Walking into the Kit Kat Rivalry weekend, Boston has a lot to think about.
At this point, it sounds almost cliche to say that this weekend will be extremely difficult for the Boston Uprising. Since the All-Star break, Boston never really looked like the same team – in and out of the game. While their play has ranged from coordinated to chaotic, it has been their roster that has turned heads of fans and analysts alike. The only thing consistent about the roster so far has been the inconsistency at the support and off-tank positions.
However this late in the stage, and the season, it’s fair to assume Boston will roll with Zion “Persia” Yang at the off-support position in place of Minseok “AimGod” Kwon. This decision has been met with some serious backlash from the Boston fans, as several casters have pointed out the difference between the two supports. But the coaching staff have stayed firm this stage, and Persia has played each game. There have been questions regarding AimGod’s likelihood of remaining on the team next year, but those discussions will have to take the back seat as Boston has one last weekend to go.
Boston Uprising Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend Preview
In their last two matches of the season, Boston will face a 5-0 Atlanta squad and a surprisingly sub par NYXL team. Now being out of playoff contention, Boston has a couple of options in how they want to play these matches.They can either play as though nothing is different and attempt to beat these teams in the mirror match, or they can shake things up a bit. A shift in game plan may lead to some cheap wins, but after last week’s game against the Valiant, Boston shows a ton of improvement with the Mei-Reaper team composition. It’ll be interesting to see how Boston wants to approach their season finale.
New York Excelsior (Stage: 2-3, Season: 21-5)
One of the most shocking developments this stage has been the mediocre performance of the New York Excelsior. Coming into this final stage, New York was easily considered one of the most prepared teams going into a DPS-centric environment. With star players Jongryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park, Yeonkwan “Nenne” Jeong and Dohyeon “Pine” Kim, New York was poised to take full control of the top overall spot.
What people were not expecting, was to see New York lose more games this stage than they have all season.
The most notable losses came against the Hunters and the Charge, as both teams 4-0’d the NYXL. The hyped up DPS of New York fell flat against the two expansion teams. Whether it be a shifting meta and New York could not adapt, or these other teams finding their rhythm at the end of the season, the league now knows New York is a team that can be beat. After watching Boston’s improved play last week, it seems the Uprising have a shot at beating their timeless rival.
Atlanta Reign (Stage: 5-0, Season: 14-12)
In the blink of an eye, the Atlanta Reign have become the top dogs in the 2-2-2 meta. This past week Atlanta had extremely impressive wins over Washington and London, the second being a clean 4-0 victory. Coming up Atlanta faces a struggling Dallas team, with Boston the last team left in their way for an unbeaten stage.
Leading the charge for the Reign is their stud DPS player Jeong “Erster” Joon. Being able to out play both Corey “Corey” Nigra and Junyoung “Profit” Park is not an easy task. Erster made it look effortless. Once again, the burden will be put onto Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse to step up for Boston and face another talented DPS player.
X-Factors: Boston’s Coaching Staff
For both games, the members of the Uprising coaching staff have the most to prove.
In what can be thrown away as two meaningless games, Boston’s coaching needs to keep the team motivated. When your team is out of the playoffs and struggling to just get a win, there is a large mental hurdle you have to get over as a coach. It is astronomically easier to roll over and lose. It is easier to just not care as much when there’s nothing to gain from winning the games anyway. But this late in the season, Boston still has more to play for – their fans.
What the fans want to see is the Uprising play for themselves, rather than their record. Fans want to see their team succeed and give a little bit of hope for the next season. Maybe the coaches let bench players like Renan “Alemao” Moretto and Minseob “Axxiom” Park see some stage time. Fans have been hoping to see some new faces on stage, and this would be a perfect time for it.
Despite all the struggles this season, Boston has done its best to keep calm and carry on. That mentality is something the coaching staff have ingrained into the players. Coaches are always pushing the players to move past mistakes to grow. But now one last time, it is up to the coaches to make sure the players know that there are people watching that want to see that Boston Uprising Wins graphic just one last time.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment/Ben Pursell
You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other TGH writers.
Follow me on twitter @esportsbrock for more analysis and banter. #BostonUp!