spark appeared perfectly happy to handshake into a classic dive mirror around Winston, a composition that has been played for the majority of the season but had become less popular after the playoff patch introduced meta changes.
When asked whether or not Houston would be willing to engage in a similar trade agreement with the Spark offering dive, a burden seemed to drop from Shu’s expression stating that he was very much relieved that the Spark were likely to meet them on the known meta archetype.
For the playoffs, the Outlaws had brought in offtank specialist Shin "BERNAR" Se-won who had previously played for the Spark during the fifth season.
“Since BERNAR is Korean and around the same age, everyone is able to become good friends really quick. When it comes to synergy, it was pretty seamless,” Shu explained about the introduction of the new signing.
With the changes in Overwatch 2 from 6v6 to 5v5 which dropped one of the tanks from the starting roster, the lines between a main and offtank player have still not fully closed with many tanks showing clear tendencies towards heroes from their old pool.
For Houston, BERNAR is tasked to take over offtank heroes like Zarya and Sigma, while Lee "Fearless" Eui-Seok takes on main tank duties such as Winston and Reinhardt but also Doomfist.
For the other remaining teams such as Uprising’s Yoo "smurf" Myeong-hwan and Mayhem’s Ham "SOMEONE" Jeong-wan this is less so the case, with both players having extended their hero pools to encompass almost the entire tank pool.
A substitution of either tank therefore telegraphs the compositions the Outlaws are going to play during a map while also limiting the options to switch to a different meta archetype. Pelican showed himself unconcerned about these circumstances, “I don’t necessarily think it is a disadvantage.”
The Overwatch League season 6 is set to conclude today with all four remaining matches being played during Championship Sunday, starting with both semi-final matches between the Spark and Outlaws as well as the Mayhem and the Uprising, followed by the third-place match, and finally, what might be the last ever Overwatch League Grand Finals.