Boston Uprising fans suffered through a rough Stage 3, with the team only finding success in one game. However, hope should never be lost for a team that’s known to break the mold and prove them wrong. With GOATs finally dwindling out, and a newly announced 2-2-2 role lock that allows DPS players to return to their original roles, there’s a lot that Stage 4 brings, including optimism.
Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse expressed just as much when we sat down to chat last Monday evening. He talks about how the team copes after a crushing Stage 3, what fans can look forward to in Stage 4 and how excited he is for his first Overwatch World Cup with Team New Zealand.
All Hope Is Not Lost: A Conversation with Colourhex
“Stage 3 has come to a close, and Boston ended it on a less than savory note. As a team, how have you guys managed to rally together and get past the scoreline?”
Well, no one wants to go oh and seven, I’ll start by saying that. It was definitely something that crept up as the stage went on in everyone’s heads, but I’m glad that we at least got the win in the Paris game. And we had a couple of close games outside of that as well. I think it was a really bad stage for us. Like, that’s—no one’s gonna argue that. Um, I’m really confident we’re going to do better this stage, though.
“I think so, too. And it’s actually really poignant that you brought up the Paris game, because I was just about to say, you know, the one game that you won was against Paris and it was another reverse sweep. So, does it ever get any easier to sort of master that calm that’s needed to make that reverse sweep happen? Because you guys have done the most out of anybody in the league. Is there just some sort of chill mindset that you guys can all settle into? Once you get past that third game where you win, and you think, ‘alright, this could be the start of it’?”
Um, I’m not really sure. It’s, I think it’s just been like that from the start. I just think it’s who we are as a group of people. Because we’ve won one every single met five, I think, I think we’ve lost two, maybe, maybe three? I forget. [pause] Yeah, we’ve lost three map fives out of how many? We’ve had five of our sweeps, or was it four? I forget.
Four of them – yeah, that’s a lot. [laughs] Um, yeah, I’m not sure if it’s something we learned to do. I just think it was something we had as a team from the start. I think we’re better than we play a lot of the time, and we kind of beat ourselves, and that’s what happened. That’s what – that’s why it ends up with these.. you know, these reverse sweeps. Because we feel way better than some of the teams we reverse sweep, but we always… not throw, but don’t play to our best ability the first couple of matches, and I’m not really sure why. And if someone were trying really hard to not replicate – as fun as reverse sweeps are -, it’s really not the ideal way to, to get your wins, y’know.
“I mean, that makes sense. It’s also – it just feels like it’s such a stressful environment to be in, like, I can admire every single one of you for just managing to come back from that halftime and just be as calm as you can be in order to sort of make plays like that happen. And to get those wins. It’s almost like part of the franchise now of being in the Boston Uprising, and being a Boston Uprising fan is when you see that score go 2-1, you get that hope in your stomach, and you’re like, all right, it could be the time. It could be.”
Yeah, more likely than not, it could be the time. [laughs] We’ve lost a coup—we’ve, I think we’ve lost a few. We’ve been reverse swept before. Now I know how the people feel who get reverse swept by us. It’s not a good feeling.
“I can imagine having it happen in the opposite direction is kind of a bummer. Especially when you’re used to being on the other side of it. So, sort of shifting a little bit—I got to talk to blase about this, like, last month, so I think I had like, I had an idea that it was coming. But you two, in a couple of instances, switched Heroes. So he was playing Zarya, and you were playing Brig. And I talked to him about it, and ee said it was like he was interested in doing that, but it was like a coach decision. So I was wondering, did you sort of enjoy that switch? As much as he seemed like he would have you know, playing Zarya, instead of being in Brig jail? Did you actually enjoy playing Brig?”
Um – yes and no. I think if the switch it happened, or if it was the roles were playing from the start, it would have been probably for the better. But given the time frame that happened, it was not enjoyable.
“I feel that. I don’t think anybody has fun playing Brig, and I don’t blame them. I call her the fun police because it’s like, you’re having a good game of Overwatch and somebody says, ‘Oh, I heard you were having fun. I’m gonna play Brig now, now you don’t get to have fun.”
“All right. So, looking forward to Stage 4, there are a lot of rumors about a 2-2-2 lock. Confirmed or denied, it hasn’t happened yet. With that sort of lingering in the air, are you excited to be playing more DPS Heroes? Because you know, we’ve seen the Widowmaker and we’ve seen the Pharah. So is there like, more that you’re going to be showing off? Or are you just like happy in general to be playing those types of Heroes?”
They’re probably two of my favorite Heroes. Ah, I think Genji is also up there as my favorite Hero, but he doesn’t see much playtime and I don’t expect him to either. But um, yeah, I know. I’m looking forward to playing Heroes like Pharah and Widowmaker. But I want to show off more as well, because I have a ridiculously large Hero pool – probably too big for my own good. But I mean, what can you do?
“I mean, it’s better to have a bigger one that a smaller one, in terms of a Hero pool, right? You know, it’s better to know how to play more than less.”
