If any Boston Uprising fan told you that this team would leave their opening weekend 2-0, they were either lying or completely delusional. Facing two of the top four teams from the Kickoff Clash would be a tough ask for any team with a winning record, let a lone a team that say at 2-4 before the weekend. The Boston Uprising had an impossible task ahead of them. Simply put, a win for them would just simply be looking competitive. Surely a professional organization can muster at least some competitive plays.
Well they did and they didn’t. Viewers went into this matchup with zero expectations, other than knowing that Boston would get rolled. Imagine the surprise to onlookers that Boston would actually fight back against Atlanta to make a close series. Luckily everything went back to normal after a thorough shellacking by the Shock to end the weekend on a sour note. Despite it all there are some things to takeaway from this rough weekend, and hopefully the Uprising can make the necessary adjustments to right the ship.
Boston Should Really Play that Sojourn Character
The biggest surprise of the weekend was the emergence of Sojourn as the primary carry for OWL teams. For those who missed it, Soider: 76 received a pretty substantial nerf that caused him to fall out of favor with hitscan players. That opened the door for some experimenting, and most teams found that Sojourn was a character that could seamlessly slot into the Soldier spot. After all, the two play almost identically with the exception of the one-shot potential from Sojourn.
However the other half of teams decided to leave Sojourn on the shelf. Boston, among other teams, found that Hanzo would be the better option in the current meta. Right now teams are favoring long-range poke comps that look to get enough damage done to allow the Tracer player to sneak in the backline and finish off low-health targets. Hanzo fits in that comp, but ultimately it didn’t find nearly as much success as teams that ran Sojourn.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) June 18, 2022
Boston seemed to be a team that truly devoted a ton of time practicing Hanzo/Mei compositions. Something that literally zero other teams had tried. It begs the question: what did Boston see in scrims that they landed on this weird comp? The Uprising played maybe a minute of Sojourn across the weekend. They chose not to mirror Atlanta even after Kai “Kai” Collins decimated the Uprising lineup on the character. Realistically the only reason why Boston wouldn’t give it a shot mid match is simply due to comfort on the hero. It looked like Boston may not have felt that they would have increased their chances of winning if they had diverted from practice strategies.
With a week’s worth of time till their next match, there is no reason why Boston should be avoiding Sojourn now. The proof is there right in front of them. The character can do things that flip the script in the middle of a fight. Sojourn has more consistent damage and overall threat than Hanzo. As a long-range hitscan player, Gi-hun “Victoria” Hun should be jumping at the opportunity to play a pop-off hero like Sojourn. If Boston continue to avoid Sojourn, then there is clearly something the coaching staff sees that the average viewer, and top teams, don’t.
It’s the Lack of Consistency That Kills Boston
If there was one thing that stood out about Boston this past week was their crazy varying level of play. To open up the series against Atlanta, Boston looked utterly and absolutely lost. Their Sombra/Wrecking Ball composition looked atrocious. It appeared like there was no communication or cohesiveness. Just a bunch of player fighting for their lives as the Reign pick them off one by one. It was disappointing to see after the team had ample time to work out issues during the break. It was the same story for the second map, and Boston fell to a crushing 0-2 deficit.
Then it is almost as if a switch had been flipped. Boston powered back and won back-to-back maps to even the series. They looked like a team that had been playing for years – coordinated, confident and decisive. As they headed into map 5, everyone had the same thought in their mind. If the Uprising had swapped the roster to run the same comps as map 1 the game was over. And surely enough, that was the case. The Uprising fell to the Reign after losing a very deflating Control map.
Boston would start the same exact way against the Shock. This time around they looked like they could actually net eliminations, but they failed to contest the point twice and dropped the opening map. The Uprising then slipped rolled over and let the Shock walk through Eichenwald to go down 0-2 again. The third map was more competitive, and even looked like Boston could take a map off of the unbeaten Shock. Yet, they came short and a swift 0-3 was their reward.
The most frustrating thing as an Uprising fan is knowing that the players on Boston can compete. There are signs of life in this roster, but they failed to bring it all together when it matters the most. At the moment it looks like Boston has a good lineup that the coaching staff insists on subbing out in important maps. He is improving, but rookie tank Chang-hee ” ITSAL” Kim has yet to win a map. The Uprising coaching staff want him to get reps, and that makes sense, but at the end of the day the team needs wins to even have a shot at getting into any tournaments this year. The constant swapping of players is hurting Boston’s consistency, and the minds behind the Uprising need to figure out the right recipe for success.
It Does Get Easier From Here
Breathe easy Uprising fans, as the toughest part of this split is over. To close out the qualifier round Boston now has to take on Paris, Florida, Houston and New York. It isn’t a cake walk, but these are teams that Boston can realistically compete against and maybe even steal a win. Paris found a way to get their first win of the year but it was a 5-map fiesta against New York where someone would have to win. Those two teams are the games that Boston should win, almost leaning towards must-win.
The interesting matchups will be against the two teams that are scratching the surface of the top 4. Florida and Houston are strong teams that just haven’t managed to beat the elite rosters in the league. If Boston has a great week of practice, there is a small chance that the Uprising can make these games closer than people could realize. Fans should look at that Outlaws match as one that could really be a big upset that the Uprising could pull off. It was a rough one this past weekend, but if the Uprising can press on keep working to find their rhythm, there’s a shot they can come back in time for the third tournament of the year,.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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