Ah, the Boston Uprising. They are a team that came into the Overwatch League with zero expectations, and yet defied them at every step of the way. The Uprising failed to convert their initial success into long-term results and somehow fell into various misfortunes each and every year. In 2020, Boston was plagued by an unstable roster that had to battle through one of the toughest years ever.
However here they are again. A brand new season with a brand new outlook on the year. New pieces have joined the roster and sentiment is trending upward. Things are finally starting to look good for the first time in a long while for the Uprising. Best of all, the Uprising fans can start to really feel excited for their team once again. Uprising fans have hope again. That is all thanks to a few key changes that Boston needed to make in this past offseason.
Signing a Head Coach with a Winning Pedigree
The head coach position for the Boston Uprising has been a problem area for years. Once Crusty left the team, it feels like a curse has been placing upon the position. In season 2 the Uprising didn’t even have a dedicated head coach. Gunba, Shake, and Mini were all working together as a “coach by committee” in one of the trickiest seasons to coach in the Overwatch League. Then in 2020, Mineral came in as the first true Head Coach after taking a season off from the Overwatch League. A 2-19 final record in 2020 meant Boston needed to look for a new coach once again.
Now for the 2021 season, the Uprising management knew they needed to find a coach who knew how to win. After careful consideration, the team now looks to Lori to bring his winning environment to Boston.
Lori coached WGS to a Korean Contenders championship over Runaway in 2020 and has experience coaching mixed rosters in the past. In the past, Lori has coached the NA Contenders team Bermuda, as well as the EU Contenders Team Eternal Academy. After failing to find success in those teams, Lori looks like he’s fixed whatever issues he’s had in his coaching style in order to win with WGS. A seasoned coach that can make adjustments will be key to the Uprising’s success in a year sure to be filled with shifting metas.
Moving on From the “Diamond in the Rough” Rookies
The biggest knock on the Boston Uprising through the years has been their scouting process. While most teams opted to fight for top-tier Contenders talent, the Uprising have always looked to smaller regions and open tryouts to create their roster. Picking up unknown players has had mixed success so far, but Boston can’t afford to take unnecessary risks after their brutal 2020 season. The 2021 season needed something different to bring better results. Finally, the Boston Uprising decided to aim for real talent coming out of premier Contenders regions.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) March 5, 2021
By signing Valentine and Faith, the Uprising are marking a new era in their roster creation. The two latest signings have looked good in their first performance in the SteelSeries Invitational. Fans should be excited about the new prospects, as they already have proven themselves in Korean Contenders. Together they won Contenders Season 2 with new head coach Lori. These rookies know how to win, and building on the winning culture can only help the team moving forward.
Adding Veterans with Firepower
Even better than signing talented rookies, is signing talented veterans. In 2020 the Uprising tried something new by signing Munchkin, a veteran player previously with the Seoul Dynasty, in order to bring that veteran presence to help the growth of their new hitscan DPS Jerry. Unfortunately, Munchkin left the team just after 3 weeks of play. For 2021, Boston is giving it another shot by signing Stand1 from Shanghai, and SoOn from Paris. These two signings are vital for the Uprising’s success this year, as they serve as the binding pieces for the entire roster. SoOn’s wealth of experience alone should help Boston through any tough period in the season.
If there’s one thing fans know about the Overwatch League, it’s that no one knows what’s going to happen in the year. One month teams will have to battle with Hero Pools, while the next month could bring a whole new set of rules players will have to figure out. The new vets on the roster will bring new viewpoints during rough patches in the season, and that is something the Uprising has needed for quite some time.
It’s a New Year, and Anything Could Happen
Maybe the number one reason Uprising fans can feel a bit of excitement again, is the small joy in knowing that a new season is here. While the ghost of 2020 is still lingering around the expectations of this new roster, the brand new brings along so many new opportunities for Boston to surprise everyone. Other teams in the league have added some serious talent, and so have the Uprising. Can the Uprising contend with every top-tier team? Maybe not. But there is still a sense of “any given game” where an upset can happen.
Sometimes that’s all it takes for a struggling team to create some excitement in its fan base. Boston looks to have made the right moves to build up some confidence in the 2021 team, and the fans have something to look forward to again. At least starting the season, Uprising fans are able to head into the first few games not knowing if they will lose or not – and that alone is enough to get people excited.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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