Los Angeles Valiant clinch the OWL Pacific division with a win over Houston Outlaws
Los Angeles Valiant clinched the Pacific division title in the Overwatch League on Saturday, taking down Houston Outlaws in four straight maps. The series was closer than the scoreline looks, but that's little consolation for Outlaws, who now need a miracle in the final week to reach the playoffs.
Valiant already had a playoff position locked up thanks to their now second-best 26-12 record on the OWL season, but the Los Angeles Gladiators still had a chance to supplant them at the top of Pacific division until tonight's win. Taking the division title is important for Valiant since they'll now receive a coveted playoff bye, placing them in the playoff semifinals and guaranteeing them a six-figure prize purse.
Outlaws also had their playoff hopes on the line. They needed a win to stay in striking distance of Philadelphia Fusion, Los Angeles Gladiators, and London Spitfire, but now they fall to 21-17 on the season, two games behind their competitors. They'll need to win out next week—a tough task with the league's top team, New York Excelsior, on the schedule—and get some help from other teams in the league to survive the regular season.
The Outlaws loss was also a boon for Boston Uprising, who clinched a playoff spot now that Outlaws can't overtake their 24-14 record.
Outlaws did make Valiant dig deep to pull out the win, though. Houston looked like they had both Blizzard World and Oasis in hand until Valiant pulled off some incredibly clutch fight wins in overtime to steal the two maps. Those clutch overtime victories have been Valiant's trademark throughout the season, so it's only fitting to see them produce similar plays in the match that won them their division.