It just may be the perfect time to be a fan of the Boston Uprising. It’s the time of year where everyone is eagerly anticipating the start of the Overwatch League season. Now is the time for power rankings and overreactions over rumors. Really it’s the only time fans of Boston can hype each other up for another tumultuous year professional Overwatch. After a prolonged offseason, the Overwatch League is just around the corner, which means Uprising fans can only pretend like anything’s possible for a little longer.
To help set the scene for those who haven’t gone through this process, Uprising fans often get excited before each year regardless of their roster. In 2019 everyone had confidence in the org after their surprising success in the Inaugural season. In 2020 passionate fans were cautiously optimistic to see both NA and Korean contenders players join the roster. And for 2021, the hype-train is back in the station as rumors are spreading about Boston’s success in scrims.
Except this year really is a bit different. After battling through adversity last year, everything is starting to look on the upswing. A brand new coach with exciting talent can turn a franchise around in an instant. Boston doesn’t look like a 20th place team. In fact, the Boston Uprising are poised for a bounce back season.
2020 Season Recap
What else is there to say about the 2020 Boston Uprising? Frankly they were the worst team in the league and it wasn’t particularly close. The roster was rebuilt several times through the season thanks to a variety of different circumstances. The coaching staff was never really complete with Ascoft stuck in France and Ilka leaving after two months into the season. Worst of all, the rest of the league appeared to level up through the year while Boston failed to really ever get off of the ground. Boston did have a few good moments in the season, but overall the regular season could only be described as “tragic”.
Luckily the Uprising were given a new lease on life as the regular season came to a close. An announcement came from the Overwatch League that each team would get a shot at the year-end playoff bracket. One last chance for the Uprising to get a much needed win.
Sure enough, the Boston Uprising upset the Houston Outlaws in the first game of the single-elimination bracket. For many OWL fans it was a fun moment to poke fun at the Outlaws for being the only team to lose twice to the Uprising. But for Uprising fans, that win truly meant the world. It provided a bit of hope and excitement for the Boston fan base. It made fans believe in a potential cinderella story.
The miracle run was cut short however, as Boston fell to Atlanta in the following match. Even with the loss, Boston fans felt a renewed sense of pride as they saw their team refuse to roll over and quit when they could have easily ended the season in the first round of the playoffs. With 2021 in their sights, the Uprising are looking to maintain their momentum after their success in the SteelSeries tournament and the Experimental Flash Ops.
- Main Tank: Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth
- Off Tank: Leyton “Punk” Gilchrist
- DPS: Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse
- Support: Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo
- Assistant Coach: Valentin “Ascoft” Wulfman
Very early in the offseason, the Boston Uprising announced their plans to keep on the core of the team after 2020. The most notable name missing from the announcement was surprise-star DPS Tae-hee “Jerry” Min. Jerry became a league-wide sensation after his debut against the Outlaws in week 2 thanks to some impressive albeit unconventional game play. Once the season ended, people were sure that Jerry would be the one that would stay and Myunb0ng would be the one to seek a new team. But surely enough, Jerry heads into the 2021 season with the Washington Justice.
The decision to keep most of the 2-19 roster certainly elicited confusion from the OWL fan base. How does a team with such little success decide to hang on to the same players that failed to win? The answer was simple – the players are driven to prove everyone wrong. Myunb0ng was actually given the chance to leave, but he wanted to stay to bring Boston success.
With only four returning players, the Uprising needed to bring in new players to fill in the gaps. This season especially, audiences should be excited to watch the new-look Uprising in 2021.
- Main Tank: Ji-won “Stand1” Seo
- DPS: Byeong-ju “Valentine” Kim
- DPS: Jin-ui “im37” Hong
- Support: Hong-gyu “Faith” Kim
- Head Coach: Seung-hyun “Lori” Kim
- Assistant Coach: Dennis “Barroi” Matz
It’s time to break down why the Boston Uprising are so optimistic this year. The combination of the WGS core and Stand1 have everyone realizing that this isn’t the same Uprising from the past few years. Long gone are the days of grabbing unknown talent. The diamond-in-the-rough mentality is history. Boston is going all in on players and coaches with winning backgrounds. Even assistant coach Barroi has had a bit of history battling through roster changes and still finding some success. The new additions are a clear indication that Boston won’t be the same bottom-feeder team of yesteryear.
