Coming off of their first win in 2020, the Boston Uprising are feeling confident going into the Houston homestand. Winning a marathon of a match lifted the spirits of the Uprising at an important point in the season. They’ll need all the positive mentality they can get when they face off against the Philadelphia Fusion this weekend.
With a perfect 4-0 record coming into the bout, Philadelphia is currently the team to beat after their impressive win over New York. Their second match against Toronto was less impressive, but it showcased their ability to battle back during a long five-map match. To the surprise of almost no one, it was Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee that spearheaded Philly’s win against the Defiant. His duels against Lane “Surefour” Roberts were quite the show, with both players stepping up at crucial moments.
Showdown at Highnoon
This weekend, however, Carpe will need to face a resurgent Boston squad lead by a new fan-favorite DPS. Boston’s Tae-hee “Jerry” Min took the league by storm on Saturday, flexing his McCree skill against former Boston DPS Jeffery “blase” Tsang. In his opening performance, Jerry started rough missing multiple shots as Widowmaker on Ilios. He quickly swapped over to McCree and proceeded to prove to the viewers he was OWL ready.
As both teams head into their game Sunday, all eyes will certainly be on the dueling cowboys. The two DPS will be the backbone of this matchup, and the one who outperforms the other will decide the winner. At first glance the answer is simple – Carpe will undoubtedly outperform the rookie Uprising DPS. On further investigation, however, Jerry seems to be keeping pace with the red-hot Carpe.
Stats can be quite deceptive, as Carpe has played 4 matches to Jerry’s 1. Nonetheless, Jerry just may be the player that Boston needs to perform at his highest level to even stand a chance against Philly. As the one player who didn’t quite get tilted during their 7-map circus match, Jerry appears to be up to the challenge. For Jerry, this will be one of the biggest tests of his young OWL career.
Battle for the Backline
On the other side of the map will be the battle between the two rookie-phenoms, Boston’s Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo and Philly’s Kyungbo “Alarm” Lim. Both players have performed extremely well in their short time in OWL, but that was to be expected of these two.
In a season filled with rookies, the two are already fighting for that top healing stat. Alarm sits comfortably at 7th in OWL, while Myunb0ng sits just outside the top-10 flex supports for healing per 10 (11th). With such similar healing stats, the support who can provide the most utility will give their team the edge. Hitting Ana sleep darts and multi-man anti-nades will be what makes the difference. It may sound simple enough, but each cooldown needs to have an impact for the Uprising to stay competitive
Both teams have tank lines that need to be slowed down, and it’s up to the Ana players to control the pace of the match. Philadelphia’s tank line in particular has been one of the highlights of their 4-0 start. Su-min “SADO” Kim has been a “raid-boss” of sorts for opposing teams thanks to Alarm’s focus-fire heals. If Boston can follow up on any and all sleeps from Myunb0ng, they will find themselves on the right side of the kill feed.
What are Boston’s Win Conditions?
Enable Jerry: It is clear that Jerry has the potential to carry Boston in team fights, but the trick will be protecting him. Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway has been quite the blood-thirsty Lucio in the opening weeks of the season, and his focus will be to disrupt Jerry in any way possible. As long as Jerry doesn’t roll off the edge to his death, Boston has a shot.
Strong Mental: Although the Uprising looked dominant at the start of the game against Houston, there was a clear shift in play after Blizzard World. Several players in post-match interviews mentioned how the team lost their cool in the second half. This lead to plenty of miscommunications and misplays that allowed Houston to stay in the game. Eliminating those mental mistakes will go a long way in bringing Boston success.
Stopping Carpe: In what is probably the understatement of the year, Carpe will take control of this game. if he is left untouched. Boston will need to invest an excessive amount of resources in order to slow down Philly’s top DPS, which may hurt them in extended engagements. Boston may need to run a more aggressive style of D.Va and Lucio play than what viewers have seen so far in order to knock Carpe off of his rhythm. One thing is for sure, if Boston fails to stop Carpe, the match will be over before they know it.
The Uprising have one of the most difficult test awaiting them in Houston. The Philadelphia Fusion handed the NYXL their first loss of the season, despite being considerable underdogs. It will be nothing short of absolutely remarkable if Boston takes a few maps off the Fusion, let alone a win.
Prediction: Philly 3 – 0
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertaiment
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