What a wild season it has been for the Boston Uprising.
The team experienced the highs of taunting a loud New York crowd and winning a seven map series, as well as the lows of losing half of the roster to retirement and missing out on back to back tournaments. The constantly changing meta hurt the Uprising overall, and it was obvious they couldn’t quite keep up with the rest of the field. Fans watched the team stumble and fall over the second half of the season. In the regular season, Boston placed dead-last in the standings with a horrible 2-19 record.
Luckily for Boston, none of that matters when it comes to the postseason. Everything is reset once September 3 comes around. There is a sort of magic in the air when the playoffs begin. There’s a sense that anything can happen. With a team like the Uprising, they just may need a bit of extra magic to make a deep run into the bracket.
Houston Outlaws (10th Seed)
The Houston Outlaws may have finished the season 6-15, but they are a team that can compete when things come together. Their deep bench of damage dealers is going to be vital for their success in the unknown playoff environment. There are no hero bans for the entire Grand Final playoffs, meaning each one of their players can provide a bit of an edge in their specialty.
Specifically, all eyes will be on the veteran DPS duo of Dante “Danteh” Cruz and Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin. Danteh’s expertise with Sombra and Tracer will be put to the test in the first round of the playoffs. On the flip side, LiNkzr will need to solve his consistency issues heading into the postseason. If these two cannot play up to their level, even a team like Boston could steal winnable maps.
A dark horse carry for the Houston Outlaws in the upcoming series is none other than the third DPS Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang. In an odd meta, main tanks are incredibly unfavored in the majority of maps. Roadhog and Zarya have been dominating ladder, and blasé has been putting in the work on the ladder as an off-tank. For double off-tank maps, don’t be surprised to see blasé on the Roadhog and Tae-hong “MekO” Kim on the Zarya.
A New Meta, Means a New Boston
If there is one thing Boston can do, it is surprise everyone in the audience with a sudden roster change. Towards the end of the season, the Uprising signed a young Wrecking Ball specialist in Mike “mikeyy” Konicki. He played one map against the Philadelphia Fusion and was sent back to the end of the bench, waiting for a meta where he can excel. In a chaotic shield-less environment, it may just be time for the Uprising to unleash their rookie main-tank.
At the other end of the roster, it is up to the Boston support line to truly shine. Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo has been the ultimate bright spot for the Uprising all season long. He will need to once more excel in order to give Boston a fighting chance, even against the 10th seed. The most important facet of Boston’s gameplan will be Kobe “Halo” Hammond’s ability to keep up with Myunb0ng’s performance. Since joining the team, Halo has been serviceable but not outstanding. In the playoffs, his play needs to ascend to the next level for Boston to win.
The damage dealers for Boston have typically been solid throughout the year, but the last month of play has been especially rough for Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse. When the Genji meta came to OWL, Boston fans were excited to see Colourhex on a hero that he loves after playing so much Mei. Frankly, he disappointed and did not show that Overwatch League-level Genji that the Uprising really needed. His Echo play was great and he shockingly performed well on Tracer. The Uprising need Colourhex to be that veteran presence for the rookies on the team.
The Defining Moment for the Coaching Staff
In a year filled with roster moves, the head coaching position is one spot Boston did not change. Head coach Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis is one of the pieces of the Boston Uprising team that is most under fire for the rough season. Boston’s strategies have been questionable at times, and on several occasions, Boston failed to properly read the meta. These issues stem directly from the coaching staff. There is no time left for excuses – it is all on Mineral for Boston to look competitive come Thursday.
The Uprising can beat the Outlaws, but they need to play cleaner than they have this entire season. In a do-or-die match, everything has to click for the Uprising. If they fire on all cylinders, viewers may just see a return of the promising Uprising from a few months ago.
Featured image courtesy of the Boston Uprising
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