Stage 1 has finally come to an exciting conclusion. Throughout the entirety of the first stage of the Overwatch League, the Boston Uprising have been fighting against negative comments and bottom tier predictions. The very same happened last year, where many casters put them at the bottom of the pack. And, just like last year, the Uprising have come out swinging. With an even 4-4 record (including their playoff loss), Boston has once again proved the League wrong, and showcased immense talent and promise by sneaking into the playoffs. Though they didn’t progress beyond their first game, they’ve shown they aren’t to be underestimated.
The Down Side
The Uprising faced a handful of negatives this stage, but none hit quite as hard as the game against Shanghai. In a misunderstanding with League rules, the team was not allowed to play their new star main tank, Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth. Because of this, Park “Axxiom” Min-seob was put on the spot, as well as the team as a whole. The boys struggled throughout the entire series, only getting away with one map win. In the end, the entire experience made them ensure that Fusions was on a full time OWL contract. This game, for many reasons, showed their weakness of being unable to adapt on the spot. They’re still top tier players, but their performance was scattered and unsure. Going forward, having a back-up plan for emergencies would benefit them strongly.
In addition to last minute scrambles, the Uprising also found themselves falling at the hands of one hero: Sombra. Though GOATs reigned supreme, Sombra-GOATs was a composition that saw a fair amount of playtime as well. With Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse benched for the first two games, the option of playing Sombra themselves was out of the question. Teams like Shanghai, Seoul, and Dallas all leaned into Boston’s weakness to try and take them down. In Shanghai’s case, it earned them a win. By the end of the season, they seemed to have a better handle on countering the hero. However, going forward, the Uprising cannot allow one hero to roll their team synergy.
The Up Side
The positives outweigh the negatives, however. The Uprising have plenty to be proud of when it comes to their debut. Presenting an all new roster meant that the Uprising had something to fight for. In addition to gaining some much needed damage players to the team in new additions Colourhex and Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang, the Uprising have found a superstar. Main tank and team captain Fusions has proven to be pivotal to their overall success. His shot calling is game changing, and has earned them wins when they were absolutely crucial. A map five victory over Seoul, and a reverse sweep of the Dallas Fuel earned them their place in the playoffs.
In fact, though the game was lost, the Uprising came out swinging from day one. Going against the formidable NYXL, they managed to stand up to the best of the best. Forcing one map to a draw, and earning a map win of their own with a full hold on Numbani, the Uprising weren’t messing around. They’ve shown their consistency in their play style, even if they don’t always come out on top. In stage two, the trend can only climb upwards. Everyone has seen a sneak peak of Colourhex’s Widowmaker play style during the last few games of the stage. With DPS entering the meta once again, it’s safe to say that fans will really get to see what the Uprising have up their sleeves.
MVP of the Team
Without a doubt, the MVP of the team has to be Fusions. Just days before the start of Stage 1, the Uprising announced the departure of main tank Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh. With the team under even more speculation from analysts and competition, Fusions had a big responsibility on his shoulders.
From the beginning, Fusions took on the role of shot caller. Though his voice might get hoarse from time to time, his knowledge of the game gives the Uprising a tactical advantage. Additionally, his positive energy and personality keep them from falling into a state of sadness when things don’t go their way. He’s their leader, and he does it immensely well.
Looking towards Stage 2, there’s hopes of leaving the GOATs dominant meta in the past. This means players like blasé and Colourhex could start playing into their preferred hero pool. Both are projectile specialists, with Colourhex also holding down the necessary Sombra play. Widowmaker is also his specialty, so a sniper favored meta could prove successful. On the other end, bunker compositions are already taking flight. This could give benefit to blasé and his niche picks, like Doomfist and Junkrat.
In terms of their second stage schedule, the Uprising have it rough. Immediately, they face a challenge in fan favorite, the Atlanta Reign. A day later, they get a rematch against a team that nearly swept them the first time, the Toronto Defiant. This week will put the Uprising through some good fights, and some valuable learning lessons in and out of game. Going against tough opponents only allows them to get stronger, and though it’s unsure if they can come out on top against either of these teams, it’s a great chance for them to put up a good fight.
The rest of the stage is a little rough as well. Facing teams like the Hangzhou Spark, the London Spitfire, and the LA Gladiators means the Uprising have to be on the very top of their game. Another rematch against the victors of stage one, the Vancouver Titans, will also give them another chance to make an impact.
In order to make playoffs once more, the Uprising will need victories in little places. Map wins make all the difference in the end. Since they often push series into a map five, the Uprising have a good chance of landing in the middle of the pack, just like before. With hard work and persistence, there’s an even better chance that they can improve, and climb through the ranks.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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