The second stage of the Overwatch League has come and gone just as quickly as it arrived. Coming off of a strong showing in Stage 1, the Boston Uprising have since shown some cracks in their armor throughout Stage 2. The pressure to keep pulling off incredible wins after being the first team to win three reverse sweeps in a row caused them to falter to some of the best teams in the League. In the end, the Uprising landed at a 3-4 record, with their losses coming at the hands of the Vancouver Titans, the London Spitfire, the Hangzhou Spark and the Washington Justice. There’s good and bad to be talked about, but the Boston Uprising aren’t down for the count just yet.
The Down Side
With a strong showing in the first stage, the expectations for the Uprising were higher than before. In the first week, they showed up in a massive way, delivering two wins on reverse sweeps. However, the bad soon followed, with tough opponents showing that Boston aren’t quite immortal yet. The Vancouver Titans, the best team in the League, swiftly swept the Uprising, regardless of hard fought fights. The London Spitfire did the very same, showing signs of why they won the championship the first time around.
For the Uprising, the bad came with the loss against the Washington Justice. Already out of playoff contention, Boston managed to break the winning streak of the LA Gladiators, ruining their perfect stage with a 3-1 victory. Two days later, however, they got reverse swept by the Washington Justice, a team that’s been just barely keeping their head above water.
Though the Justice have been making moves throughout the stage to improve their roster, the last game of the stage for the Uprising was a loss that could’ve and should’ve been prevented. It shows that they have a lot to work on during their break between stages.
The Up Side
A lot of good came out of the second stage for the Uprising as well. Boston initiated what’s being heralded as one of the best trades in Overwatch League history. They traded their star D.Va player Lucas “NotE” Meissner to the Dallas Fuel. In return, the Uprising received their flex player, Richard “rCk” Kanerva. rCk is known for his flexibility in his role of off tank, and when he’s not providing top tier D.Va plays, he’s giving enemies a taste of their own medicine on Sombra. Boston has to feel good about bouncing back, and dishing out what they were being served throughout Stage 1: Sombra.
Boston also scored some impressive wins against teams that showed up during Stage 1. The Atlanta Reign, the Toronto Defiant, and the LA Gladiators all fell at the hands of Boston. In the case of the Gladiators, Boston managed to maintain their winning streak against them, ensuring that the boys in purple ended their stage with just one loss.
As GOATs has started to slowly but surely move to the back burner, Boston’s DPS superstars have finally gotten to show their stuff. Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse has set some incredible records on Widowmaker, with 42% scoped accuracy in one game alone. Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang has also finally been released from Brigitte jail. During the back half of the season, he finally flexed onto his signature hero: Doomfist. Combined with rCk’s Sombra play, those two managed to pull an excessively long stall that won them their first map against the Gladiators.
MVP of the Team
Throughout this stage, rCk has shown up time and time again on the stage. Boston’s trade for NotE had a lot of fans worried about their future performance. However, rCk has done more than enough to show that he’s ready to rise up, and fight for his chance to make Boston a playoff team once more.
With his Sombra play, the Uprising were able to dish out some just desserts. Additionally, rCk’s late stage plays on characters like Mei proved that Boston are capable of thinking outside of the box. They’re able to adapt to meta changes, and rCk plays an important part in how they form a composition.
The third stage brings a mix of games for the Uprising to tackle. Scheduling has them facing off against two teams, the Paris Eternal and the Philadelphia Fusion, twice. Their opponents grow outside of that with matches against the formidable San Francisco Shock and the London Spitfire. The rankings right now have Boston mixed in with a variety of teams for overall season playoffs. This means that every map win they can get is important going forward.
With the new mix of compositions, there’s a chance that they could score wins based on unpredictability. There’s some magical quality about the Uprising that makes them hard to bet against, as Hexagrams has said time and time again. With some of the best coaching and scouting staff in the League, it’s never quite clear what the Uprising are going to do next. This makes them excellent in the column of competitive integrity. Going forward, this is something that the League needs to thrive in.
This stage proves that anything can happen for any team. It doesn’t matter the record, and the standings don’t always matter, either. The Outlaws have a chance to make some big roster changes. The Paris Eternal have also proved that they can show up when the time calls for it. The Philadelphia Fusion show the same signs. As a team that nearly clinched the championship last year in New York City, there’s something to be said about their scrappy nature. The Uprising have a tall order to fill, but in true Boston tradition, they’ll always come back swinging.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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