With all the craziness that comes along with off-season transactions and general overwatch drama, we often lose sight of what we love about the OWL. With Thanksgiving here, it’s important to slow down and look back at what draws us all to our favorite teams. What we’re truly thankful for about them uniquely.
For today, I want to talk about why I am incredibly thankful for the money-ball squad – the Boston Uprising.
Bringing in Those Diamonds in the Rough
If there is one thing that truly separates Boston from the rest of the league, it’s their dedication to scouting talent. In season 1, Boston created a rag-tag team of misfits that people really weren’t excited about. Despite their unknown skill-ceiling and unproven coaching staff, the Uprising finished 3rd overall in the season standings.
In season 2 Boston lost most of their roster, but replaced them with a new roster of new faces. Chris “HuK” went digging through various Contenders regions to build a new team in hopes to replicate the success of the previous season. Boston even welcomed the league’s first Brazilian player with Renan “Alemao” Moretto. The season ultimately went south for the Uprising finishing in the bottom 3 of the league, and critics saw this as a result of Boston’s ambitious scouting decisions.
Third times a charm for the Uprising as this past offseason the team welcomed in 5 new players to the pro scene. This year’s recruitment brings a little more experience as a whole this time around. There are a few question marks between new DPS player Min “Jerry” Tae-hee and 2-way off-tank Walid “Mouffin” Bassal, but overall the team seems to be its most solid roster to date.
Without Boston’s push to scout lesser-known players, we may not have seen fan favorites like Noh “Gamsu” Young-Jin, Lucas “NotE” Meissner, Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov, and Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth. So I thank Boston for looking around to find those players other teams skipped over.
Completing the First Unbeaten Stage
Stage 3 of the Inaugural season will easily be remembered as one of the most incredible stages in OWL history.
After their wins against Philadelphia and Houston to start the stage, Boston’s rising DPS standout Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez was removed from the team after allegations of sexual misconduct. Hopping into his place was Mistakes, who hadn’t played a map all season.
That didn’t matter for Mistakes, because he came out of the gate firing.
Mistakes and Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo suddenly became one of the most dangerous DPS duos in the league. This stage was also where we really saw the growth of Boston’s tanks Gamsu and NotE. The 4 had perfected the art of the dive through the season. However, the most impressive aspect of the season was their ability to finish close matches. Closing out 3-2 matches against both NYXL and London truly highlighted how clutch this team had been in Stage 3.
A GM Like HuK
This one is certainly will not be as well-received as the other two, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
HuK has caught a ton of flak from not only his time so far with the Uprising, but during his time as a StarCraft pro as well. He is, admittedly, a tough figure to like in the Overwatch scene. One of his earliest appearances back at the 2016 Atlantic Showdown, unfortunately, set the tone. He was brought on as a caster but viewers felt he may have been too harsh and unprofessional in his criticisms. Then accusations from some former pros featured in a VPEsports article last year only compounded his poor image.
I am thankful for a GM like Huk because he has never been afraid to respond to his critics. After the Atlantic Showdown post, he responded to address the situation in a surprisingly professional manner. Then with the Uprising, HuK had not just one, but two separate streams to discuss any concerns from fans. He also had no issue discussing the team’s lackluster performance this past stage, without bashing the team.
The attempt here to be more transparent is extremely important to not only his image, but the team’s image as well. It shows that he does care about the community’s concerns and that he wants to make Boston a team worth supporting. I respect the effort, because not every GM will be so open about happenings behind the scenes.
Thank You, Uprising
Even though last season was rough for Boston fans, there’s plenty to be excited about going forward. So we say thank you to Boston for the great moments so far and the amazing ones to come.
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