The moment has finally arrived, and Boston fans couldn’t be happier. The 2020 season is here after a long off-season of roster moves, power rankings and tin-foil shoes. On the opening weekend of OWL Boston will face off against its historic rival, the New York Excelsior.
The past few match-ups haven’t gone quite as Boston had hoped, but a new season is here which means brand new opportunities to even the score. The large hero pool changes aren’t quite here yet, but the recent nerfs to double-shield comps are enough to bring some creativity into the league. If the past has shown fans anything, a little bit of creativity has been enough to rattle the usually focused New York squad.
Opponent: New York Excelsior (0-0)
Going into their match-up on Sunday, New York will have the chance to show off their new roster before playing Boston. Leading the renewed NYXL lineup is former Guangzhou off-tank Hong-jun “HOTBA” Choi and contenders stand-out Seung-jun “WhoRU” Lee. XL2 call-up Dong-wook “BiaNcA” Kim will help fill the void left by all-star Tae-hong “MekO” Kim at the off-tank position alongside HOTBA. In an unknown meta, New York’s newly found flexibility will be on full display as they face a rookie-filled London team on Saturday.
Allow us to introduce you to the @BostonUprising 🥳
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 8, 2020
Although it may be New York’s homestand weekend, all eyes will be on this brand-new Boston lineup. Boston’s support line is surprisingly the only position with two definite starters. The rest of the lineup has a few players still battling for that starting spot. Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth and Min-Seob “Axxiom” Park both could see playtime this weekend with each player’s unique hero pools. In the same vein, fans could potentially see both new off-tanks as well, even if to just give each player a taste of playing on stage. It would be quite the surprise to see Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse benched in favor of one of the two new DPS additions, but Boston has made strange starts/sits before.
Despite the hype of all the recent adds for both teams, it’s the veterans of New York that will dictate this game. The core of New York remained intact this off-season, and Boston will need to find some way to best the veteran leadership of Seong-hyun “Jjonak” Bang and Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park. Boston will need everyone to show up on the big stage if they want to upset one of this year’s favorites to win it all.
Prediction: 3-0 NYXL
Player to Watch: Myunbong
Ask any analyst to mention one bright spot on the Boston Uprising, and they will tell you it’s former O2 Blast flex-support Sang-min “Myunbong” Seo. Myunbong enters the league with high expectations, but fans are worried how he will fare on a previously tumultuous Boston team. Facing against the Inaugural Season’s MVP only adds more weight on the rookie’s shoulders in his first OWL game. The Uprising are going to look towards young Myunbong to create opportunities from the support position, and it’ll be interesting if he can make it happen.
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