For many Boston fans, the 2020 season was one to forget. It was a long 28 weeks that started with a bit of excitement, then pivoted to a lot of disappointment, but ended with a glimmer of hope. The year was undoubtedly a long one, and yet it is still a season that is worth revisiting. Because if the Uprising are anything, they are absolutely a team worth watching again.
After the incredible win against the Outlaws, the public perception of Boston began to shift ever so slightly. Fans absolutely fell in love with Tae-hee “Jerry” Min. The team had won for the first time in nine matches, and looked to be somewhat capable of performing well. The Toilet Bowl was sloppy for sure, but there were glimpses of a competent team somewhere in that messy game play.
The real test however was their following match against the loaded Philadelphia Fusion. If Boston could look competitive again, against a stronger opponent, then they would really be one of the big surprises early in season.
Week 3 Vs. Philadelphia Fusion
For the first map of the game, Boston did look moderately competitive. The Uprising won some fights and took control of the point on both rounds of Lijiang tower. It may sound a bit ridiculous to call that a positive, but when a team like the Uprising struggled against a winless Houston, they take all they can get against a favorite to win it all. Boston did lose in a lopsided 3-0 match, but the small bits of good play made fans feel a bit better than a complete stomp.
This match was a good test for Jerry overall. His hype was probably at an all time high after the previous game, and many fans were curious to see how he would stack up to Overwatch raid-boss Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee. Although Jerry didn’t quite have the impact he did against the Outlaws, it was obvious the Fusion planned to keep Jerry off of his groove. It was a successful plan, as Jerry largely stayed off of the kill feed, and the rest of the team was forced to make up for it.
What Went Well
Matches that end in a 3-0 usually don’t have a lot going for them in the “went well” category. But all things considered, Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth didn’t play poorly in his first Reinhardt game since 2019. For most of the match he played well against the opposing Rein, and didn’t feed too too much. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for in a player that had played Orisa for the majority of his previous season.
There also seemed to be a semblance of a game plan this time around for Boston. Having some form of a plan was a stark contrast to the previous match where Boston opted to play erratically. It was a simple plan that read “protect Jerry at all costs” and it was fine. The issues stemmed from the failure to adapt that strategy into something more capable of winning against the Fusion.
What Didn’t Go Well
If Jerry died, the team fight was almost always a loss. The Uprising looked to lean on Jerry specifically during this match, and it wasn’t really fair for a player who was in their second match all-time. Philadelphia displayed a few times early in the season that they can beat teams from multiple angles. In this match, Carpe took a back seat to allow the rest of Philly, namely Su-min “Sado” Kim, take over the game. The Uprising were clueless as to how to beat the Fusion if Carpe wasn’t the one doing it.
The biggest issue in this game was the lack of playmaking ability from the rest of the roster. Nothing stood out from the rest of the Uprising players, which is odd as Sang-min “myunb0ng” Seo typically is good for one or two incredible support plays. Simply put, the Uprising were outclassed and were outplayed at every role in their third match of the year.
Noteworthy Play of the Game
Both moments come from King’s Row, as both moments show a bit about what is going on in the mind of the Uprising. First, Jerry’s flank on Boston’s attack was one of the most poorly executed attempts of a flanking McCree OWL has seen in some time. Not only did the Uprising fail to take space during the flank, Jerry was unable to land a stun or deal much damage before getting called out and focused down. In a pivotal point in the map, Boston desperately needed a fight win their to continue pushing their momentum.
On the other side of the server, the Fusion showcased exactly how that fight is supposed to be dictated. On Philly’s attack, their advance was almost unimpeded thanks to an excellent stagger on a few Boston players. This allowed Philly to get into a stronger position, and let Sado land a massive four-man Earthshatter to close out the map. Not only was this an exciting play from a viewer standpoint, it was a massive momentum killer heading into the half.
A Note from Behind the Scenes
From this point forward, Boston found massive issues with their roster. Although this was Fusions’ first start of the season, it would be Gabriel “Swimmer” Levy’s last. Shortly after this match, the Uprising announced the signing of Kobe “Halo” Hamand as an additional main support. Boston continued to surprise fans as they immediately benched Swimmer for the Contenders stand out. Swimmer would leave his starting spot with a 1-2 record.
This match also kicked off one of the worst streaks in Overwatch League history. All of the worries fans had for Boston heading into the season came to fruition. Roster issues, coaching issues, it had it all. Whether this match really started their downfall is up for debate. What we do know, is that the Uprising certainly did not rise up past this loss.
Next Up: Week 4 Against the Justice and the Reign
The first double header for Boston was their chance to bounce back. The Reign and the Justice came off of long breaks to face Boston. The only thing the Uprising need to do, is find their rhythm.
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