The Overwatch League is finally back. Although these matches were preseason games, the SteelSeries invitational allowed fans to get a snapshot of how their team will look at the start of the season. For Boston Uprising fans, the show matches were a great opportunity to watch their new roster in action. The new rookies on the Uprising got their first taste of OWL-level play, and the vets got a chance to shake off some offseason rust. After a whole week’s worth of maps, there were plenty of key takeaways from the Boston Uprising after the SteelSeries Invitational.
The Players Look Real Good
One of the biggest question marks heading into the season is just how good are the new signings. Stand1 and SoOn are two players that have seen success in the Overwatch League, but often were benched by other players on their previous teams. Valentine and Faith are brand new players entering the league, and there are always some worries about how their previous success will translate once they face stiffer competition. Despite all the hype heading into the season opener, Boston fans are still a little hesitant to get their hopes up.
After watching the team play, Uprising fans are now allowed to get excited for the season. Valentine was an immediate threat coming out of the gate against Paris. Stand1 displayed plenty of flexibility at the main tank position. In fact, Stand1 played every main tank throughout the day. SoOn and IM37 both looked solid in their Uprising debut, and Colourhex even had a small pop off moment on Eichenwald. Although main support doesn’t make too many flashy plays, Faith looked solid alongside Myunb0ng in the Boston backline.
The team looked very good on an individual level through the tournament. It wasn’t all perfect however, as the team was outclassed against the Gladiators in their second match of the day. Losing a few duels is expected in the first matchup against fellow professional players. The good news for fans is just seeing first hand how promising the team looks on a mechanical level. The skill is there and the team certainly has the potential to really make a splash this season.
The Team Play Isn’t Quite There
As good as the players looked, the team as a whole looked a bit shaky. The coordination and cohesiveness of the roster did not seem as strong as the other three competitors on the weekend. In fairness to Boston, they are the team that has been together the shortest amount of time. Apparently the team has only been practicing together for a week before the SteelSeries showdown. Compare that to the Los Angeles Gladiators who have been together since January or the London Spitfire — a team whose roster has been playing together for an entire year in European Contenders.
A glaring issue that popped up a few times for Boston was their coordination mid fight. Multiple times, players either used ultimates recklessly or in a panic in hopes to clutch out a fight. Other times the two supports both got caught dying to a Pulse Bomb. Any time two players die to Tracer’s ultimate there is a clear disconnect in communication and synergy. Timings issues and overall team-centric mistakes are very easily fixed with time, and time is a commodity now that the start date is a little over a month away.
Looks Like the Team is Still Testing the Waters for Compositions
The thing that truly stuck out while watching the Uprising were their composition choices. From what people have seen on the competitive ladder, Dive compositions are extremely popular with pro players. Winston and Zarya is a very popular tank combination and many were expecting this to be the go-to comp for teams. Oddly enough, Paris and London opted for a pure brawl style while Los Angeles preferred Wrecking Ball and Winston/D.Va comps.
Boston just decided to play all of it. If there was a composition worth trying out, Boston gave it a shot. On Havana they brought out the Basion bunker style comp. For Lijiang and Illios the Uprising weaved in classic Brawl with plenty of Wrecking Ball Dive comps to keep their opponents off their rhythm. Boston even played Double Shield with a Genji as the main win condition. It was obvious that Boston was just trying out new things on the fly, while still playing some of their favorite heroes.
It was refreshing to see a Boston team not adhere to one particular playstyle. In the past the Uprising really struggled to find success forcing the same team composition over and over. It wasn’t until the playoffs where viewers witnessed the Uprising make mid-map adjustments in order to gain the momentum back. This new look Boston already appears ready and willing to swap things up if things aren’t working out. With the amount of weapons available to them heading into 2021, Boston should turn out to be an exciting team tow watch this season.
Featured image courtesy of SteelSeries and the Overwatch League
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