For Boston fans, it felt like it was only a matter of time. Just when the fanbase could rally behind a fun, talented rookie, the team makes a call to let them walk. The Uprising are now without a hit-scan player, and followers of the team are understandably upset.
Early on Thursday, November 5, the Boston Uprising announced the release of rookie hit-scan Tae-hee “Jerry” Min.
Jerry was, by far, one of the most exciting playmakers on the Uprising in 2020, right alongside Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo. The rookie made a name for himself through pop-off plays and a big personality outside of Overwatch. These qualities typically combine to create an excellent franchise player. In a young league, why not hold on to a fan-favorite player that can also improve with a new coach? That is the question Boston Uprising fans are trying to figure out.
Jerry, the Unknown Commodity
From the start, Jerry fit the mold for the perfect Uprising signing. He was a talented player, who had played both off-tank as well as DPS. He had played a few seasons in Korean Contenders, honing his skills with X6-Gaming and Meta Athena. Most importantly in Boston’s eyes, he was a relatively unknown commodity to the rest of the league.
Jerry’s announcement was an odd one, as the news broke during one of Chris “HuK” Loranger’s AMA streams late in 2019. HuK had excitedly announced the latest hit-scan and the chat was utterly baffled. It would be a stretch to say more than one person knew of Jerry at the time. After a disappointing 2019 season, the last thing fans wanted to see was a new risk for an already struggling team.
Despite all the doubt and uncertainty, Jerry became an immediate hit among fans and analysts alike. The mystery surrounding his ability as a DPS lead to several rumors about Boston as a potential team. Some stories mentioned Jerry wouldn’t see any playtime behind Munchkin, while others described him as a pure hit-scan phenom. Even weeks before the season, no one knew for sure just how Jerry would hold up in the league. What fans did know from a very early start, was that Jerry was bound to be a star.
The Uprising’s social media team really hit the jackpot with Jerry joining the roster. Even before the season started, Jerry was an animated and likable player that fans could really get behind. From his tin-foil shoes to his choco-pie demonstration, Jerry really was the key to Boston becoming a likable team again. Though he started on the bench behind veteran Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeom, fans were eager to see if his game play could rival his off-stage antics.
Jerry, the Carry
When Jerry eventually did get a chance to start, he simply stole the show. Not only did he perform extremely well in his debut, but he also added a bit of life to the game. There aren’t many players that can get the home crowd to chant an opposing player’s name. Jerry did just that in Houston, as he helped Boston win his first-ever OWL match in a seven map series.
The rest of the season went poorly for Boston, but Jerry always served as a glimmer of hope for the Uprising. As long as Jerry was alive, there was a chance the Uprising could pull out a fight win. Most of his heroics came from his incredible Ashe play, however, as he managed a few highlight-reel players on several different heroes.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) June 13, 2020
His efforts did not go unnoticed. At the end of the year, Jerry was in the running to be an all-star alongside Myunb0ng. He didn’t quite receive enough votes to make it this year, but it does signify the incredible growth Jerry had through the year. From an absolute unknown to fan favorite, Jerry could not have been a better example of how Boston’s scouting system can produce results.
Jerry, the Ideal Uprising Signing
If Boston hit this time around on their scouting, it should be argued that Jerry could be a pivotal piece for the future of Boston. But shockingly, that wasn’t the case. Once the announcement came out that three members of the Uprising had signed extensions for 2021, there were questions about Jerry’s future with the team. Rumors began to circulate that Jerry was being traded, while the rest of the Uprising faithful believed the contract negotiations were simply for an extension. Sadly, everyone was wrong.
Now that Jerry is a free agent, it’s tough for Boston fans to not feel a bit of deja vu. Right when the Uprising found a stud from out of the blue, they let them walk after the season. It’s tough to say if the season would be different if it weren’t for, well, the entire season being completely derailed by a global pandemic, but it is a bit disappointing that the Uprising didn’t want another season of Jerry. And if they did, they just didn’t want to pay for it.
It’ll be quite some time before anyone can make a call about the Uprising’s decision to let Jerry explore free agency. At a glance, it certainly feels like a mistake. For a team with a questionable image, Jerry brought much more favorable press towards the Uprising. It only makes sense that the org would want to keep him around. But, there could be more than what the fans see from the outside of the situation. For all anyone knows, the Uprising knew Jerry had reached his ceiling and just wanted to see if they could flip him for much-needed star power.
Speculation aside, it will be interesting to see where Jerry heads next. There are plenty of teams looking at a rebuild, and there isn’t a better player to help build a team culture than the Uprising’s former hit-scan. All Boston can do is hope they don’t regret letting Scary Jerry go.
Featured image courtesy of the Boston Uprising
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