Only a few weekends ago, the Boston Uprising were considered a “Contenders level” team playing in the Overwatch League. Boston had gone through a horrid 9-game losing streak, topped with back-to-back 3-0 loses to the Florida Mayhem and the Los Angeles Valiant. As the team squared up against the Gladiators, the winds began to change for the Uprising.
The same weekend Boston faced the Valiant, the Uprising had signed former Uprising Academy standout Leyton “Punk” Gilchrist. Later that same day Thomas “Brussen” Brussen announced his retirement, thrusting Punk into the starting role. Punk would be Boston’s third off-tank to start this season.
Boston faced the heavily-favored Los Angeles Gladiators for their third and final seeding match. Another 3-0 loss would certainly place Boston in dead last in the May Melee standings, forcing them into a play-in series against the 12th seed. Winning against the Gladiators seemed like an impossible task after weeks of disappointing play.
The Upset to Set Up Boston
Led by their latest addition, Punk and the Boston Uprising brought the heat from the start to the Gladiators. Boston ran head first into the Gladiators front line on Nepal, catching the west coast team off-guard. The momentum was immediately in Boston’s favor, and the Uprising took that confidence right into Hanamura. Another blistering attack from Boston, paired with an excellent defense, kept the Glads off balance. Sadly, it wasn’t quite enough, as the Uprising settled for a tie.
Close rounds on Blizzard World and Gibraltar set the Uprising back 2 maps, and found themselves in a 2-1 hole.
Boston knew, however, that they could beat the Glads on King of the Hill maps, as they started the series winning on Control. The Uprising decisively won Lijiang Tower, and found a way to earn a hard-earned victory as they took Busan 2-1. The Uprising had shocked the Overwatch League scene with an incredible 3-2 win over the Gladiators.
The May Melee Performance
After the play-in match between the Vancouver Titans and the Toronto Defiant, the higher-seeded teams selected their opening round opponents. The Paris Eternal owned the highest seed, and unsurprisingly chose the Uprising in hopes for an easier game. Paris was apparently unfazed by the Uprising’s most recent success, and elected to take on the newly energized Boston team.
Boston came out swinging once again, mimicking their aggressive strategy from their previous game. The Uprising looked strong to start, taking the first round of Lijiang. However the Paris Eternal managed to find their footing much quicker than the Gladiators, and turned the map around in their favor. King’s Row went even worse for Boston, as the Eternal took the map with ease and went up 2-0.
After halftime, the Uprising looked revitalized and undeterred by the scoreline. An impressive win on Hanamura and a nail-biter on Gibraltar brought Boston back to even the series at 2 a piece. Both casters and fans were stunned at the remarkable rebound from the Uprising. Viewers could not believe the team that had set a record for the quickest loss this season, was about to reverse sweep the 5th seed.
The dream was short lived however, as Boston ran out of gas at the finish line. Although the team did have a few plays to add to their highlight reel, the Uprising fell to the Eternal 3-2.
The Turning Point for Boston
While the Uprising’s May Melee run was cut short in the first round, their match serves as a massive indicator for positive change. In particular, Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo truly excelled in the past two matches. He singlehandedly won several team fights with perfectly placed Biotic Grenades. Accompanied by the ever improving Kobe “Halo” Hamand, the Boston support line is looking vastly improved from only just a few weeks ago.
The team’s secret has been their new-found confidence in each other. Punk’s entry into the team has appeared to spark a sense of hope into the roster, and the players have thrived off of their rekindled motivation. When the team comes back on June 13, the Uprising are hopeful they can turn this season around. The once laughable Boston team proved they can compete once again.
Featured image courtesy of the Boston Uprising.
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