Already the changes seem to be producing some noticeable differences for the team. In their preseason showcases, the Uprising have shocked viewers with their ability to actually win games. They placed second in the SteelSeries Invitational to a very strong Los Angeles Gladiators team, and even won the Experimental Flash Ops tournament. Sure most other teams took the Experimental tournament as a time to goof around, it is still a net positive for the Uprising to see the team get reps in as a unit before the season starts.
Players to Watch
The one name fans need to get used to hearing is Valentine. Boston’s latest rookie flex DPS was an absolute star for WGS in Korean Contenders. His proficiency on characters like Genji and Echo caught the eye of Overwatch League scouts, but it was his ability to perform against the toughest competition that proved to be his best selling point. With WGS, Valentine and company notched a Season 2 Contenders first place finish. Valentine is already turning heads thanks to the various preseason matches Boston has played and it won’t be long before he shows off his mechanical skill in the regular season.
While Valentine may be hogging the spotlight from the DPS line, another name to look out for will be Stand1. The former Shanghai Dragons main tank is taking on a massive challenge by joining the Uprising. Stand1 was solid last year for Shanghai, but eventually was benched by Fearless towards the end of the season. In his second season in the league, Stand1 is in the driver’s seat for the Uprising main tank spot. If Stand1 can carry over the winning ways from his time with the Dragons, it will go a long way to helping Boston take this season to the next leve.
The Uprising 2021 Schedule
The new Overwatch League schedule should be a bit familiar for those who have been watching since season 1. After last year’s experimental monthly tournaments, the League has agreed to bring them back for another go. Teams have four games to qualify for the monthly brackets, which will occur at the end of May, June, July, and August. At the end of the season each team will play 16 regular season matches before heading into the year-end playoff bracket. The full season schedule for the Boston Uprising can be found here.
Most Anticipated Games of the Season
Dallas Fuel, April 25
The opening weekend for the Uprising will be one of the most exciting moments this season. After all the news and highlights in the offseason Boston will have a chance to prove that all the hype is justified. To kick off the year, they face another highly touted team with their own exciting offseason – the Dallas Fuel.
Both teams head into this game with high expectations. The new version of the Dallas Fuel are aiming to be one of the top teams in the entire league thanks to their complete overhaul of the roster. Although it looks like Boston is unfazed by the new look Fuel, as Ascoft had mentioned in an earlier AMA that he was looking forward to upsetting Dallas in their first match. This match should serve as a great litmus test for these teams to see how they will fair later in the season.
Join us Saturday at 8PM for a jam-packed stream like we've never hosted before! @Ascoft_OW, @Mineral_OW & @punkinoz will break down our #OWL2021 schedule, analyze our opponents and take your questions.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) February 17, 2021
Washington Justice, May 23
The Washington Justice are another team that has done an incredible job of rebuilding the roster after a wild 2020 season. Adding all-star talent in Decay, Fury, and Mag has put the Justice in the top half of plenty of early power rankings. But what makes this a fun matchup to watch is the matchup between new Boston hitscan IM37 and former Boston hitscan Jerry. Typically fans will see Decay on the hitscan position for Washington, there is always the potential for a double hitscan meta. If that’s the case, Jerry will surely aim to make his former team regret their decision to let him go.
Keys to a Successful Season
For the Boston Uprising, the goals are simple for the 2021 season. First and foremost is to finish with a better record than last year. It’s an obvious goal, but it is incredibly important for this organization to succeed after a horrific 2020 season. According to their President of Gaming Chris “Huk” Loranger, the Uprising are aiming to finish above .500 at the very minimum. With a 16 game season, 8-8 seems like a good benchmark for a team looking to redefine themselves.
In an optimistic light, the Uprising are looking to make some noise in the monthly tournaments. A successful season for Boston would mean they make it to at least two of the tournaments through the season. Maybe if the meta is right, the Uprising could even make a bid for a finals appearance. Though as it stands, Boston will need to continually showcase high-level play to compete with an ever improving NA region.
Featured image courtesy of Boston Uprising
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