Houston ignoring 2-2-2 lock in off-season

Houston Outlaws with the moves! They signed yet a new player. So far, they are leaving behind one player in Arhan and two coaches in Tairong and HyunWoo, then adding coach Harsha and damage players Hydration and Blasé. Yup, that’s right, more damage players and no work on their tank and support lines…. What are they thinking?!

Flame is the GM of the Houston Outlaws. This is what he had to say after the announcement.

Well let’s chill out here and try thinking about how these good these moves are. Let’s look at a few reasons why adding more DPS players now is good for the Outlaws and why this might be the 200 IQ play that they need.

Well the Shock Did It

Last season, the Shock had 5 dps to start the season. It ended up giving them more options. They realized that some of their roster wasn’t needed as sleepy and babybay went to the Reign and Justice respectively.  

If Houston aren’t utilizing extra damage players, they could trade said players to acquire players in a mid-season adjustment. (Remember the Tracer issue? Yeah, let’s avoid a repeat of that.)

What About the Role Lock and the Tank Line

Yes, there is a locked 2-2-2 system now, but there is no rule prohibiting a damage player to take on the tank role in a match. In fact, Hydration is one of the few people that have done this. Remember how a bunch of DPS players were playing tank roles during the GOATS meta? Tanks can do a lot of damage and many of them take precise skill like the damage heroes.

In a meta where Roadhog is in the meta, it might be worth it to have one of the projectile DPS players you have go on the tank role. We even saw Jake play Orisa in the Overwatch League successfully against the Defiant. He was also one of the first to use Orisa in pro play during his time on LG Evil when quad tank was very popular. So, there is evidence that damage players can play tank roles effectively.

Also, Muma is under contract and rightfully so. He is one of the best main tanks in NA and he should stay. Spree and Coolmatt are also under contract. They kind of have to keep them and it’s not like they’re useless. If they know they won’t be swapping heroes much on a map and Zarya is in the meta, there is no reason to not consider Spree. Out of all their damage players and tank players, I’m sure they can find one person to fit the 2nd tank spot next to Muma.

You Can’t Teach Skill

What separates great main tank players from others is their quick decision making. Playing tank is like playing a game of chess. While this is important for any player to have, damage players can get by often with just raw instinctual skill. Now this next part is debatable, but it is easier to teach decision making, position, etc. than how to snappily, flick-shot, headshot heads while falling on 1hp. Plus, many of the tank heroes play more like damage heroes anyway.

Remember the Orisa-hog meta? Well, the Outlaws struggled with a hog player. Their DPS were already playing DPS heroes. They were putting in their tank players to play hog. This didn’t work out. If they had someone else with a DPS background and projectile experience, that would have been ideal. Now they have that.

What About Their Support Line and NeptuNo?

Okay so people are freaking out because the Outlaws re-signed Boink and neptuNo was recently announced as a free agent. First, this decision could have been made before they knew about the neptuNo situation. Boink’s re-signing announcement came a couple days before Neptuno’s free agent announcement.

Second, Bani isn’t confirmed to come back. Only god knows why they didn’t utilize Bani (intentionally) this season. He has appeared in promotions for the Outlaws’ Youtube channel. So, it is safe to say, he is in good standing with them. Rawkus is still under contract. Which means if they want 3 supports, they still have time to sign neptuNo and if they keep Bani instead it’s actually not that bad. He’s been on the Canadian World cup team for the last two years for a reason. Just don’t get your hopes up about neptuNo.

If Lucio isn’t meta, Bani and Rawkus don’t make a bad support duo. NeptuNo would be good because he adds more flexibility. He can perform at a high level on any of the signature heroes of the other three. The reason most people are surprised is because Boink has been used as a one-trick. If you are going to play Lucio with neptuno in the lineup, you can just use neptuNo for more flexibility.

So, with this logic, why would they keep Boink? If one of the others are unable to play for whatever reason, you need someone to fill in. Bani might have refused to sign because he wasn’t a team-option, he was a free agent. They may have had to nail a top Lucio down just to make sure they had one. Even if he is a one-trick, you saw how essential Lucio was this entire season.

What About Hitscan

One thing some people are saying is that there are too many projectile heroes. There aren’t too many projectile players when you have Linkzr already and you are locked to 2 DPS. If he is the lineup, he takes up half of your damage picks in the 2-2-2 lock. Danteh and Jake already cover a good amount of the other hitscan heroes. If you want another hitscan, the rest of the current damage core can cover just about anything. Maybe if a Widow-Ashe meta becomes dominant, then there might be some concerns.

Damage is more clutch. You want to have more flexibility in a damage line because damage heroes can have those carry moments where they can single-handedly win their team the map. Just watch this video of carpe, especially the first clip where he single-handedly won his team the team-fight and thus the map.

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