Saturday’s tilt between the Vancouver Titans and the Houston Outlaws began with a 2-0 win on Busan, but not by the team you’d expect. The Titans entered the matchup with a 4-0 record on Busan, but the Outlaws used their surprise DPS to pull out one close game and one that was decidedly one-sided. Then, the Titans did what they do and shrugged the loss off to win the next 3 maps with ease.
After Busan, the Outlaws swapped their winning DPS composition in favor of the classic 3/3, but their 3/3 skills were sorely lacking compared to the best team in the league. This led to a fan outcry from Twitter and Reddit, people didn’t understand why a middling team would swap from something that works to something that clearly did not. Let’s take a second and see what the professionals had to say.
How did the Outlaws respond? Not well, to either the tweets or the change in team composition. Of the people I quoted, I think Reinforce is the most accurate. Busan is wide open for DPS heroes, but the following maps were Paris, Eichenwalde, and Rialto, which all favor 3/3. When you look at the way you attack on Paris, heavy tanks and healers are vital. Bastion based bunker teams are great time wasters here, because there’s only one route that takes you through the choke point into the action but if your goal is to win, you’ll want to play Winston GOATS. Since there’s only one way through to the objective, the Titans get to dive the Outlaws backline at the last second as they come through the choke. This way, they get to combine the best parts of 3/3 with the best parts of the defensive counter-Dive.
Above, we see Bumper launch himself into the Outlaws defenses combined with Twilight’s Nano Boost and biotic grenade. Muma launches himself right back to try to force Bumper to peel, which he does, but the Outlaws can’t follow up on Muma’s aggression because they’re attempting to recover from Twilight’s clutch play. Despite the Outlaws losing this fight, going GOATS was the correct call here. If the Outlaws opted for their triple DPS attack, there would have been no way for Muma to distract Bumper and interfere with his feasting on the Outlaws supports. Generally, 3DPS runs either Hammond or Winston as their main tank however Hammond would have been easy for the Titans to handle without Bumper. They simply use Haksal’s shield bash while the whole team focus fires the giant hamster. With Winston, Muma is also a lot easier to kill because he doesn’t have Danteh’s protective bubbles.
This approach, the Outlaws try and switch to Reinhardt to better protect their backline with shield, it doesn’t work though. Both Muma and CoolMatt aren’t paying attention and Twilight gets another huge grenade, this time on Boink’s Lucio, the Titans then spring into action and delete him. In all of Paris, these fights are the two most important. The Titans did slay the Outlaws, but it’s important to keep in mind that the way the Titans were playing would have punished 3DPS even harder than it did GOATS, with no Reinhardt shield, no defense matrix and no energy bubbles from Zarya, there would have been nothing stopping Bumper, Twilight and Haksal from dismantling the Outlaws on their own. This same style was so much harder for the Titans to replicate on Busan because of the long sightlines and platforms that overlook the objective marker, two aspects that favor DPS. In addition, the absurd damage the Outlaws were able to deal on Busan made it incredibly hard for the Titans to push forward and still have enough health once they reached the Outlaws because of their impressive Widowmaker, Soldier 76, and Torbjorn compositions.
On Eichenwalde, the Outlaws started with a Sombra/Pharah team for point 1 but the Titans were able to take it out by swinging around the back of the objective. By the time the Outlaws switched to Sombra GOATS, the Titans had already made it to the bridge, however that’s where the Outlaws 3/3 started to work for them. They held the bridge for over 3 and a half minutes and the Titans were stopped in their tracks.
The Outlaws attack was a full GOATS assault from both sides. Honestly, the Outlaws were actually pretty good on GOATS throughout both sides of Eichenwalde. They had a good chance to move the payload when Muma and Boink combined to kill Bumper but the Titans grav/bomb combo stopped them in their tracks. Following that fight, Bumper then got 5 earth shatters in a minute and forty five seconds ending the Outlaws trip to Eichenwalde on his own.
On Rialto, the Titans are just a better team, they don’t need to be better at 3/3, because the Outlaws are just bad on Rialto with a 0-3 record. This doesn’t compare too favourably to the Titans’ 4-2 record with the 1st and 2nd fastest attacks.
The Outlaws were actually pretty good outside of Paris and the cries from fans and professionals is a little over the top. While they did look really good on Busan, there was no opportunity for them to replicate that type of attack and it seems that the Outlaws are dedicated to getting good at GOATS instead of playing 3-3.
Finally, here’s one of the Outlaws’ projectile DPS players, Jake, with a pretty bad take. 3DPS isn’t a hail-mary strategy like he seems to think it is. Hopefully the rest of the Outlaws, and the rest of the pro players don’t think that anything non-GOATS is a cheese team composition as well. Yes, the Outlaws lost a fairly close match against an elite team, but if they tried to play 3DPS while the Titans did their Titan things, they would have been flattened.