Yeah, it’s more valuable. But it can get to a point where if you play too much, you can’t keep up and keep all those Heroes at a, you know, a high level because you have too much to learn.
“That makes sense. That actually sort of ties in with a question I was going to ask later, but I’ll ask now, because we’re on the topic. Since you have that big Hero pool, I was going to ask what Hero would you like to play yet that you haven’t gotten a chance to play? Because you played Pharah, you’ve played Widowmaker and I think you’ve played Genji before on stage.”
I played Genji like, once, on Anubis, because that’s the only time you can, really. [..] I really enjoy playing Genji. But, he’s not in the best place right now, so, we’ll see.
“I feel that. It can be rough sometimes when you want to play a Hero that’s not exactly what they would call meta. Another fun question – since you are the Widowmaker player for the Boston Uprising, I was curious: who are you looking forward to having a Widow duel with the most next stage?”
Hmm, let me pull up a list of who’s playing this stage.
“I know the first one is the Charge.”
That’s right. I do like Happy, I think Happy is very, very good. So he’s up there. Sayaplayer, Corey of the Justice, KSF – honestly, every team we’re playing has a pretty good Widowmaker. Hmm. That’s actually a really hard choice, because Chengdu has Yang Xiao Long as well, and Yang Xiao Long is very good. I’m just gonna say Happy, I really think Happy is very, very good. Either Happy or Corey.
“Those are good choices. Especially Corey. I like watching when Boston and the Justice play, because I’d like to see blase clown on Corey, and vice versa. It’s fun to watch them just try and beat each other up.”
Yeah, [laughs] a bit of history there.
“So, this is an open-ended question that sort of ties in with you know, the rumor of 2-2-2. Since you play Widow and Pharah, and that’s mainly what we saw in the Stage Finals from Shanghai was a lot of Pharah, do you think that you know, those are going to be the damage Heroes we’re going to see the most? Do you think that’s sort of a meta that’s setting the stage for Stage 4? Or do you think that there might be other combinations that work well with the predominant tank duo, which is probably going to be Orisa/Roadhog?”
No, I don’t think Pharah/Widow is – I think the reason Shanghai runs it, and the reason it works so well, is they have the best Widow and Pharah players respectively, in diem and DDing. And they’re like, easily the best of both of those roles. And when you have the best of both of those roles, it just kind of natural to play them, you know. So I don’t really think other teams should or are going to emulate that, that kind of DPS duo. I’m also not sure what we’re going to see, though, that being said. It could be that, but I’ve only just started scrimming, and I’m not really sure. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen, you know?
“That makes sense. Especially if you’re Shanghai – if you have diem and DDing and you’re not playing Pharah/Widow, like it’s almost a waste of time. So right now, I’m looking forward to Stage 4, I think there’s still a chance for the Uprising to make it into the Season Playoffs.”
“Stage 3 was rough, however, the previous stages were good, and were enough for Stage 4 to sort of set the scene for a comeback and a fight for it. So the schedule puts the Uprising against a lot of teams that are also in the middle of the pack and fighting for that same thing – like the Charge, the Hunters, even the Atlanta Reign, who’ve had a really good Stage 3. So, do you think that, with decisive wins against certain teams, that you could pull through and make it to the Season Playoffs?”
Oh, yeah. Like, if we ever, if we have a really good stage, we can easily make it. It’s not – I don’t think it’s as bad as people think. I think if we go five and two, we’re pretty much guaranteed 100%. And if we go four and three, it’s not that unlikely, either. And I’m pretty confident we can do either of those scorelines, so I’m not too worried. Maybe if we go into the first week and lose both again, I’ll be sweating over that. For now, I’m pretty confident we can make the Playoffs.
“Yeah, I think so too. I was looking over the schedule earlier. And you know, you’re facing teams like the Mayhem. But like, there’s middle of the pack teams, you know, middle of the line, and then there’s some bottom tier teams. And then those I would consider tough fights against New York and the Valiant, so even if those two are the two that you lose, I think winning the other five could also, you know, decisively put us back in that contention. Even if it’s near the bottom of it, it’s still contention.”
Yeah, true, true, I agree.
“So, a little switch away from the Overwatch League, I wanted to talk about the Overwatch World Cup, because it was announced recently that team New Zealand was a thing and you were one of the very first people announced for it. So I just wanted to ask how you were feeling about it? Are you excited for it? Is this your first foray into the Overwatch World Cup? Because I don’t remember a team New Zealand last year. So I’m just kind of curious on how you’re feeling about that.”
Uh, yeah, this will be my first World Cup. New Zealand wasn’t there last year, it was the year before but I wasn’t playing at the time, so I’ve never actually been to a World Cup. And it’s something I really want to experience. A lot of people have like, really good memories and a lot of good, good times. And it just seems like a really fun experience. And I really want to, you know, be there for one of them at least.
The Overwatch League is back this week for Stage 4! Make sure to catch Colourhex in action on Saturday, July 27th, as the Boston Uprising face off against the Guangzhou Charge.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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